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Giant dust storm spotted on Mars
Posted: Tue, Jul 10, 2001, 11:19 AM ET (1519 GMT)
Mars dust storm image from TES on MGS One of the largest dust storms in years is taking place on the planet Mars, NASA scientists said Monday. The giant dust storm was first spotted in mid-June in the Hellas Basin in the southern hemisphere of the planet. Since late June the storm has grown to span half the planet, according to data collected by the thermal emission spectrometer on the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft as well as Earth-based observations. The storm has the possibility to become a global dust storm of the time seen on the planet in the 1970s during the Mariner 9 and Viking missions. Scientists don't believe that the storm should have any adverse effect for the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft, scheduled to arrive at the planet in October and use the planet's atmosphere in a series of aerobraking maneuvers to adjust its orbit.
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