The planet Mars has always been exceptionally interesting through much of human history. Its coppery-red color makes it quite distinct from virtually all of the other objects in the sky; only a few bright stars are as visibly red. It is the only planet whose surface is at all visible through terrestrial telescopes. The changing colors and enigmatic markings on its surface fueled speculation about life on the red planet. When two Viking spacecraft landed on the surface of Mars in 1976, it became the only body beyond the earth-moon system to be examined at such close range. Its similarities to and differences from the earth make it an excellent test bench for many ideas in the earth sciences.
KeywordsCarbonaceous Chondrite Martian Surface Planetary Scientist Space Colonization Viking Lander
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