Noble gas studies have been done on well-documented samples from two very different solar system bodies, the Earth and Moon. There is one other planet, Mars, from which we have samples, but those samples are nearly 20 (at the start of 2002) Martian meteorites, rocks from unknown locales on Mars. Even from those, though, we have learned enough to realize that Mars is a fascinating compromise between the Earth and Moon.

Like the Earth, Mars has a true atmosphere and interior volatile reservoirs, and it has been generating volcanic rocks throughout most of its history. Like the Moon, Mars has...

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