Volume: 01, Issue: 05
Artist's depiction of the Mars Exploration Rover on the surface of Mars.
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Other Articles in This Issue:
Mars Express Launched to Explore the Red Planet
A Martian View of Home
Tsunami Sweeps Atlantic Coast in Asteroid Impact Scenario

Mars Exploration Rover Set to Launch June 8

The first of NASA’s twin Mars Exploration Rovers is set to begin its journey to the Red Planet on June 8. The rovers will scour two carefully chosen landing sites for evidence of water activity and life on the planet, whether in the past or at present.

The first rover will examine Gusev Crater, located 15 degrees south of the Martian equator, which appears to have once held a lake. The second will target Meridiani Planum, two degrees south of the equator and halfway around the planet from Gusev, which contains deposits of gray hematite, an iron oxide mineral.

Each rover will spend at least 90 Martian days (92 Earth days) examining their landing sites. The solar-powered rovers will likely suffer diminished power supplies after approximately 90 days due to dust accumulation on the solar arrays.

For more information about the Mars Exploration Rover, visit http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mer/.

For more information about NASA, visit http://www.nasa.gov.

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