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NASA to Announce ‘Significant’ Mars Finding

August 16, 2011

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has made a significant discovery, according to NASA.

Little green men? space base? Red rain on the Red Planet?

NASA is set to announced a a significant new Mars science finding on Thursday, although the space agency gave few details on the nature of the finding and refused requests from for further information.

The agency noted only that the news was based on observations from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), which has been orbiting the Red Planet since 2006. A briefing is planned for Thursday afternoon, with panelists including geophysicists, geologists, and scientists, suggesting the news will relate to topographical findings on the Red Planet — and not the discovery of life on Mars.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

The $720 million spacecraft is designed to conduct reconnaissance and exploration of Mars from orbit and was launched August 12, 2005. MRO contains a host of scientific instruments such as cameras, spectrometers, and radar, which are used to analyzes the landforms stratigraphy, minerals, and ice of Mars.


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