This mosaic of Mars is a compilation of images captured by NASA's Viking Orbiter 1. The center of the scene shows the entire Valles Marineris canyon system, over 3,000 km long and up to 8 km deep, extending from Noctis Labyrinthus.

Mars Resources

By Staci L. Tiedeken, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Feature | July 19, 2021

Introduction

This page showcases our resources for those interested in learning more about Mars. It includes activities that can be done at home as well as videos, animations, stories, and articles.

On this page:

Highlights

Videos & Animations

Activities

  • Rovers of the Solar System

    A coloring and activity booklet featuring past, present, and future rovers across the solar system. Grab your coloring tools and let’s see what you create!
  • MAVEN at Mars Coloring Sheet

    Download and color this MAVEN orbiter coloring sheet.
  • MAVEN and Curiosity Rover Coloring Sheet

    Download a coloring sheet of NASA’s MAVEN orbiter and Curiosity rover working together at Mars.
  • Mars Curiosity Rover Coloring Sheet

    Download and color this Curiosity rover coloring sheet.
  • Describe Rocks Like a NASA Scientist

    Learn how to describe rock samples like a NASA scientist. Then, take a quiz to see if you can match edible rocks made of candy bars – and real rocks from Earth and space – to the correct description.
  • Comparing Planetary Gases

    Learn about the differences between the atmospheres of Venus, Earth, and Mars by using jellybeans or colored cotton balls to represent the gases in each planet’s atmosphere.

    Note: This activity is written for a classroom setting but can be easily adapted to an at-home activity.

  • Make a Volcano

    Explore how volcanoes can form on different planets in our solar system by creating your very own out of play dough, baking soda, and vinegar!
  • Make a Cardboard Rover

    In this challenge, you will build your own rubber-band-powered rover that can scramble across a room. Build your rover out of cardboard, figure out how to use rubber bands to spin the wheels, and use the engineering design process to improve your rover based on testing results.

    Note: A Spanish version of this activity is available here.

  • Make a Paper Mars Helicopter

    The goal for this project is to build your own paper helicopter. Then, just as NASA engineers had to try out different versions of the Mars Helicopter (called Ingenuity) before coming up with a final design, you will experiment with the design of your helicopter to see what works best.

3D Models

Stories

1. Perseverance Rover Mission to Mars

Perseverance rover takes selfie with Ingenuity
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover took a selfie with the Ingenuity helicopter, seen here about 13 feet (3.9 meters) from the rover in this image taken April 6, 2021.

NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover landed on Mars on February 18, 2021. Its main job is to search for signs of ancient life and collect samples of rock and regolith (broken rock and soil) for a possible return to Earth. NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, a technology demonstration, also hitched a ride on the rover. Ingenuity successfully made history’s first powered flight on another planet on April 19, 2021.

You can make your own paper Mars helicopter with this activity.

For the latest news and events regarding NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, see here.

Articles

Image Highlights

  • NASA’s Mars Helicopter Reveals Intriguing Terrain for Rover Team

    NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter captured this image of tracks made by the Perseverance rover during its ninth flight, on July 5, 2021. A portion of the helicopter’s landing gear can be seen at top left.
  • Ingenuity’s Sixth Flight

    This image of Mars was taken from the height of 33 feet (10 meters) by NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter during its sixth flight on May 22, 2021.
  • Ingenuity’s Color Camera Spies Helicopter’s New Airfield

    NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter took this color image during its fourth flight on April 30, 2021.
  • Perseverance Rover’s View of “Santa Cruz”

    NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover used its dual-camera Mastcam-Z imager to capture this image of “Santa Cruz,” a hill within Jezero Crater, on April 29, 2021.
  • NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter in Flight

    NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter took this shot while hovering over the Martian surface on April 19, 2021, during the first instance of powered, controlled flight on another planet. It used its navigation camera, which autonomously tracks the ground during flight.
  • First 360-Degree Panorama from Perseverance Rover’s Mastcam-Z

    Explore the first 360-degree panorama taken by Mastcam-Z, a zoomable pair of cameras aboard NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover. The panorama was stitched together on Earth from 142 individual images taken on Sol 3, the third Martian day of the mission (Feb. 21, 2021).
  • First High-Resolution Panorama from Perseverance Rover’s Mastcam-Z

    Stitched together from 79 individual images, this Mastcam-Z mosaic is from the camera’s first high-resolution panorama imaging sequence. These images were taken on the afternoon of Sol 4, the fourth Martian day of the mission (Feb. 22, 2021).

2. Volcanoes on Mars

image of a volcano on Mars

Evidence abounds that volcanoes dot the solar system. Mars is one place where these phenomena exist, and the planet boasts the solar system’s largest (though, now, likely inactive) volcanoes. Olympus Mons on Mars is the tallest volcano in our solar system and measures 69,000 ft (21.1 km) high. In comparison, Mauna Kea on Earth rises roughly 13,800 ft (4.2 km) above sea level (this volcano also extends about 19,700 ft or 6 km below sea level).

Early on, Mars had really active volcanoes which were fed by hot, rising blobs of rock from deep inside the planet. But Mars doesn’t have tectonic plates that move over hotspots, like in Hawaii. So, instead of getting a chain of volcanoes, you could keep building one huge one, and, with the lower gravity on Mars (38% that of Earth), that magma could be pushed to great heights. This is how Mars ended up with such enormous volcanoes.

Articles

  • Some places on Earth are so extreme that NASA scientists use them as stand-ins to study harsh environments on other worlds. These locations are called planetary analogs because they are similar, or analogous, to Earth’s Moon, Mars, asteroids – and even exoplanets – planets that orbit other stars.

  • Volcanoes expose the pulse of many planets and moons, offering clues to how these bodies evolved from chemical soups to the complex systems of gases and rocks we see today. Unearthing these clues is what motivates planetary scientists to venture to such inhospitable places on Earth as smoldering lava fields and glacier-covered volcanoes.

Other Resources

  • This interactive map shows the landing site for NASA’s Perseverance rover within Jezero Crater on Mars. Perseverance landed on February 18, 2021. The map also shows the location of the Mars Helicopter.

  • This tool places you right in Gale Crater on Mars, the landing site of NASA’s Curiosity rover. Explore the region in a 3D environment by clicking around and seeing images taken by Curiosity.

  • image of a central pit of an impact crater in the Martian ancient highlands
    “Mars As Art” collection

    Explore an online Martian art gallery.

    view the gallery ›

  • The Solar System Treks are online, browser-based portals that allow you to visualize, explore, and analyze the surfaces of other worlds using real data returned from a growing fleet of spacecraft. You can view the worlds through the eyes of many different instruments, pilot real-time 3D flyovers above mountains and into craters, and conduct measurements of surface features.

  • Ever wonder how you would sound on Mars? Grab your headsets, turn up the volume and listen for the subtle differences between the sounds on Earth versus how they would sound on the Red Planet.

  • This interactive map shows the route driven by NASA’s Curiosity rover since landing in Gale Crater on August 5, 2012. Explore Curiosity’s current location on Mars!