From ancient times to present day, Mars—the mysterious red planet—has been the subject of scientific speculation. More recently, it has been featured in science fiction literature and films about indigenous life on Mars or living on Mars in the future.
But it’s no longer speculative scientific reasoning or science fiction. Today, NASA has vastly expanded our knowledge and understanding of our closest planetary neighbor. Robotic orbiters and landers that survey the Martian terrain stream invaluable scientific data back to scientists on Earth. In 2020, NASA will send a new rover to Mars to continue seeking signs of life there. It will collect soil samples and rocks that future Martian missions could return to earth for further study.
Why explore Mars? Foremost…it is the next most accessible planet in our solar system after Earth. NASA research also helps scientists answer important questions about the evolution of our own planet and solar system. NASA developed technologies to explore Mars which are also used to study Earth in similar ways. And someday Mars might be the answer for the future survival of humankind.
Download this free poster to see actual images of Mars from NASA!