The Mariner 9 Mission to Mars

On this day in 1971 Mariner 9 became the first spacecraft to enter into the orbit of another planet when it reached Mars carrying six scientific instruments. The mission would ultimately map 70% of the Martian surface as well as studying temporal changes, revealing that the planet was geologically active. Mariner 9 is still in orbit and is expected to burn up or crash by 2022.
Mariner 9
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Viking 2 Spacecraft Lander – On This Day in 1976

On this day in 1976 the Viking 2 spacecraft lander touched down on Mars and began sending back photos of the red planet to earth. The lander operated on the surface for 1316 days testing soil and searching for life. The orbiter returned almost 16,000 images to earth before it broke down.

Learn more about the Viking missions here –> http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/viking

Viking 2 Mars Landscape

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Science News – July 2nd, 2016

Science News! Let’s take a look at some of the important developments in science this week…

First, scientists grew vegetable and cereal plants in soil that was formulated to resemble the soil of Mars, and found that the crops were safe to eat did not have dangerous levels of heavy metals. This raises hopes for future colonization of Mars. Read more from Phys.org here.

Second, scientists have discovered that a gas field in Tanzania contains over six times the world’s current supply of Helium, so we may not run out of the element, which has important medical and industrial applications, as soon as we thought. Read more from Wired here.

Third, a newly discovered species of tarantula has a unique defense mechanism. Rather than launching barbed utricating hairs at attackers like other tarantulas, the new species makes contact with its enemy and jabs the hairs in directly. Read more from the New York Times here.

Those are just a few of the exciting things going on in the world of science this week. Have you heard about any other interesting science news lately? Leave a comment and let us know!

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