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The Mars Exploration Rover (MER), developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, in an artist's drawing. Gusts of wind have cleared dust from the solar collectors on one of two robot rovers on the surface of Mars and both have awakened from the sleep NASA put them into, the space agency said on Friday. (NASA/Handout/Reuters)

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An image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft generated from digital topography taken on March 24, 2006 and released by NASA April 6. Ancient bacteria are able to survive nearly half a million years in harsh, frozen conditions, researchers said on Monday in a study that adds to arguments that permafrost environments on Mars could harbor life. (NASA/JPL/Handout/Reuters)



Mars as seen from NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter. A NASA spacecraft found seven possible cave entrances on Mars, triggering interest in hunting for other caverns that might be hiding life on the Red Planet, the US space agency said Friday(AFP/NASA/File)

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Seven very dark holes on the north slope of a Martian volcano are seen in this undated handout photo. An orbiting spacecraft has found evidence of what look like seven caves on the slopes of a Martian volcano, the space agency NASA said on Friday. (Handout/NASA/Reuters)

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NASA scientists use a full-scale functioning model of the Mars rover, seen here in 2004, to plan and test movements for the two rovers currently on the Martian surface. The two rovers Opportunity and Spirit have resumed their three-year-old mission after surviving giant dust storms.(AFP/File/Robyn Beck)

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A handout photo taken by NASA's Spirit rover on August 23, 2005 shows a mini-panorama of the Mars surface. Ancient bacteria are able to survive nearly half a million years in harsh, frozen conditions, researchers said on Monday in a study that adds to arguments that permafrost environments on Mars could harbor life. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Reuters)

 

 

This image provided by NASA Thursday Sept. 20, 2007 shows a false-color image of gully channels in a crater in the southern highlands of Mars, taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera on the Mars The gullies emanating from the rocky cliffs near the crater's rim (upper left) show meandering and braided patterns typical of water-carved channels. North is approximately up and illumination is from the left. Reconnaissance Orbiter. Last year, discovery of the fresh gully deposits from before-and-after images taken since 1999 by another orbiter, Mars Global Surveyor, raised hopes that modern flows of liquid water had been detected on Mars. Observations by the newer orbiter, which reached Mars last year, suggest these deposits might instead have resulted from landslides of loose, dry materials. Researchers report this and other findings from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in five papers in Friday's issue of the journal Science. (AP Photo/NASA)






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Gully channels in a crater in the southern highlands of Mars, taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, are shown in this image released by NASA September 20, 2007. The gullies emanating from the rocky cliffs near the crater's rim (upper L) show meandering and braided patterns typical of water-carved channels. REUTERS/NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/Handout (UNITED STATES). EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.

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This image provided by NASA shows NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity after finishing an in-and-out maneuver to check wheel slippage near the rim of Victoria Crater, Opportunity re-entered the crater during the rover's 1,293rd Martian day, or sol, (Thursday Sept. 13, 2007) to begin a weeks-long exploration of the inner slope. Opportunity's front hazard-identification camera recorded this wide-angle view looking down into and across the crater at the end of the day's drive. The rover's position was about six meters (20 feet) inside the rim, in the 'Duck Bay' alcove of the crater. (AP Photo/NASA)


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Visitors look at a model of a mars rover, which is planned to explore our neighboring planet Mars in a mission in 2013, during an open-doors day at the German Center for Aviation and Aeronautic, DLR, in Cologne, western Germany, on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2007. (AP Photo/Roberto Pfeil)

 


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This NASA Hubble Space Telescope image shows Mars in 2005. Ten gerbils took off from the Russian-run Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan on Friday for a 12-day voyage to test the possible effects of a human mission to Mars, an official said Friday.(AFP/NASA/ESA-HO/Fiel)

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This image released by NASA Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2007, taken by the Mars rover Opportunity, shows a view from the rim of Mars' Victoria Crater about 130 feet from where controllers intend to start the rover's descent inside the crater. Scientists want the rover Opportunity to travel 40 feet down toward a bright band of rocks in the Victoria Crater. They believe the rocks represent the ancient surface of Mars and that studying them could shed clues on the planet's early climate. (AP Photo/NASA)

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This image provided by NASA shows Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity after entering Victoria Crater during the rover's 1,291st Martian day, or sol, (Sept. 11, 2007). The rover team commanded Opportunity to drive just far enough into the crater to get all six wheels onto the inner slope, and then to back out again and assess how much the wheels slipped on the slope. This wide-angle view taken by Opportunity's front hazard-identification camera at the end of the day's driving shows the wheel tracks created by the short dip into the crater. The left half of the image looks across an alcove informally named 'Duck Bay' toward a promontory called 'Cape Verde' clockwise around the crater wall. The right half of the image looks across the main body of the crater, which is 800 meters (half a mile) in diameter. (AP Photo/NASA)

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