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Star Talk

On Red alert: Next mission to Mars will directly sample atmosphere

This artist’s rendering depicts the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission spacecraft, which will orbit about 90 miles above the Red Planet.
This artist’s rendering depicts the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission spacecraft, which will orbit about 90 miles above the Red Planet.
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Mars has changed. After almost 50 years of spacecraft imaging, landers and rovers examining the planet that we know as a cold, arid and desolate world suggest that Mars has not always been such a forbidding place. Pictures taken from orbit around Mars show that the exterior of the Red World has features that appear to have been formed by liquid water. On its surface, chemical testing — in particular by the rover Opportunity — ...


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