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Exploring the Red Planet

As NASA prepares to launch its new Curiosity Mars rover, we look back at some of the highlights--and the misfires--in more than 50 years of Mars missions

Digging Mars: Mars Science Lab Set to Blast Off

The Mars Phoenix mission revived hopes that the Red Planet may be habitable, preparing the way for a new rover to be launched this month

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Timeline of Mars Exploration, from 1960 to 2011 [Interactive]

Two Mars missions are scheduled to launch this month. How have their predecessors fared? Find out more in Exploring the Red Planet

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Mapping Mars: Where Have All the Landers Gone? [Interactive]

The first man-made object to land on Mars arrived 40 years ago this month, and NASA's Curiosity rover should soon depart for the Red Planet. Here is a look at where humankind's many Mars landers have touched down, and where the planet betrays a history of all-important liquid water. Find out more in Exploring the Red Planet

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Wet Down: Warm, Wet Conditions on Ancient Mars May Have Been Confined to Subsurface

Mars has plenty of minerals that suggest a watery past, but that does not mean that the Red Planet once looked like Earth

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