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NASA: Measuring Mars’ Atmospheric Loss

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A Nov. 5 NASA science update highlighted data from NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission that has determined the present rate at which Mars’ atmosphere is losing gas to space, via stripping by the solar wind. This loss of gas to space appears to have played a key role in the transition of the Martian climate from an early, warm and wet environment that might have supported surface life to the cold, arid planet we see today.