The NASA Spacecraft 3D app has been updated today to allow all iOS and Android users take part in an experience which puts spacecraft in their living room. This app utilizes augmented reality in a way that the creators of the PlayRoom for PS4’s Camera would be proud of. Place a ship here, run it around there, and take photos all the while.
NASA’s Opportunity Rover has set the human record for off-world driving distance this week. This record was previously held by the Soviet Union’s Lunokhod 2 rover, whose record was smashed as Opportunity kicked out 25 miles (40 kilometers) of driving. Any opportunity to one-up our space-race comrades, that’s what we like!
While the rover itself has technically been in service for far longer than a year, its Mars visit has now lasted one full Martian cycle. That’s a whole cycle around the sun for Mars, also known as a Martian year. To celebrate, the NASA Mars Curiosity rover stretched one of its arms out to take a lovely selfie.
Mars has been NASA's latest stomping ground, the source of a lot research and the occasional mystery. The latest exciting discovery on the Red Planet was a massive crater half the length of a football field, which is said to be the "biggest impact crater in the solar system that has been confirmed with both before and after images."
The international Astronomical Union or IAU is the authority that assigns the official names to celestial bodies and the surface features of those bodies. It is the only recognized naming organization and if it doesn't approve and assign a name, the name doesn't stick. There are firms that offer to let people name space objects for a fee.
Scientist have been studying rocks from Mars for a number of years that mankind didn't pick up from the Martian surface and bring back to Earth on any of the many scientific missions to the red planet. The Mars rocks that have been studied intently originated on Mars, but were blowing off the surface of the planet by a massive asteroid or comet impact millions of years ago.
As much as some of us (ahem) were hoping the Mars mystery rock turned out to be a long-lost baseball from yet unknown aliens, the cause behind the rock's sudden appearance has been solved with a far less exciting explanation: Opportunity's wheel, as first speculated, kicked the rock up while moving. No alien mushroom to be seen.
NASA's Curiosity rover has sent back some impressive photos from its time on Mars - selfies, moon timelapses, and billion-pixel panoramas - but its latest helps put the plucky rover's journey in context like nothing before. A new image shared by the US space agency shows Earth in the Martian night sky, a pinprick of light traveling 99 million miles from home.
NASA's efforts on the Red Planet have resulted in thousands of images, some more mystifying than others, but few quite as powerful as a high-resolution photograph taken of a fresh asteroid impact. The photo features the resulting crater in the middle, and shows the huge rayed blast zone around it, revealing something akin to blackened sunbeams.