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Red Planet was warm enough to have liquid water.
In this photograph, Cassini is looking through Saturn's rings to see the planet and one of its shepherd moons, Prometheus. The rings are casting a shadow onto the planet, and you can see the narrow, dense regions which are created by gravitational interaction with the shepherd moons. This picture was taken on June 3, 2005, when Cassini was 2.1 million kilometers (1.3 million miles) from Saturn.
With the evidence turned up by the Mars Exploration Rovers, the Red planet was once warm enough to have liquid water flowing on its surface. But according to researchers at MIT that period happened a long time ago; more than 4 billion years ago, in fact. The team analyzed the amount of argon in various Martian meteorites. Since argon known to leak out of rocks at different rates depending on the temperature. they were able to provide this estimate for the age of the Martian deep freeze.
NASA's next mission to the Red Planet, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), is in the final stages of preparation for launch. If all goes well, the spacecraft will lift off from Cape Canaveral atop an Atlas V on August 10, and begin the 7-month journey to reach Mars. MRO is carrying 6 instruments that will probe the planet's atmosphere, surface and subsurface and provide the most detailed examination so far.
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