NASA’s latest Mars mission is nearing fruition, now that the Maven satellite has arrived at the red planet. Maven’s job is to study the atmosphere to find out what happened to the planet’s air, the assumption being that Mars did at one time support life on the planet’s surface. The most likely answer is that Solar wind drove the air away, since Mars lacks the Earth’s protective global magnetic field.
India’s first Martian satellite, the Mars Orbiter Mission, is also due to arrive shortly. This aims to study Methane on the planet – another potential sign of past life on Mars.
No news yet of a satellite to explore the soft caramel layer widely believed, or at least hoped, to lie beneath the planet’s surface…