Mars has established a pretty pervasive image for itself. It's the big Red Planet. It's the Clifford the Dog of space. You don't confuse it with all those other, less glamorous, planets. Still, Mars isn't all that it seems. Scratch the surface and it appears to have more in common with the skin tone of an elephant than the ruddy glow of a tomato.
The Curiosity Rover recently broke new ground by drilling into a rock sample, the first time such an activity has been accomplished on a planet other than Earth. What lay beneath wasn't the familiar rust color of the surface, but a decidedly dull gray.… Read more