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THOR: a new way to look for water on Mars

The THOR mission provides NASA with a unique opportunity to Trace Habitability, Organics, and Resources in the Martian subsurface and atmosphere.

THOR will deliver two high-velocity impactors to excavate materials from the deep subsurface. This will provide the first access to environments where ice exists and liquid water may be present periodically today. THOR will determine the composition of these materials using a highly capable infrared spectrometer.

From orbit, THOR will determine the atmospheric abundance of trace gases, including methane. It will also map where these gases are found and look for variations over time as it seeks to determine their origin.

THOR also complements and extends the global atmospheric and surface mineralogy record of past missions.

A video tour of the mission's key elements is available.