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*Mars Exploration Printable (free with a 10 day trial membership)
On January 3, NASA landed Spirit, a six-wheeled robot, on Mars. Its identical twin, Opportunity, is scheduled to follow 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.
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 Exploration
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 Mission
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.)
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