Mars Exploration

Mars Exploration

On January 3 2004, NASA landed Spirit, a six-wheeled robot, on Mars. Its identical twin, Opportunity, followed on January 24. The unmanned rovers, each weighing about 384 pounds, are robotic geologists. Their mission is to look for evidence of water. If found, it could suggest that the now dry and dusty Mars was once wet enough to support life.

Mars Exploration Resource Handout for Classroom or Homeschool: Just $2.00

Exploring Mars5 stars

Exploring Mars, created by a group of scientists from Jet Propulsion Lab and University of California at Los Angeles, is a great place to start for school reports (try Mars at a Glance) or browsing for the fun of it. The Mars Science section is outstanding, and the Mars History section is fascinating. "The Babylonians called Mars Nergal - the great hero, the king of conflicts." Lots of photos and illustrations, and a good navigation system make this site work for all ages.

Google News: Mars Exploration4 stars

Because traditional search engines takes days or weeks to add new sites, the best way to track a breaking news story is through the wire services. And Google's beta (which means it is still being tested) News site is one of the best. This link will display news stories "culled from approximately 4,500 news sources worldwide" and sorted by relevance. To receive Mars Exploration e-mail alerts either daily or in real time, click on News Alerts in the left hand menu.

Mars Exploration Rover Mission5 stars

NASA is well-known for the quality and quantity of their sites, and their coverage of the Mars rover missions is no exception. Best clicks are the educational animations (look for Multimedia in the lower right-hand side of the page) and Mars for Kids (in red, on the left.) Mars for Kids is a fun site for elementary students, complete with games (collect rock samples against the clock in 3D Mars Rover) and activities (create a topographic map.)

Mission to Mars5 stars

"Mars is so much like the Earth that we have to go there and see what happened. Where did the water go? When we look at close-up pictures of Mars, we see stream beds where water used to flow. We see big canyons and ice caps at the North and South Poles of Mars. Our planets are a lot alike. But something happened on Mars to make the water disappear and make it a cold place with a very thin atmosphere. So, we're sending robot instruments and rovers to Mars to study the environment and look for signs of life."

Mars Exploration Resource Handout for Classroom or Homeschool: Just $2.00

Honorable Mentions

The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!

CNN.com: Tech & Space

History of Mars Exploration

Mars TV

NOVA: Mars Dead or Alive


Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Mars Exploration." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 14 Jan. 2004. Web. 6 Mar. 2015. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/resources/marsexploration/ >.


About This Page

By . Originally published January 14, 2004. Last modified January 14, 2004.

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