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September 30, 1992
In 1906 Percival Lowell, who had built an astronomical observatory for himself near Flagstaff, Ariz., created a stir with the publication of "Mars and Its Canals." In the book, Lowell claimed to have sighted an intricate network of "canals" criss-crossing the planet's surface. He went on to speculate that these "canals" were created by intelligent beings, inhabitants of a dying civilization who used them to channel water from the poles of their arid world to their crops nearer the equator.
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NEWS
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | April 7, 2014
Mars will appear at its biggest and brightest in the night sky this week as it aligns with the Earth and sun on Tuesday. The red planet reaches what is known as opposition Tuesday, when it and the sun are on directly opposite sides of the Earth. That occurs once about every 26 months, according to NASA. "Earth makes two trips around the sun in about the same amount of time that Mars takes to make one trip," according to NASA . "So sometimes the two planets are on opposite sides of the sun, very far apart, and other times, Earth catches up with its neighbor and passes relatively close to it. " This month, Earth and Mars are meanwhile at their closest for nearly 6 and a half years, appearing bigger and brighter than it has since December 2007, according to EarthSky.org.
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NEWS
By Dave Barry and Dave Barry,Knight Ridder/Tribune | February 8, 2004
SHOULD WE GO to Mars? I don't mean PERSONALLY, of course. I, for one, am unable to go to Mars because of a dental appointment. But should humans, in general, go to Mars? As you know, the idea of a Mars mission was proposed recently by President George "W" Bush. What happened was, one evening he and his staff were sitting around the Oval Office, trying to think of something for the nation to do, and they got to looking out the window at the vastness of the night sky, and the president suddenly said: "Hey, we should go to ... to ... whaddyacallit!"
NEWS
AEGIS STAFF REPORT | March 8, 2013
It promises to be an out of this world experience when a former astronaut visits Harford Day School on Tuesday, March 12 to talk about the latest things humankind has learned about the next world over, Mars. Donald A. Thomas, who spent 19 years as a NASA astronaut logging 1,040 hours in space, is scheduled to speak from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Harford Day, 715 Moores Mill Road in Bel Air. Thomas will talk about what has been learned thanks to Curiosity, the Mars rover that landed Aug. 6, 2012 and has been exploring the surface of the red planet ever since.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,Sun reporter | May 24, 2008
When it lands tomorrow, NASA's Phoenix spacecraft will begin three months of digging in the Martian soil, looking for clues that might tell whether the Red Planet has ever seen oceans, rivers or even microbial life. But first, Phoenix will have to survive a nerve-racking seven-minute descent that begins with a 12,000-mph plunge through the Martian atmosphere and ends with a three-point landing that will require 26 separate mechanical steps, including release of a parachute, jettisoning of a heat shield and the firing of thrusters to slow down the craft.
NEWS
November 6, 1996
THE LAST TIME NASA sent a satellite to Mars it disappeared, giving conspiracy theorists fuel to insist extraterrestrials had destroyed the probe and the government was covering it up. Space agency scientists eventually conjectured that Mars Observer malfunctioned and exploded three days before it was to enter Mars orbit in August 1993. But that is just a theory. No one really knows what happened. Better luck is expected with Mars Global Surveyor, which begins a 10-month journey to the planet tomorrow.
NEWS
August 9, 1996
LIFE ON MARS was first suggested in 1877 by the Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli. He described straight lines on the surface of the red planet as "canali," by which he meant channels, which Americans translated as canals.His breakthrough was elucidated in 1908 by the American astronomer Percival Lowell. He mapped more than 400 canals, intersecting at dark spots he called oases, hypothesizing they -- were dug by intelligent beings to convey water from polar ice caps to deserts.These men were not kooks but scientists on the cutting edge of theory and knowledge.
NEWS
By Frank D. Roylance and Frank D. Roylance,SUN STAFF | January 13, 2004
NASA engineers were prepared to cut the rover Spirit loose from its lander overnight in preparation for its first venture across the Martian landscape this week. A guillotine blade, driven by a small explosive charge, was to slice through the final cable linking the rover to its landing platform. Then, sometime late tomorrow or early Thursday, if all goes well, the desk-size scooter will turn 115 degrees on its six wheels and roll down one of the lander's ramps onto the desolate surface of the red planet.
FEATURES
By Arthur Hirsch and Arthur Hirsch,SUN STAFF | November 20, 1996
When NASA scientists announced this summer that they had found possible signs of primitive life in a Martian meteorite, people again faced a question that has haunted mankind since the dawn of consciousness: What's in it for me?Soon enough a response came from a meteorite dealer and a New York auction house: money. But that was only part of the solution.Today we stand at the threshold of a great discovery. Meteorite collectors await word from Guernsey's auction house in Manhattan, hopeful of unlocking a mystery that for millenniums has sparked man's mercantile imagination: How much?
NEWS
By Michael Stroh and Michael Stroh,SUN STAFF | January 16, 2004
The great red planet road trip is finally under way. At 3:40 a.m. EST yesterday NASA's Spirit rover rumbled down a cloth-covered ramp and dug its wheels into the Martian soil for the first time since touchdown two weeks ago. The 10-foot journey took all of 78 seconds, but ended days of engineering angst over how to deal with an errant air bag that blocked the rover's primary exit. With the song "Who Let the Dogs Out" booming in the background, elated mission controllers promptly uncorked pre-dawn champagne to celebrate.
