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This view from the wide-angle Hazard Avoidance Camera on the front of NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover shows the rover's drill in position for a mini-drill test to assess whether a rock target called "Mojave" is appropriate for full-depth drilling to collect a sample. It was taken on Jan. 13, 2015.
Curiosity Conducting Mini-Drill Test at 'Mojave'
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NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity recorded this view just after reaching the summit of "Cape Tribulation," on the western rim of Endeavour Crater, on Jan. 6, 2015, the 3,894th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars.
Opportunity's View from Atop 'Cape Tribulation'
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NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity recorded this view of the summit of "Cape Tribulation," on the western rim of Endeavour Crater on the day before the rover drove to the top. This crest is about 440 feet higher in elevation than the plain surrounding the crater.
Approach to 'Cape Tribulation' Summit (Stereo)
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NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity recorded this view of the summit of "Cape Tribulation," on the western rim of Endeavour Crater on the day before the rover drove to the top. This crest is about 440 feet higher in elevation than the plain surrounding the crater.
Opportunity's Approach to 'Cape Tribulation' Summit
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Ashwin Vasavada of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, became the project scientist for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Project in January 2015.
Ashwin Vasavada
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This illustration depicts Martian water reservoirs.
Illustration of Martian Water Reservoirs
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The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) is a powerful set of three instruments onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover that work together to investigate the chemistry of the Martian surface and atmosphere within Gale Crater.
SAM Instrument Suite, at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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This illustration portrays some of the reasons why finding organic chemicals on Mars is challenging. Whatever organic chemicals may be produced on Mars or delivered to Mars face several possible modes of being transformed or destroyed.
Mars Has Ways to Make Organics Hard to Find
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This graphic offers comparisons between the amount of an organic chemical named chlorobenzene detected in the "Cumberland" rock sample and amounts of the same compound in samples from three other Martian surface targets analyzed by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover.
Comparing 'Cumberland' With Other Curiosity Samples
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Data graphed here are examples from the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) laboratory's detection of Martian organics in a sample of powder that the drill on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover collected from a rock target called "Cumberland."
Data from Detection of Organics in a Rock on Mars
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This illustration portrays possible ways methane might be added to Mars' atmosphere (sources) and removed from the atmosphere (sinks). NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has detected fluctuations in methane concentration in the atmosphere, implying both types of activity occur on modern Mars.
Possible Methane Sources and Sinks
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This graphic shows tenfold spiking in the abundance of methane in the Martian atmosphere surrounding NASA's Curiosity Mars rover, as detected by a series of measurements made with the Tunable Laser Spectrometer instrument in the rover's Sample Analysis at Mars laboratory suite.
Methane Measurements by NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover
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This graphic shows the Tunable Laser Spectrometer, one of the tools within the Sample Analysis at Mars laboratory on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover. By measuring absorption of light at specific wavelengths, it measures concentrations of methane, carbon dioxide and water vapor in Mars' atmosphere.
Tunable Laser Spectrometer on Curiosity Mars Rover
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NASA's MAVEN mission is observing the upper atmosphere of Mars to help understand climate change on the planet. MAVEN entered its science phase on Nov. 16, 2014.
MAVEN at the Limb of Mars, Artist's Concept
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Details of hilly terrain within a large Martian canyon are shown on a geological map based on observations from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and produced by the U.S. Geological Survey.
Geological Mapping of Hills in Martian Canyon
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Details of hilly terrain within a large Martian canyon are shown on a geological map based on observations from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and produced by the U.S. Geological Survey.
Geological Mapping of Hills in Martian Canyon
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NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is continuing its traverse southward on the western rim of Endeavour Crater during the fall of 2014, stopping to investigate targets of scientific interest along way. This view is from Opportunity's front hazard avoidance camera on Nov. 26, 2014.
Opportunity Pausing at a Bright Outcrop
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This view from the Mastcam on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows dramatic buttes and layers on the lower flank of Mount Sharp. It was taken on Sept. 7, 2013, from near the waypoint called "Darwin" on the route toward an entry point to the mountain.
Mount Sharp Buttes and Layers From Near 'Darwin'
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Cross-bedding seen in the layers of this Martian rock is evidence of movement of water recorded by waves or ripples of loose sediment the water passed over.
Martian Rock's Evidence of Lake Currents (Labeled)
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Cross-bedding seen in the layers of this Martian rock is evidence of movement of water recorded by the waves or ripples of loose sediment the water passed over, such as a current in a lake. This image was acquired by the Mastcam on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover on Nov. 2, 2014.
Martian Rock's Evidence of Lake Currents
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This simulation depicts a lake partially filling Mars' Gale Crater, receiving runoff from snow melting on the crater's rim. Evidence that NASA's Curiosity rover has found of ancient streams, deltas and lakes suggests the crater held a lake such as this more than three billion years ago.
Simulated View of Gale Crater Lake on Mars
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This diagram illustrates how Mount Sharp in Gale Crater, Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover is now driving, might have formed billions of years ago.
Sedimentation and Erosion in Gale Crater, Mars
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This series of images reconstructs the geology of the region around Mars' Mount Sharp, where NASA's Curiosity Mars rover landed and is now driving. The images, taken on Earth, have been altered for the illustration of how sediments can accumulate in alternating dry periods and wet periods.
Sediment Accumulation in Dry and Wet Periods
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Lozenge-shaped crystals are evident in this magnified view of a Martian rock target called "Mojave," taken on Nov. 15, 2014, by the Mars Hand Lens Imager on the arm of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover. These features record concentration of dissolved salts, possibly in a drying lake.
Crystals May Have Formed in Drying Martian Lake
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This view from the Mastcam on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows an example of cross-bedding that results from water passing over a loose bed of sediment. It was taken Nov. 2, 2014, at a target called "Whale Rock" within the "Pahrump Hills" outcrop at the base of Mount Sharp.
Cross-Bedding at 'Whale Rock' (Labeled)
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