Mars

China wants its own rover on Mars by 2020

China wants its own rover on Mars by 2020

China wants to have its own rover rolling around Mars by the year 2020, and it said in a recent statement that its efforts are proceeding as planned. The project would involve sending a spacecraft to orbit Mars, then have it land on the planet where it — or a rover it deploys — will travel around much like the Curiosity, Opportunity and former Spirit rovers. China has had previous success landing its own rover on the moon.

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NASA’s accepting Mars habitat prototype ideas until June

NASA’s accepting Mars habitat prototype ideas until June

Before we send humans to Mars, we need somewhere for them to live. NASA has been entertaining ideas for deep space habitats for years, and now it is actively seeking proposals on the development of those prototypes. This is the next step in the NextSTEP Broad Agency Announcement from October 2014, and it’s being called NextSTEP-2. NASA describes NextSTEP as a “public-private” partnership.

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Mars probe departs this week on joint European-Russian study

Mars probe departs this week on joint European-Russian study

As part of the ExoMars 2016 mission, a new unmanned spacecraft will be departing for Mars on Monday thanks to collaboration between the space agencies of Europe and Russia. The European Space Agency (ESA) notes that the probe is heading to the red planet to study its atmosphere and dust storms, and to get there it will be riding atop a Russian Proton rocket.

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NASA Mars InSight mission set for May 2018 launch

NASA Mars InSight mission set for May 2018 launch

NASA has announced the new launch date that it is targeting to send the Mars InSight mission into the heavens on course to the Red Planet. The InSight mission was originally set to launch in March 2016, but was delayed. NASA is now targeting InSight for launch on May 5, 2018 with landing scheduled for November 26, 2018.

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Mars Express images reveal past Red Planet flooding

Mars Express images reveal past Red Planet flooding

The European Space Agency has published images of a Mars region showing marks left by water in the Red Planet’s distant past. According to the ESA, water has left “a variety” of marks on Mars, parts of which have been captured as part of the agency’s Mars Express mission. A large impact basin is shown in the newly published images, as well as thin grooves that had been cut by flowing water long ago.

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Hawaiian space rover can build a landing pad

Hawaiian space rover can build a landing pad

Scientists and engineers in Hawaii are working hard on a very interesting lander that could be sent to the Moon or Mars to help get the surface of the planet ready for humans. The lander seen here is called Pisces and in the tradition of spacecraft and other hardware, the name stands for Pacific International Space Center for Exploration.

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You’re going to Mars, I went to NASA

You’re going to Mars, I went to NASA

I woke up at 5:30 AM after a string of nightmares about being left alone on a dusty red planet. Like a fool I'd eaten a gigantic piece of chocolate cake the night before while watching a set of tiny teaser clips of "The Martian" to mentally prepare for the next day, which was then, now, today. "It's OK," I told myself. "Stay calm. You're in Houston. You're on East NASA Parkway in the same hotel you'd checked in to the day before. Today you're going to go on a brief ride in a Mars rover and talk to an astronaut."

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Phobos to put a ring on Mars, proper Beyonce style

Phobos to put a ring on Mars, proper Beyonce style

Mars closest moon, Phobos, is about to crash into the planet's atmosphere, creating a ring around it in the process. Phobos currently orbits Mars at around 3,700 miles above the planet's surface. It's currently on its way inward - eventually it'll start to break apart. The sad news is, we won't be able to see this crash happen. The good news is, we won't be around to see any potential ill effects. This ring-making will take place in between 20 to 40 million years from now.

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NASA donates two robots for DARPA Mars research and exploration

NASA donates two robots for DARPA Mars research and exploration

Two university groups receive their very own Valkyrie robots from NASA as part of the DARPA Robotics Challenge. NASA calls these robots the Valkyrie or "R5" models, as revealed earlier this year as part of the DARPA Robotics Challenge. These robots and their intended purpose are important to the future of beyond-Earth exploration. Both are humanoid so that they're able to "help or even take the place" of astronauts that'd otherwise be working in extreme space conditions and environments.

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Martian moon Phobos shows signs of impending destruction

Martian moon Phobos shows signs of impending destruction

It seems that our red neighbor just can't catch a cosmic break. After losing most of its atmosphere and almost all of its water thanks to bombardment from the sun, Mars is now likely to lose one of its moons in a few million years. Phobos, the moon that orbits closest to Mars, is showing external signs that it might be on its way out and could fall apart in 30 to 50 million years. This time, however, it might be Mars itself that will be partly to blame.

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NASA reveals Mars losing atmosphere at an alarming rate

NASA reveals Mars losing atmosphere at an alarming rate

As promised, NASA made a huge announcement regarding Mars thanks to its Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission, or MAVEN. It revealed that the Martian atmosphere is thinning at a fast rate every second. The culprit? The same solar winds that whip our system, including Earth. The data gathered by MAVEN can help scientists piece together the mystery of how Mars become the cold and arid planet it is today, and perhaps offer hints about future habitable planets in solar systems much similar to ours.

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NASA: new Mars announcement coming Thursday

NASA: new Mars announcement coming Thursday

NASA is teasing the public with yet another announcement about an upcoming announcement, saying it will reveal something new about the Mars atmosphere this upcoming Thursday, November 5. The announcement will be made live starting at 2PM EST on NASA TV, and will include a roster of speakers: Jim Green, Bruce Jakosky, Jasper Halekas, Yaxue Dong, and Dave Brain.

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