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This artist's concept shows a Mars outpost with vehicles astronauts would use to get around.
Humans Driving on Mars
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Syrtis Major Region
Syrtis Major Region
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This image shows an outcrop of the south polar layered deposits (SPLD). The SPLD consist of layers of ice and admixed dust and make up the bulk of the dome-shaped Planum Australe.

Planum Australe is, in some ways, analogous to the Antarctic ice sheet. Troughs and scarps carved into Planum Australe by erosional processes have exposed SPLD layers within it. In this image, the darkest area at the bottom of the image is the bottom of the scarp. Except for the dark material at the bottom of the slope, much of the changes in brightness in this image are due to the lighting angle, the direction from which the sun is illuminating the slope.

Much like ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica and deep sea sediment cores, the icy-dusty layers of the SPLD may have preserved a record of recent Mars climate history. Understanding that record is a complex process and involves, among many other types of analyses, examining the differences and similarities in appearance between each layer and attempting to classify layer types. This image shows nice examples of different layer textures. But what is especially interesting about this image are the faults cutting through the layers. These faults appear as diagonal lines, on either side of which, the layering is offset. Note that the faults are not clean, single lines, but appear in long groups of short lines.

What caused these faults is still under investigation, but, among other possibilities, they could be related to an earlier time when temperatures were higher and the ice was flowing at a much faster rate than it is today.
Troughs and Scarps in Planum Australe
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Geologically young gullies are a prime target for the HiRISE camera. Gullies are located in a variety of settings and are found all over Mars.

This "ring trough" or eroded pit crater, is located in the rugged southern highland terrain known as Noachis Terra. The HiRISE image shows the layered, boulder-rich wall rock facing to the northeast and gullies that are transporting material downslope.

The material collects into debris aprons along the walls, which often exhibit narrow channels along its surface.
Gullies on Southwest Slope of Ring Trough in Noachis Terra
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Impact Crater in Tempe Terra
Impact Crater in Tempe Terra
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Drainage Near Crater in Terra Sabaea.
Drainage Near Crater in Terra Sabaea
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Gullied Crater Slope with Rocky Outcrops Northeast of Hellas Region
Gullied Crater Slope with Rocky Outcrops Northeast of Hellas Region
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Endeavour Crater in Context
Endeavour Crater in Context
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A Martian Valentine for 2009
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Martian Weather Activity on Short Timescales
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Sand Dunes and Ripples in Proctor Crater, Mars
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These color-enhanced views of Deimos, the smaller ot the two moons of Mars, result from imaging on Feb. 21, 2009.
Martian Moon Deimos in High Resolution
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This image shows an exposure of layered rock that exhibits a type of fracturing -- called columnar jointing -- that results when cooling lava contracts.
First Observation of Columnar Jointing on Mars
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This image shows part of the floor of an impact crater on the northern rim of the giant Hellas Basin. 

Hellas includes the lowest elevations on Mars, and may have once held lakes or seas; layered rock outcrops occur around much of the edge of the basin. At this site, a large impact crater (about 90 kilometers across) was partly filled by layered rocks. These rocks on the crater floor are now eroding and forming strange pits.

Here, the layers are mostly exposed on a steep slope which cuts across much of the image. On this slope, they crop out as rocky stripes, some continuous and others not. The material between the stripes is mostly covered by debris, but some areas of exposed rock are visible. The slope is capped by a thick, continuous layer that armors it against erosion; once this cap is gone, the lower material is removed rapidly, forming the steep slope. At the base of this slope, rocks on the floor of the pit appear bright and heavily fragmented by cracks known as joints.

The variation in rock types suggests that the rocks here were deposited by multiple processes or in different environments. Sites like this may preserve a record of conditions on early Mars.
Layered Outcrops on Crater Floor
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This fresh crater is located in the northern mid-latitudes. It is designated as fresh because of its very sharp rim.

The crater has experienced some modification since it formed, including a few tiny craters on the south wall.

The rough texture of the floor is suggestive of ground ice, which is expected to exist in the mid-latitudes. Ground ice aids gravity in moving material from the crater walls towards the center. Material is visible slumping off the northwest crater wall in this fashion. The wavy texture of the center of the crater floor suggests that material has been transported from the walls and merged in the center.
Fresh Impact Crater in Utopia Planitia
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Periodic Layering in Martian Sedimentary Rocks
Periodic Layering in Martian Sedimentary Rocks
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This image from July 2008 shows the aeroshell for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory while it was being worked on by spacecraft technicians at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company near Denver.
Aeroshell for Mars Science Laboratory
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This image superimposes Gamma-Ray Spectrometer data from NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter onto topographic data from the laser altimeter on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor.
Potassium Concentrations on Mars
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This image shows layers of rock stacked like a staircase, their edges extending diagonally from top left to bottom right and stepping downward from the lower left to the top right. At the far left of the image is an eroded, round crater filled with a row of nearly parallel sand dunes. To the right of the crater, a pinkish-colored layer of light-toned rock within the staircase contains opal.
A Gem of a Find
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This image shows an example of layers in the Martian north polar deposits. These deposits, part of the Planum Boreum dome, are composed mainly of water ice and small amounts of dust.

The layers within these deposits are exposed by shallowly-sloping troughs that cut into them. This image is particularly interesting because it crosses complicated trough geometry, making the layers appear curved and exposing multiple stratigraphic levels.

Note that layers of different thicknesses are visible. Layer thickness is directly related to the accumulation rate of the layer; a higher accumulation rate will lead to a thicker layer. However, a myriad of factors work together to influence accumulation rate, such as the amount of sunlight reaching the surface and the amount of water in the contemporaneous atmosphere.
Stratigraphy of the North Polar Deposits
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Growing Library of Mars Spectrometer Images
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Image of Hesperia Planum from the HiRISE camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Hesperia Planum
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Deformation Bands in Martian Bedrock
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Clay Minerals in Mawrth Vallis Region of Mars
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Crater Floor Deposits in Promethei Terra
Crater Floor Deposits in Promethei Terra
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