Mars

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The Mars Science Laboratory Rover Mission (Curiosity) at The Kimberley, Gale Crater, Mars

In the first six months of 2014, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover examined the rocks of the Kimberley area in detail, using its full payload of science and engineering instruments. The Kimberley was selected from orbit for a detailed campaign by Curiosity based on clear exposures of a repeated stratigraphic sequence and outcrops with unique morphological expressions. In addition, the presence of scarps that may be retreating due to aeolian abrasion (implying relatively recent exposure ages of the underlying outcrop) were considered favorable locations for the preservation of organic materials from radiation. The Kimberley is located midway along Curiosity’s trek across Aeolus Palus from Yellowknife Bay to Aeolis Mons (informally called Mt. Sharp, the 5.5 km-high mound of layered rock within Gale Crater). Thus the outcrops of the Kimberley area are crucial for understanding the relationship of Aeolus Palus to Mt. Sharp, as well as reconstructing the ancient sedimentary environments, habitability and climate of Gale crater. This special section includes articles that examine results from Curiosity's campaign at the Kimberley (sols 500-650), and/or observations from larger regional context of the Kimberley region that contribute to an integrated story of the depositional environment, geochemistry and mineralogy of the Kimberley sedimentary rocks.



Early Mars

Published:
25 December 1998
Ongoing studies of the evolution of the Martian cratered highlands, the nature of the planet's early climate, and the recent announcement of possible evidence of ancient life in the ALH 84001 meteorite have reinvigorated interest in the conditions that prevailed on Mars during its first billion years of geologic history. To address this interest and assess our current understanding of these issues, the Lunar and Planetary Institute hosted a 4-day Conference on Early Mars in Houston in April of 1997.

Results from the first 360 sols of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission: Bradbury Landing through Yellowknife Bay

Published:
1 January 2015
John Grotzinger, California Institute of Technology Ashwin R. Vasavada, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
The Mars Science Laboratory Mission featured a novel EDL system that recorded events during landing, and a unique rover payload that successfully acquired data from the time of landing through the first 100 sols. These data sets are diverse and include atmospheric and surface imaging during landing; post-landing assessment of the terrain including landscape morphology, rock and soil composition, rock and soil textures, and the chemical, mineralogical, and textural anatomy of a small eolian bedform. In addition the atmosphere was monitored as a time series for information regarding pressure, temperature (and also ground temperature), wind velocity and direction, and UV flux. Finally, the rover measured background cosmic and solar radiation fluxes, as well as the subsurface composition of neutron absorbers such as hydrogen and chlorine. This special set would represent a compilation of the MSL's initial results.

Early Mars III: Geologic and Hydrologic Evolution, Physical and Climate Environments, and the Implications for Life

Published:
1 August 2014
The influx of new data received from recent spacecraft missions to Mars, the study of the Martian meteorites, recent progress in early climate modeling, the growing evidence of the role of water in the planet's evolution, and the rapid pace of new discoveries about the origin and diversity of life on Earth have reinvigorated interest in both the conditions that prevailed on Mars during its first billion years of geologic history and their implications for the development of life. Although this special section stems from the recent Third International Conference on Early Mars (http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/earlymars2012/), participation in this conference is not a prerequisite for submitting a manuscript for consideration. Submitted manuscripts should have a substantial early Mars focus, but they may also address terrestrial analogs and processes when there is a clear and demonstrated relevance to Mars.

New Results on the Geology, Atmosphere, and Satellites of Mars From OMEGA and CRISM

Published:
1 September 2013
OMEGA (Visible and Infrared Mineralogical Mapping Spectrometer) has spent four Mars years characterizing Mars's surface and atmosphere since Mars Express's orbit insertion in late 2003. Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) joined OMEGA in Mars orbit when the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter arrived in late 2006. The two instruments complement each other with OMEGA providing global coverage and CRISM providing higher-resolution and expanded monitoring of the atmosphere. This collection of papers focuses on detailed analysis of the surface geology, polar deposits, atmosphere, and satellites of Mars using data from both instruments, with a focus on data acquired during both investigations' extended missions.

Martian Surface and Atmosphere Through Time

Published:
25 March 1995
This is the second special issue of JGR: Planets containing papers that were stimulated by the Martial Surface Atmosphere Through Time (MSATT) workshop held in Boulder, Colorado, September 23-25, 1991.

Mars Pathfinder Mission and Ares Vailis Landing Site

Published:
25 February 1997
The Mars Pathfinder mission will place a small lander and rover on the surface to begin the in situ investigation of surface materials that make up the Red Planet.

Mars Observer

Published:
25 May 1992

Results From Mars Pathfinder

Published:
25 January 2000
Mars Pathfinder successfully landed on the surface of Mars on July 4, 1997, ushering in a renewed phase of exploration of our neighboring world after a hiatus of over 20 years. In addition to successfully capturing the imagination of the public by landing a robust, low-cost spacecraft and rover on the Red Planet, Pathfinder returned a significant volume of scientific data. Pathfinder was the first Mars mission to use a rover, which carried a chemical analysis instrument that characterized the rocks and soils in a landing area occupying hundreds of square meters. In 3 months of surface operations at Ares Vallis, Pathfinder's three science instruments, 10 technology experiments, and engineering subsystems aboard the rover and lander, addressed seven general areas of scientific investigations.