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Life on Mars. Is that a possibility? Did it ever exist?

A U.S. space probe is on its way to the red planet to try to start answering those and other questions about Mars. The Global Surveyor will map the entire Martian surface and is expected to produce a spectacular mosaic of the planet.

The mission is the first step in a planned decade-long exploration of Mars, and comes four months after NASA revealed what some say is "the biggest discovery in the history of science" -- a Martian meteorite with supposed evidence of ancient microscopic life.

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Probe blasts off into space
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Watch Pathfinder, the robotic rover, traverse Mars
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Mars' magnificent surface comes alive...
(24 sec. /724K QuickTime movie)

Mars as seen through the Hubble Space Telescope
(24 sec. /724K QuickTime movie)

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NASA's Wes Huntress on Mars and beyond
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  • Mars quiz

    NASA's tantalizing discovery could re-write the book on all things cosmic. But just how much do you already know about the Red Planet? Here's your chance to find out.


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    Mars in the Arts





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