Mars arguably illustrates a worst-case scenario for our planetary future. As with the Red Planet, will deserts one day engulf the Earth? The barren Martian landscape evokes a vision of a planet-wide mass extinction, after all. But it may also hold secrets about our primordial origins too. In fact, once upon a time, Mars was covered with water. And the findings of a groundbreaking new study suggest that the planet was even more Earth-like than previously thought.
Scientific knowledge about our solar system has grown exponentially over the past 60 years. This is due in no small part to the work of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Established in 1958, NASA not only launches manned space flights, but it also develops robotic spacecraft and sophisticated measuring instruments. These include orbital telescopes, for observing and exploring distant regions of outer space.