NASA's Curiosity rover could destroy its own electronics systems when it begins using its percussive drill to mine Mars rock samples, the space agency has admitted, a known flaw since before the robot explorer even took off from Earth. The late discovery of a prone-to-failure bond in the drilling mechanism forced the Jet Propulsion Team responsible for the rover to implement a potential workaround, after realizing that should the bond break, an electrical short could zap all of Curiosity's computer systems.
NASA has announced that it will send a rover to the Red Planet in 2020 in preparation for an eventual manned-mission. This will be one of several crafts that have orbited or explored Mars, joining the ranks of Opportunity and the latest, Curiosity. The rover will be preceded by InSight, which will be sent in 2016 to explore whether the planet's core is liquid or solid.
NASA has announced today that the Curiosity rover currently putzing around on Mars has conducted its first, extensive test that analyzed soil samples that the rover dug up previously. The results found a "complex chemistry" in the soil. Water, sulfur and chlorine-containing substances were discovered, along with a few other ingredients.
Welcome back to Mars, ladies and gentlemen, as the NASA Curiosity mission continues its epic journey across the planet's surface with a news note that they have found radiation levels totally safe for human beings. This finding is entirely encouraging for the future of Mars exploration as far as actually sending human beings there goes, and certainly doesn't send a negative mark back on the possibility of us living there someday. Of course if you're a fan of the original Total Recall, you don't care one way or another simply for the safety of your eyeballs, but still.
Today, NASA released a high-resolution self-portrait of the Mars Curiosity rover taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI). The photo consists of 55 images that were stitched together to create one giant photograph of the rover. The images were taken on October 31, and were sent down to Earth this morning.
NASA's Martian rover, Curiosity, has beamed back early results from its first mouthful of red soil, with signs that the Mars dust is similar in composition to Hawaiian volcanic basalt. X-ray diffraction testing of an accuracy previously unseen on Mars was used on a sample gathered earlier this month, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced, with the soil believed to be much younger than that which suggested evidence of historic water on the planet's surface several weeks ago.
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover scooped up its first sampling of soil from the Red Planet on Sunday, and it plans to sift through the soil vigorously in order to find out more information about the planet. The rover’s gathering and testing of the soil on Mars is an important part of its two-year mission to learn whether life ever existed or even currently exists on Mars.
In an update that here on Earth would be beyond mundane, an especially exciting approach towards a ripple of sand has been made by the Mars Curiosity rover and announced today by NASA. This update includes plans for the rover to do a several day analyzation of the sand so that they might make the rover's first use of its scoop a reality. This is just the latest in a long line of updates being shared with the world as the mission moves forward - this is, of course, the most interactive a NASA mission has been allowed to be in its history.
I think most everyone is familiar with foursquare. This is a service that lets you check in to show people where you are or where you've been. The more check-ins you make at a specific place, the closer you come the being the mayor of whatever that specific place is. Curiosity is one-step closer to being the mayor of Mars.
Curiosity is currently at the center of the public's attention when it comes to space exploration, but NASA scientists have started shooting around ideas for future missions to Mars. Ultimately, scientists would like to retrieve rocks from the surface of Mars and bring them back to Earth for more in-depth examination, though they aren't planning to have humans on the red planet until the 2030s. One of NASA's mission ideas, however, could have humans involved in Mars missions long before the 2030s roll around.
The Curiosity rover is examining all sorts of things on the surface of Mars, but today, NASA is reporting a major breakthrough. Curiosity has discovered evidence on an old, dried up streambed on the surface of Mars, suggesting that water did once indeed flow on the Red Planet. Of course, we've seen evidence for the presence of water on Mars a few times in the past, but NASA scientists are calling this discovery "the first of its kind."