Mars

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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NASA photo ignites conspiracy about deity statue on Mars

NASA photo ignites conspiracy about deity statue on Mars

A legion of imaginative folks dedicate their time to scouring NASA's Mars photos, looking for oddities on the Red Planet. These individuals have spotted all sorts of "objects" (hint: they're rocks), some more interesting than others. Just about right on time, a new conspiracy theory has surfaced involving a new Mars photo, this one seemingly showing a statue of some deity off in the distance.

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Heading to Mars? Stop by the moon to refuel

Heading to Mars? Stop by the moon to refuel

In the future, the most cost efficient way to get to Mars might be to not go to Mars directly at all. By carrying just enough fuel to reach the moon and then refuel to get to Mars, the entire launch system's mass could be reduced by as much as 68 percent, a saving that would have a ripple effect down the line. This almost unintuitive proposal is exactly one that professor Olivier de Weck and researchers from MIT are making to make future Martian trips more feasible.

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Mars’ ancient lakes may have supported life

Mars’ ancient lakes may have supported life

The news and discoveries related to water on Mars just keep flowing! Shortly after NASA's exploration of the red planet recently confirmed that water in liquid form still exists, new data has suggested that there once may have been enough to support life. NASA's Curiosity rover has been studying the Gale crater, discovering evidence that it was once the site of a lake-like body of water, and for a long period as well.

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Astronauts on Mars: NASA details 3-phase plan

Astronauts on Mars: NASA details 3-phase plan

NASA details the three phases in reaching Mars with human astronauts, including Earth Reliant, Proving Ground, and Earth Independent. The first of these, Earth Reliant, requires that we make certain we're capable of existing outside of our own atmosphere for long periods of time. This includes astronaut missions aboard the International Space Station. Part of NASA's plan requires that we extend ISS operations until at least the year 2024. NASA also suggests that they'll need to pursue an evolvable SLS via Exploration Upper Stage before advanced solid rocket boosters if they're ever to make a craft that'll bring humans to Mars AND be able to bring them back to Earth.

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Mars landing video created from NASA’s still photos

Mars landing video created from NASA’s still photos

This week video editor Luke Fitch took it upon himself to create a video from NASA's Curiosity mission landing photos on Mars. Fitch did a healthy amount of editing to fill out the frames between the frames, and even then the video is about 3x faster than the actual landing - but it's as close as we're going to get for the time being. This video is less than a minute long and will give you a fantastic sense of what it's like to land on the planet Mars from a first-person perspective.

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NASA’s Curiosity takes photo of future stomping grounds

NASA’s Curiosity takes photo of future stomping grounds

NASA’s Curiosity rover is still puttering around the Red Planet, drilling small holes and taking pictures and giving its human operators better insight into humanity’s future home away from home. Over the weekend, the space agency published a composite image of the upper region of Mount Sharp, Curiosity’s future stomping grounds, taken by the rover on September 9. In it we get a look at a beautiful landscape not so different from our own.

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A small, frosty Mars avalanche was caught on camera

A small, frosty Mars avalanche was caught on camera

Earth isn’t the only place with cold avalanches; Mars, the big Red Planet that is maybe the next stepping stone for the human race, is also home to avalanches, though they’re not quite the same as the ones we’re familiar with. HiRISE recently caught one of those frosty events on camera, which from the perspective it was taken looks merely like a puff of cotton on a cracked, barren red stone landscape.

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NASA confirms “liquid water today” on Mars

NASA confirms “liquid water today” on Mars

Today NASA's Mars exploration program has confirmed the existence of liquid water on the red planet. "This is a significant development, as it appears to confirm that water -albeit briny -is flowing today on the surface of Mars," said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. While most of Mars' once more significant amounts of water have evaporated into space, trace amounts have been found and confirmed today by NASA.

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NASA countdown to human Mars tests begins: 8-years left [UPDATE]

NASA countdown to human Mars tests begins: 8-years left [UPDATE]

This week NASA has revealed that their crewed mission to Mars spacecraft testing timeline has been set. After an uncrewed Orion capsule (Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1)) was tested successfully in December of 2014, two more test flights have begun setup: Exploration Missions 1 and 2 (EM-1 and EM-2). As NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said of the first of several test missions, "[Orion is] a huge step for NASA and a really critical part of our work to pioneer deep space on our Journey to Mars." With NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, EM-1 will take off first without a human crew, and EM-2 will be launched with a human crew inside the next 8 years, by the year 2023.

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