Curious Mars

Mars: November 2020

Mars once had oceans but is now bone-dry, leaving many to wonder how the water was lost. University of Arizona researchers have discovered a surprisingly large amount of water in the upper atmosphere of Mars, where it is rapidly destroyed, explaining part of this Martian mystery.

Volcanic activity on Mars peaked during the Noachian and Hesperian periods but has continued since then in isolated locales. Elysium Planitia hosts numerous young, fissure-fed flood lavas with ages ranging from approximately 500 to 2.5 million years (Ma).

Mars Sample Return (MSR) is a highly complex and ambitious program of national importance. As noted by the MSR Independent Review Board (IRB), it is one of the most technically difficult and operationally demanding robotic space missions ever undertaken.

Earth's most arid desert may hold a key to finding life on Mars.

There's a long-standing question in planetary science about the origin of water on Earth, Mars and other large bodies such as the moon.