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Special Report

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

  • November 3, 2011

What Would Happen If Earth and Mars Switched Places?

Last Saturday, at a workshop organized by the Foundation Questions Institute, Nobel laureate physicist Gerard 't Hooft gave a few informal remarks on the deep nature of reality.

June 9, 2011 — George Musser

Room for Debate: Where, If Anywhere, Is NASA Headed?

Without a firm destination, will NASA's ambitions for a return to manned spaceflight beyond Earth orbit founder? Or, will scrapping the Constellation Program give the U.S. more options for human exploration of the moon, Mars and the asteroids?

March 19, 2010 — John Matson

How to Get Humans on Mars: Make It a One-Way Trip

Landing humans on Mars is a completely achievable feat with current technology—if you are okay with the idea of a one-way ticket, points out physicist and Scientific American columnist Lawrence Krauss in an op-ed in yesterday's New York Times .

September 2, 2009 — Philip Yam

Opportunity Knocks at Martian Crater

Seven years into its three-month mission, the Mars rover Opportunity reaches Endeavour Crater, a possible geologic treasure trove. John Matson reports

August 16, 2011

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