There has been a continual spacecraft presence at Mars since 1997. The longevity of spacecraft missions examining the Red Planet has enabled detection and examination of changes on multiple time scales. Active processes include planet-encircling dust storms about every three to four Mars years, evolution of the polar caps, fresh impacts, migrating sand, and a suite of processes on slopes, some of which may involve liquid water. The distribution of shallow ice is much better known, with implications for recent climate change. The longer the observations continue, the deeper the understanding grows about active processes on Mars.
News Briefing Participants
Alfred McEwen, Principal Investigator for High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.
Colin Dundas, Science Team Member for High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, United States Geological Survey, Flagstaff, Ariz.
Robert Haberle, Co-Investigator for Mars Color Imager on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.