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This view of channels on Mars came from NASA's Mariner 9 orbiter. In 1971, Mariner 9 became the first spacecraft to enter orbit around Mars.
Mariner 9 View of Nirgal Vallis
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Color coding in this image of Gale Crater on Mars represents differences in elevation.
Topography of Gale Crater
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Rhythmic patterns of sedimentary layering in Danielson Crater on Mars result from periodic changes in climate related to changes in tilt of the planet.
Rhythmic Layering in Danielson Crater on Mars
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Color coding in this image of Mars represents differences in elevation, measured by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor.
Topography of Mars
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Sulfates are found overlying clay minerals in sediments within Columbus Crater, a depression that likely hosted a lake in the past.
Sulfates and Clays in Columbus Crater, Mars
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Thick stacks of clay minerals indicate chemical alteration of thick stacks of rock by interaction with liquid water on ancient Mars.
Chemical Alteration by Water, Mawrth Vallis
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NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity studied layers in the Burns Cliff slope of Endurance Crater in 2004.
Layers in Burns Cliff Examined by Opportunity
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On ancient Mars, water carved channels and transported sediments to form fans and deltas within lake basins.
Chemical Alteration by Water, Jezero Crater Delta
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Recent small craters discovered by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter expose buried ice in the middle latitudes of Mars.
Fresh Crater Revealing Buried Ice
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Modern-day Mars experiences cyclical changes in climate and, consequently, ice distribution. Unlike Earth, the obliquity (or tilt) of Mars changes substantially on timescales of hundreds of thousands to millions of years.
Changes in Tilt of Mars' Axis
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This artist's concept depicts NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft near Mars.
MAVEN at Mars, Artist's Concept
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Employees gathered one level above monitor the progress of the protective mesh container known as the "gorilla cage," holding the multi-mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator (MMRTG) for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, as it is lifted near the top of the Atlas V rocket in the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41.
Installing the MMRTG Power Source
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Enclosed in the protective mesh container known as the "gorilla cage," the multi-mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator (MMRTG) for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission is lifted up the side of the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41.
Lifting the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG)
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The Atlas V rocket set to launch NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission is illuminated inside the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41, where employees have gathered to hoist the spacecraft's multi-mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator (MMRTG).
Curiosity's Rocket Illuminating On the Launch Pad
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A dune in the northern polar region of Mars shows significant changes between two images taken on June 25, 2008 and May 21, 2010 by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Movement in Martian Dune Field
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A rippled dune front in Herschel Crater on Mars moved an average of about one meter (about one yard) between March 3, 2007 and December 1, 2010, as seen in these images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Rippling Dune Front in Herschel Crater on Mars
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A rippled dune front in Herschel Crater on Mars moved an average of about two meters (about two yards) between March 3, 2007 and December 1, 2010, as seen in these images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Rippling Dune Front in Herschel Crater on Mars
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The eastern margin of a rippled dune in Herschel Crater on Mars moved an average distance of three meters (about three yards) between March 3, 2007 and December 1, 2010, as seen by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Shifting Sand in Herschel Crater
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A rippled patch of sand in Becquerel Crater on Mars moved about two meters (about two yards) between November 24, 2006 and September 5, 2010, as observed in these images taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Blowing in the Martian Wind
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This artist's concept depicts the rover Curiosity, of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, as it uses its Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument to investigate the composition of a rock surface.
Curiosity at Work on Mars (Artist's Concept)
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NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft has been fully stacked for flight in this photograph from inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA Kennedy Space Center, Fla., in October 2011.
Mars Science Laboratory Stacked Spacecraft
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During final stacking of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, the heat shield is positioned for integration with the rest of the spacecraft in this photograph from inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Mars Science Laboratory Heat Shield Integration for Flight
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The cruise stage of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft is being prepared for final stacking of the spacecraft in this photograph from inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Mars Science Laboratory Cruise Stage
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The "powered descent vehicle" of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft is being prepared for final integration into the spacecraft's back shell in this photograph from inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The powered descent vehicle combines the spacecraft's descent stage and the rover Curiosity.
Integrating Powered Descent Vehicle with Back Shell of Mars Spacecraft
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The Mars Science Laboratory mission's "powered descent vehicle" is the integrated combination of the spacecraft's descent stage and the rover Curiosity. It is shown inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA Kennedy Space Center, Fla. in this photograph taken during final assembly of the spacecraft.
Mars Science Laboratory Powered Descent Vehicle
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