NEWS
August 6, 2012
They called it the "seven minutes or terror" for the complex maneuverings and rocket blasts conducted in the final moments of a 354 million mile journey from home, but the Curiosity rover executed its landing flawlessly. Those who doubted U.S. preeminence in space exploration — or even in science and engineering in an era of outsourcing and global competition — should pay heed. Too bad there was no film crew on the surface of Mars (at least as far as we distant earthlings can tell)
NEWS
By Frank Roylance and Sun Reporter // Weather Blogger | February 26, 2010
H ad a good look at Mars this winter? The Red Planet was at opposition late in January, its closest approach of the year. It's fading now as Earth pulls ahead on our inside orbital track. But it's still a striking sight - bigger, brighter and visibly redder than nearly all the brilliant winter stars. If skies clear tonight, look east around 9 p.m. for the nearly full moon . Hold your hand at arm's length. Look five finger-widths above the moon. That's Mars, about 69 million miles away.
NEWS
January 27, 2010
- The Mars rover Spirit has logged nearly five miles during six years of rolling around the red planet. It has driven forward, backward and uphill over plains, plateaus, and even a mountain as tall as the Statue of Liberty. No more. NASA on Tuesday declared an end to Spirit's roving career after repeated attempts to free it from a sand pit where it's been stuck for nine months. With Martian winter approaching, the focus will turn to improving Spirit's tilt so its solar panels can receive maximum sunlight.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,Sun reporter | May 24, 2008
When it lands tomorrow, NASA's Phoenix spacecraft will begin three months of digging in the Martian soil, looking for clues that might tell whether the Red Planet has ever seen oceans, rivers or even microbial life. But first, Phoenix will have to survive a nerve-racking seven-minute descent that begins with a 12,000-mph plunge through the Martian atmosphere and ends with a three-point landing that will require 26 separate mechanical steps, including release of a parachute, jettisoning of a heat shield and the firing of thrusters to slow down the craft.
NEWS
December 10, 2006
After you pack up the kids and the dog again and pull out from the lunar way station, it's a long way to the beach. But it might be worth it - a satellite in orbit around the planet Mars found fresh evidence of liquid water, in the form of deposits along a gully that weren't there a few years earlier. Scientists speculate that there may be underground water in a slushy if not a sparkling spring-like form, and that from time to time it may burst into the open. This discovery, reported last week in the journal Science, immediately got some people thinking about the possibility of life on the Red Planet - probably something bacterial or algal (and certainly slimy)
NEWS
By FRANK D. ROYLANCE and FRANK D. ROYLANCE,SUN REPORTER | March 10, 2006
Scientists and engineers are prepared to defy the grim odds against Mars missions and slip one more NASA spacecraft into orbit around the Red Planet today. The $720 million Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was racing toward its afternoon rendezvous point, where a blast from its six main engines was scheduled to nudge the spacecraft into orbit over the Martian poles. Controllers should know by 5:16 p.m. whether it worked. If it did, MRO will join a squadron of three smaller spacecraft sending data from Mars orbit - along with two spunky landers that are still exploring after two years on the Martian surface.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tom Siegfried and Tom Siegfried,Dallas Morning News | March 21, 1999
Of all the dots that decorate the nighttime sky, humans have found one more fascinating than any other -- one that shines in a slight shade of red.The Romans called the red planet Mars, for their god of war. In modern times Mars inspired a fictional war of the worlds, terrifying radio listeners in 1938.It seems far-fetched today, but in those days the notion of Mar-tian invaders wasn't so silly, says planetary scientist Raymond Arvidson."Into the 1920s, the prevailing view was that there was a decaying civilization on the planet," says Arvidson, of Washington University in St. Louis.
NEWS
By Michael Stroh and Michael Stroh,SUN STAFF | January 26, 2004
After executing a nearly flawless landing early yesterday morning, Opportunity, the latest NASA rover to arrive on Mars, began sending back stunning images of an otherworldly landscape the likes of which scientists said they had never seen on the planet. "I am flabbergasted. I'm astonished. I'm blown away," a bleary-eyed Steve Squyres, the mission's science chief, said at an early morning news conference in California. "I always knew if we went to enough places on Mars we would find something that's truly different."
NEWS
By James Janega and James Janega,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | August 15, 2005
CHICAGO - A car-size orbiter on the first leg of a seven-month, 310 million-mile journey to Mars has a role to play in NASA's plans to send manned missions to the Red Planet. Officials at NASA, which launched the orbiter Friday, say its primary task is to field a series of orbital experiments that were lost when missions failed to reach the planet in the 1990s. It will also use its high-resolution cameras and sophisticated climatic observers to gauge weather patterns and pick out potential landing sites for robotic rovers and, eventually, manned missions.
FEATURES
December 11, 2004
Dec. 11 1816: Indiana became the 19th state. 1872: America's first black governor took office as Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback became acting governor of Louisiana. 1928: Police in Buenos Aires thwarted an attempt on the life of President-elect Herbert Hoover. 1936: Britain's King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in order to marry American divorcee Wallis Warfield Simpson. 1941: Germany and Italy declared war on the United States; the U.S. responded in kind. 1991: A jury in West Palm Beach, Fla., acquitted William Kennedy Smith of sexual assault and battery, rejecting the allegations of Patricia Bowman.
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