August 15, 2005

POPULAR MECHANICS looks at NASA’s new Mars probe:

The whole MRO mission costs $720 million, and its main objective is to scan the Martian landscape with a high enough resolution to spot a table from its 200-mile orbit. Three cameras will take enough images to map the entire surface in unprecedented detail, looking for areas where future craft such as landers and rovers may be deployed. A radar provided by the Italian space agency will look up to a half-mile under the surface in search for water ice. Minerals that may have formed in water a long time ago also will be sought.

Ideally, we’ll find that Mars has water, but no life.

Meanwhile, here’s a report on the latest Martian terraforming plans. More on that subject here, and there’s some related stuff here.

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