March 6, 2015 -- In 2024 crews of four will be sent to Mars with the goal of creating a permanent human settlement there. 200,000 people applied to be one of the first four people willing to make this one-way trip. A 22-year-old college student from Texas is one of the final 100 applicants. Ask your students: Would they take a one-way trip to Mars, knowing they would never return to Earth?
Last week NASA’s MAVEN probe began orbiting Mars in an effort to measure and map the Martian atmosphere. Today, Mars, known as the red planet, is bone dry and it’s atmosphere is being broken down by the sun’s solar winds, but evidence shows that it was once much more like Earth. From liquid channels to lake beds, there is clear evidence that Mars once had water as well as a magnetic field. So what happened to this water? These are the answers the MAVEN is searching for by mapping Mars’ current atmosphere. Listen to learn more about this important mission.
From NPR -- Take a close look at the image below showing a newly formed impact crater on Mars: The blue streaks of material, known as ejecta, radiate 9 miles from the 100-foot crater, according to NASA. The picture was taken from orbit by the on Nov. 19. The same area was imaged by the MRO's Context Camera in July 2010 and again in May 2012 — with no crater in the first and a telltale surface scar in the second.
NASA's Curiosity rover is providing vital insight about Mars' past and current environments that will aid plans for future robotic and human missions. In a little more than a year on the Red Planet, the mobile Mars Science Laboratory has determined the age of a Martian rock, found evidence the planet could have sustained microbial life, taken the first readings of radiation on the surface, and shown how natural erosion could reveal the building blocks of life.
Learn more from the video below and the following NASA websites:
Water existing on Mars is not anything new to report, but how about liquid (not frozen) water that is flowing today (not millions/billions of years ago)? Scientists have found that the relatively warmer summer Martian months cause liquid water to flow on the surface.