The Atmosphere of Mars

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P. G. J. Irwin; S. B. Calcutt; F. W. Taylor; D. J. McLeese (1999), JBIS, 52, 209-216

Refcode: 1999.52.209

Mars, one of the most Earth-like of the planets, is today a cold, dry and barren world. However, there is good evidence that it may have been much warmer and wetter in the past and perhaps even supported life. The public interest aroused by these findings and by recent studies of `SNC' meteorites, believed to have come from Mars, with their claims of the evidence of ancient Martian life, has focused attention on the ambitious programme of Mars Exploration currently being undertaken by NASA and ESA and has provided additional impetus. Improved measurements of the conditions on Mars' surface and in its atmosphere are central to both agencies' plans, and current atmospheric missions are reviewed in this paper together with possible future designs.

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