There's a great deal of interesting information available on the web about the exploration of space and how it's revolutionized our understanding of the universe. This is a collection of links I've come across over the years that you may find useful. There is an emphasis on Mars because, well, I'm interested in Mars.
The single most useful website there is for what's really going on in the US space program is NASA Watch. Run by Keith Cowing, a former agency employee, it is the repository for the first reports of new developments, often by the very people involved (and often submitted anonymously...). Includes links to the more-mainstream sister publication SpaceRef.
Spaceflight Now, for up-to-the-minute information on all space flights, including NASA, European and Japanese space agencies, and commercial.
SpaceDaily.com is a solid space news source, with concise, informative pieces similar in style to that of Spaceflight Now.
Space.com is a mixture of space news and entertainment items. Not bad, although some of the reporting can be sub-par on important details.
Here's the Heavens Above page, where you can, among other things, plan naked-eye viewing of the International Space Station-- where and when to look to see the ISS pass over your city.
The home page for Sky and Telescope Magazine. Everything you need to observe the heavens, and then some.
SolarViews is an outstanding collection of information about our Solar System, from planetary data and images to science summaries and links to lots of student resources.
John Walker's outstanding Home Planet software is a fully featured solar system simulation program, and it's freeware. That's right, Free. Want to know what the sky looks like from anyplace on Earth at any time in history and for any date tens of thousands of years into the future? Home Planet is for you.
Another great visualization program is Google Earth. Download it for free and check out the surface of the Earth.
As good as Google Earth is, NASA's World Wind is even better. The very best resolution surface map data, 3D visualizations, and much, much more. It even includes modules for the surface of Mars! Absolutely awesome in every respect. It's a free download, but the price is that only the highest-end machines can run it effectively. If you've got one, go get this program.
The home page of the Hubble Space Telescope. Full descriptions of the many incredible discoveries and observations made by the HST, and hundreds of breathtaking photographs.
The Planetary Image Atlas at JPL, where collections of images taken by Galileo, Magellan, Viking, and other important planetary missions are housed.
The Planetary Data System's Map-a-Planet facility, where data from Venus, the Moon, Mars, and the Jovian satellite Callisto can be displayed.
The home page for the splendid Galileo mission, which has given us such incredible advances in understanding of the outer planets.
Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy website, the classic repository of reality checks for bogus theories and wacko pseudoscience like the "Face on Mars" and "NASA faked the moon landings." Debunk that hoax!
MarsDaily.com is a net portal to many news articles and science summaries on Mars topics.
Mars Today's Whole Mars Catalog is an outstanding site for news on Mars missions, science, and exploration policy. Also lists many sets of useful links too numerous to cite here.
The Nine Planets' section on Mars. A nice, concise summary of most of the major findings in our understanding of Mars, although somewhat uncritically accepting of less well-established, but news-release-grabbing, information.
The NASA Ames Research Center's Mars-O-Web site. Explore VRML 3-D visualizations of Martian topography from Global Surveyor and Viking imagery; check out possible landing sites for upcoming missions; browse an excellent set of links to other Mars Mission websites.
Mars Global Surveyor arrived in orbit at Mars in late 1997, and has returned a wealth of information that has challenged the conventional wisdom on several important issues. It has recently experienced what appears to be battery failure, ending the mission after a spectularly successful run.
Home page for the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission, which launched in April, 2001 for arrival in late October 2001 for global mapping purposes.
The European Space Agency's 2003 Mars Express mission, on which orbiting instruments are investigating Martian geology and probing for reservoirs of water in the crust. This mission has also produced some fantastic results.
Here's a collection of links to information regarding research on meteorites from Mars. There are about two dozen such samples now in our possession, from which researchers like myself must try to decipher the inner workings of the planet. I often liken it to trying to figure out a jigsaw puzzle when you don't have the picture on the box and have only a tiny fraction of the pieces.
The JSC Curatorial facility is one of the main centers for Mars meteorite research, and where US Antarctic program meteorites are housed.
This link brings you directly to the latest edition of the Martian Meteorite Compendium, an excellent compilation by Chuck Meyer. Adobe Acrobat reader is required to view the sections.
The Institute of Meteoritics, which I joined in July 2002, is another premier planetary science center in general, with several members who are active in research on Martian meteorites.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory also has a page with information on the various Mars meteorites.
The NASA Homepage.
The home page for the International Space Station, showing everything you ever wanted to know about the ISS.
The Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science program office, formerly the Earth Science and Solar System Exploration Division, of which I was a member from 1999 to 2002.
The Apollo Lunar Surface Journal is a full collection of transcripts from the Apollo moon missions, complete with annotations of recollections provided by the astronauts in the years following, and sound clips of many fascinating moments. It's like reliving it all over again.
Johnson Space Center's Digital Image Archive is the repository for thousands of original NASA images taken from the earliest days of the human spaceflight program.