What Color is Mars?

What started as a simple question and some interesting images on Martian Soil has turned into a fun ride down conspiracy lane! A few rational comments on color calibration of the pictures coming back from the Spirit Rover led me to do a little Googling and reading. Apparently the color of Mars, our reasons for exploring and other topics have been the subject of conspiracy theorists for years. Check out this sampling of links on a blue(r) Mars:

Some pretty interesting stuff! Note: Barry is NOT a wacko conspiracy theorist. Sounds like a good ol’ geek who wants to get to the bottom of an obvious mistake. More power to him!