The Planet Mars
This section of Explore Mars provides basic information about the planet Mars. As a target of
scientific investigation, I find that Mars is by far the most interesting object in the solar system. This
is because of the many unanswered questions about our neighbor. For instance, what is the history of
water on Mars? How has the martian climate changed over time? What exactly happened to the martian
atmosphere? Were past conditions on Mars conducive to the development of life? Mars is also interesting
because of its potential to be a future home for humanity and because the possibility exists for Mars
to be terraformed.
Our state of knowledge about Mars is limited largely to the data that has been returned by the various
flyby and orbiter missions, like Mariner, Viking, Pathfinder, and Mars Global Surveyor. While remote sensing
has greatly expanded our knowledge of Mars, there is much that will remain unknown to us until we begin to
carry out long-term human exploration missions.
Articles about the planet Mars
|A brief description of each of the classes of martian features. Categories include albedo, catena, cavus, chaos, chasma, collis, crater, dorsum, fluctus, fossa, labes, labyrinthus, mensa, mons, patera, planita, planum, rupes, scopulus, sulcus, terra, tholus, unda, vallis, and vastitas.
Martian Data Tables
|A series data tables that compare the basic properties of the Earth, our Moon and Mars.
Earth-Mars System Scale Model
|A scale model of the Earth, Moon, Mars, Phobos and Deimos that illustrates why it took so long to discover the martian moons.