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Mars’ atmosphere is draining into space

Rick Docksai | Science Recorder | July 20, 2013

Mars’ atmosphere is draining into space

A new discovery from Mars.

The already-thin Martian atmosphere is getting thinner, according to the NASA team in charge of the Mars rover Curiosity. In two papers that appeared in this week’s issue of the journal Science, team researchers reported that the air on the red planet has been slowly but steadily dissipating into space over the last 4 billion years.

Curiosity, which has been roaming the Martian surface since its landing there in August 2012, has been analyzing the chemical compounds of scores of soil and rock samples. But it’s also been measuring the gases within the Martian air and gases emanating from solid fixtures along the ground.

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