Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second smallest planet in the Solar System. Named after the Roman god of war, it is often described as the "Red Planet", as the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance. Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the volcanoes, valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth. The rotational period and seasonal cycles of Mars are likewise similar to those of Earth, as is the tilt that produces the seasons. Mars is the site of Olympus Mons, the second highest known mountain within the Solar System (the tallest on a planet), and of Valles Marineris, one of the largest canyons. The smooth Borealis basin in the northern hemisphere covers 40% of the planet and may be a giant impact feature. Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos, which are small and irregularly shaped. These may be captured asteroids, similar to 5261 Eureka, a Martian trojan asteroid. Read more on wikipedia
According to Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal, establishing a permanent presence beyond Earth is the first step humans will take towards the “divergence into a new species”. Plans to visit and even colonise Mars are no longer the subject of science fiction novels.
The Mars One project, which aims to put humans on Mars permanently and drew 200,000 applicants, has now announced that more than a thousand of these candidates were shortlisted. They will now be tested in order to come up with a final list of 24 would-be Mars-dwellers.
An open competition for the planetary community to submit proposals for the science and exploration technology instruments that would be carried aboard the agency's next Mars rover, scheduled for launch in July/August of 2020, has been announced by NASA.
Researchers of a new study found evidence which suggests the Earth will host habitable conditions for at least another 1.75 billion years before it falls into the Sun's "hot zone."
Researchers at Brown University have shown that some Martian valleys appear to have been caused by runoff from orographic precipitation — moisture carried part of the way up a mountain and deposited on the slopes.
Dramatic flood events carved this impressive channel system on Mars covering 1.55 million square kilometres, shown here in a stunning new mosaic from ESA’s Mars Express.
NASA Mars rover Opportunity isn't just on the move, it's also discovered a clay-rich rock that hints to the fact that water existed on the Red Planet in the past.
The Mars rover Curiosity may not have found evidence of life, but it's definitely found evidence of water on the Red Planet. NASA scientists have revealed that the rover has found evidence that rivers once ran across the surface of Mars that were between an inch to nearly three feet deep.
New global maps of Mars released on the 10th anniversary of the launch of ESA’s Mars Express trace the history of water and volcanic activity on the Red Planet, and identify sites of special interest for the next generation of Mars explorers.
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has collected data and evidence that reveals an ancient streambed on Mars. The findings could hint at the possibility of life on the Red Planet in the past.
The U.S. House Subcommittee on Space held one of their hearings today on the topic of possible options for the next steps in human space flight and how these options move the U.S. closer to a human mission to Mars and beyond.