The Mysteries of Mars

Mars might not be the final frontier, but could it be the next? Smaller than Earth, Mars has two moons—Phobos and Deimos—a 687-day-year and contains an atmosphere generally populated by carbon dioxide and intense dust storms. What are we learning from continued exploration? Surely not everything, but as it turns out, quite a lot. For example, although only 16 of 39 international martian missions have been successful, we do know that Mars is home to the Solar System's tallest mountain. And from NASA's current mission using the Curiosity rover as the organization's eyes, ears and hands, scientists have been able to definitively say the Gale Crater landing site could have possibly supported microbial life in the past. Researchers and science enthusiasts alike have wondered for years when conditions on the red planet will be inhabitable for human life, and they may be wondering for a while. Although current data points to the possibility of life, long-term sustainability is still a futuristic concept.

What other discoveries lie in wait on Mars? Only time and exploration will tell. Until then, check out this playlist to follow the Curiosity rover's adventures and learn more about the amazing properties of Mars.

Written by Curiosity Staff September 8, 2014

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