Mars

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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NASA wants student help to land astronauts on Mars

NASA wants student help to land astronauts on Mars

NASA is hoping for a shot of student inspiration to figure out how to safely land crewed spacecraft on Mars, offering paid internships as a reward for ideas. The space agency hopes to take human astronauts to the red planet in the 2030s, but among the technical issues the project faces is completing the very final step of the journey: touchdown.

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3D-printed Mars habitat concept teases the imagination

3D-printed Mars habitat concept teases the imagination

When humans colonize Mars, they’ll first be living in shelters that provide the environment necessary for survival. NASA is trying to jumpstart the development of those habitats with its 3-D Printed Habitat Challenge, and we’ve seen various concepts that hint at what one day may be called home. French entity Fabulous has unveiled its own 3D-printed Mars shelter, which was spurred by NASA’s competition; it is called Sfero, and it is designed to use materials available on Mars.

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Curiosity finds petrified sand dunes on Mars

Curiosity finds petrified sand dunes on Mars

A bit tired of flying around Pluto in the outer ridges of our solar system? Then perhaps it's time to zoom back into our own nearby neighborhood, because the Curiosity has something interesting to share. The Martian rover has just finished taking its latest album of the red planet, which NASA has stitched up together into one glorious panorama. Lo and behold, the images revealed some petrified sand dunes not unlike those found here on Earth, which could hold more clues to Mars' ancient past.

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Elon Musk: nuking Mars will get humans established sooner

Elon Musk: nuking Mars will get humans established sooner

Elon Musk doesn’t just want humans to walk on Mars; he wants them to live there. He’s not the only person who aspires to such a future, and he sees it as a necessity for the survival of the human race. Some efforts are already being made to get human colonies established on the Red Planet, though some are more questionable than others. The key to getting human colonies established on the planet may, it turns out, be a couple thermonuclear bombs.

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Curiosity’s latest Mars discovery: a floating ‘spoon’

Curiosity’s latest Mars discovery: a floating ‘spoon’

NASA's Curiosity rover keeps snapping pictures of things that look like other things, and some people insist it's all proof of a grand conspiracy and/or aliens. We haven't actually stumbled upon an alien yet (at least as far as we've been told), but we have come across rocks that look like rats, crabs, a woman, a pyramid, pieces of old houses, and whatever other images your brain forms from the rumble. And now, a spoon...but not just any ol' spoon.

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