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.
The public is grieving this week as China's Yuta moon rover appears to have kicked the bucket once and for all. While Space.com confirms that China's moon lander Chang'e 3 is running just fine after a brutal battle with a lunar night cycle, its closest relative Yuta seems to be down for the count.
The NASA rover Opportunity sent back a couple of surprising images from Mars last week, both of which were taken with its Pancam, revealing the rather sudden appearance of a small rock. Researchers were surprised at the quick change, and though they offered a couple possible explanations, an investigation was kicked off to try and determine how it happened. Fast-forward through the weekend, and an analysis has offered a new surprise: the chemical composition is unlike anything previously analyzed on the Red Planet.
China's "Long March to the Moon" has placed a lander and a rover on the moon. The Chang'e-3 lander and her accompanying Yutu or "Jade Rabbit" rover arrived inside the right eye of the "Man in the Moon" this evening at 9:00PM Beijing time. This marks the first time in more than 40 years anyone has performed a soft lunar landing. All sources point to a successful deployment for the robot visitors.
China has successfully launched the Chang'e-3 probe slated to put a lander and rover on the moon. The pair are equipped with seven scientific instruments for observing outer space and gathering data about the lunar surface. The launch took place today at 5:30PM UTC using a Long March 3B rocket at the LC2 Launch Complex at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern China.
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover may be the agency's latest space-faring rover, but their newest wheeled robot was recently deployed in the cold depths of Greenland. Called the Goddard Remotely Operated Vehicle for Exploration and Research rover (GROVER for short), NASA took it out into the cold weather to complete a round of tests to see how it would fare in negative 22-degree Fahrenheit weather.
We've seen a lot of neat photos from Mars thanks to NASA's latest Curiosity rover that's currently putzing its way around the surface of the red planet. The latest imagery that it has sent back is a rather simple, but neat timelapse video of one of Mars' moons rising into the Martian sky.
NASA's Curiosity rover has sent more than a few pictures of the Red Planet back to its Earth-bound audience, a great deal of which have been made freely available for the public to view on the space agency's website. The latest image to be made public, however, stands out from the rest due to its sheer size: a huge 1.3 billion pixels. Such a resolution was achieved by stitching together hundreds of frames.
We've seen NASA's Mars Curiosity rover bore into Martian rock with a small drill multiple times, but the robot has just taken things to the next level: lasers. Specifically, the rover got to bore a small hole into Martian rock by blasting it with a laser repeatedly, causing a hole a few millimeters in diameter, which you can see after the jump.