The Lure of Mars: Why We Keep Going Back

September 19, 2014 12:23 PM

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The Lure of Mars: Why We Keep Going Back

Two spacecraft are scheduled to arrive in orbit around the Red Planet over the next week: NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution probe (MAVEN) will get there Sunday night (Sept. 21), and India's Mars Orbiter Mission should follow suit on Wednesday (Sept. 24).

The duo will join three operational spacecraft already circling the Red Planet, whose surface also hosts two active rovers — the golf-cart-size Opportunity and its 1-ton cousin, Curiosity. And more Mars missions are in the offing; NASA plans to launch a lander called InSight in 2016 and a sample-cac...

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