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19-December-2008 Hello, Earth! Hello, Mars!
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NASA's Mars rovers are talking to Earth and Earth is talking to the rovers again after a two-week silence. About every 26 months, when Mars and Earth are on opposite sides of the Sun, the Sun blocks communication.

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20-November-2008 The Road Not Traveled
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Each day, Opportunity picks a route through two kinds of Martian terrain -- one hard and smooth, the other soft and sandy. Paving the way are flat-lying rocks formed long ago with help from liquid water.

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20-November-2008 Don't Worry, Spirit, MARCI's Got Your Back
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The solar system's most celebrated team of off-planet drivers cheered when they heard the news. Spirit had phoned home from Mars, ending four days of silence.

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19-November-2008 Another Crater in the Bag?
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On Earth, hikers are set on "bagging peaks," making it all the way to the summits of mountains. On Mars, Opportunity has been bagging craters! They have nicknames like "Eagle," "Endurance," and "Victoria."

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07-November-2008 One Dizzying Inch at a Time
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Never one to quit, Spirit has begun driving again for the first time in more than eight months. Spirit's goal is to make it back up the slope where the rover has been parked for the winter.

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09-October-2008 As Good As It Gets
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Clear skies and low-angle sunlight are an outdoor photographer's dream. On the shortest day of Martian winter, June 24, 2008, Spirit had both.

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22-September-2008 On the Road Again
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NASA's Mars rover Opportunity is on the road again. In typical shutterbug fashion, the rover sent a postcard of its travels. This time, the rover added a new touch -- raising its robotic arm in a final salute to "Victoria Crater."

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08-September-2008 Broadcasting from a Planet Near You
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Like talk show hosts, NASA's Mars rovers broadcast their findings at television frequencies. They record their observations and send them to the Mars Odyssey orbiter once or twice a day. Odyssey then broadcasts the program -- spectacular images and all -- back to Earth.

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08-September-2008 No Talking and Driving on Mars
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Question: What does the Mars rover Opportunity have in common with safe drivers?

Answer: The rover doesn't talk on the phone while driving.

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28-August-2008 A Tribute to Mars Exploration
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As Americans celebrate Labor Day 2008, six flags stand in silent salute to the U.S. workforce on Mars. Three of the flags are on spacecraft still exploring Mars. Those include NASA's twin rovers and the Phoenix lander. One of the flags, on Mars Pathfinder, landed July 4, 1997. Two, on the Viking spacecraft, arrived in 1976, the year of the U.S. bicentennial.

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28-July-2008 Plucky Rover Doesn't Give Up Easily
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If you've ever gotten stuck while driving on a sandy beach or road, you can imagine Opportunity's recent experience on Mars. At times, the rover's wheels have done more slipping than advancing. Like a hardy dune buggy, the rover keeps driving.

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24-June-2008 Midwinter Energy Diet
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Imagine having only enough energy to run a microwave oven for seven minutes each day. Think of it as your energy diet -- it's all you have to survive. Basically, that's what NASA's Mars rover, Spirit, experienced in June 2008.

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20-Apr-2008 Wanted:  Space-Age Dust Removal
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If Mars had an on-line Web site for ads, one of them might say something like this: "Wanted: Gentle space-age dust removal system to clean solar cells without leaving grit behind. Please direct inquiries to NASA."

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16-Apr-2008 To Follow the Water on Mars, Look for Fins!
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Though they're not attached to creatures of the deep, fins made of rock poke up above the surface and suggest past water on Mars. NASA's Opportunity rover took images of a thin fin on the edge of a rock in "Victoria Crater." The fin was rich in hematite, a mineral that often forms in the presence of water.

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09-Apr-2008 Spot-on Science!
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Instead of taking spots out, NASA's Mars rovers put spots in! While driving backward down the north rim of "Home Plate," Spirit used its robotic arm to clear away grit from flat rocks under its wheels. Upon taking a second look, Spirit discovered not only spots but stripes.

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24-Mar-2008 Watching Martian Clouds Go By
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Opportunity turned its rover eyes skyward to observe clouds drifting overhead that look like cirrus clouds on Earth -- featherlike formations composed mostly of ice crystals.

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03-Mar-2008 A Woman's Place Is... in Space!
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Nowadays it's not unusual to find a woman at the helm -- leading a corporation, commanding a space shuttle, or even operating a rover on Mars, but it's rare to have a supermajority of women in some technical fields.

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09-Jan-2008 Out of Bounds
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Steep terrain can be a hindrance on Mars as well as Earth. NASA's Mars rover Opportunity recently encountered a band of darker rocks inside "Victoria Crater" that increased in steepness.

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