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Solar System Exploration
Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Global Surveyor (click to enlarge)

Mars Global Surveyor

Mars Global Surveyor was sent to the Red Planet to study the surface features and geological processes; determine the composition, distribution and physical properties of minerals, rocks and ice; map global topography and monitor the planet's weather.

The spacecraft returned detailed information that has overhauled understanding about Mars. Major findings included dramatic evidence that water still flows in short bursts down hillside gullies and identification of deposits of water-related minerals leading to selection of landing sites for Mars Polar Lander and the Mars Science Laboratory rover.

Credit: NASA

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Last Updated: 20 Jan 2011