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"NASA Learning Objects: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Website" icon

NASA Learning Objects: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Website

Use this resource to create Science/Language Arts lessons that have a NASA Science flavor. As an overview, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched in 2005, is on a search for evidence that water persisted on the surface of Mars for a long period of time. While other Mars missions have shown that water flowed across the surface in Mars' history, it remains a mystery whether water was ever around long enough to provide a habitat for life. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will study the history of water on Mars. After a seven-month cruise to Mars and six months of aerobraking to reach its science orbit, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is seeking to find out about the history of water on Mars with its science instruments. They will zoom in for extreme close-up photography of the martian surface, analyze minerals, look for subsurface water, trace how much dust and water are distributed in the atmosphere, and monitor daily global weather. These studies will help determine if there are deposits of minerals that form in water over long periods of time, detect any shorelines of ancient seas and lakes, and analyze deposits placed in layers over time by flowing water. It will also be able to tell if the underground martian ice discovered by the Mars Odyssey orbiter is the top layer of a deep ice deposit or whether it is a shallow layer in equilibrium with the current atmosphere and its seasonal cycle of water vapor.

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