May 29th, 2002

Ice on Mars opens sea of inquiry Chicago Tribune

A NASA orbiter found evidence of a vast frozen sea lying just below the powdery surface of Mars’ southern hemisphere, an icy expanse that could extend from a few inches below the planet’s surface to hundreds of meters deep. The discovery hints at the potential for life in the planet’s past–or even present–and raises the stakes for future Mars missions by offering the promise of cheap water for cooking, hydroponic agriculture and make-it-yourself rocket fuel, all key variables in proposed manned expeditions to Mars. It also appears to answer a mystery that has been posed with every Martian photograph showing dry rampart craters, river outwashes and ancient canyons: What happened to the water? Apparently, a good deal of it is still there.

May 27th, 2002

Museum sets its sights on Mars Chicago Tribune

Students played with fog, examined photos of the solar system’s largest volcano and felt simulated Martian soil as they explored the newest exhibit recently at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Marsquest, an interactive exhibit at the museum until September 9, features the Red Planet’s canyons, volcanoes, gravity and climate.

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