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Mars: December 2020


The existence of liquid water within an oxidized environment on early Mars has been inferred by the Mn-rich rocks found during recent explorations on Mars. The oxidized atmosphere implied by the Mn-rich rocks would basically be comprised of CO2 and H2O without any reduced greenhouse gases such as H2 and CH4.

Mars Sample Return consists of three separate missions, the first of which is the Mars2020 rover which will land at Jezero crater on February 18, 2021. We describe here our remote sensing study of a particular unit that outcrops in Jezero crater that is likely to be part of the return sample suite.

Water on Mars, in the form of brines, may not be as widespread as previously thought, according to a new study by researchers at the Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences.

Recently, Nadir and Occultation for Mars Discovery (NOMAD) ultraviolet and visible spectrometer instrument on board the European Space Agency's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) simultaneously measured the limb emission intensities for both [OI] 2972 and 5577 Å (green) emissions in the dayside of Martian upper atmosphere.

The most habitable region for life on Mars would have been up to several miles below its surface, likely due to subsurface melting of thick ice sheets fueled by geothermal heat, a Rutgers-led study concludes.

Solar Proton Events (SPEs) can cause abrupt and significant enhancements to the Martian surface radiation dose.

Special Regions on Mars are defined as environments able to host liquid water that meets certain temperature and water activity requirements that allow known terrestrial organisms to replicate, and therefore could be habitable.

Report by the NASA Mars Architecture Strategy Working Group (MASWG), November 2020