The National Aeronautics and Space Agency of America has just released a new series of pictures showing details of the surface of the planet Mars.
The National Aeronautics and Space Agency of America has just released a new series of pictures showing details of the surface of the planet Mars. The pictures were taken in August 1969 by the Mariner Seven exploratory satellite. For the past eighteen months scientists have been working to improve the quality of the pictures to make more details visible.
The still pictures show clearly the polar ice cap of Mars -- and indication that atmosphere exists around the planet, although a thin one. Other pictures, taken from as close as two thousand miles (3,200 km) show rocks and vast craters, some as wide as 200 miles (320 km).
The pictures show no signs of life on the planet, and reveal a stark and barren landscape. Scientists believe that Mars could support life forms despite the thin atmosphere.
The United States is planning to send two more exploratory satellites to Mars to gather further scientific information. Mars is 48 1/2-million miles (about 78-million km) from Earth and half of Earth's size.