Mars Probe Lost in Space?

Mars Probe Lost in Space?
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The Mars Orbiter Camera on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor snapped these images of layered rock formations in Mars's "Grand Canyon"—the Valles Marineris—in December 2000. The pictures, which are ten times better than images taken in the 1970s by the Mariner 9 and Viking spacecraft, are helping scientists unravel the mysteries of Martian geology—and whether the planet ever was covered by water.

The uniformity of the sedimentary layers, for example, resembles formations created underwater on Earth. In separate explorations, the global surveyor also found that parts of Mars's surface contain large amounts of hematite, a mineral that often forms in the presence of liquid water.

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Image courtesy NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
 
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