curiosity

Mars Curiosity detected high methane levels and scientists are excited

Mars Curiosity detected high methane levels and scientists are excited

We take for granted a lot of gases here on Earth, including our precious oxygen. Even less so gases like methane, which is mostly a waste product of certain living organisms. But when you find unusually high levels of that substances in a planet bereft of life but believed to have once hosted life, it's a pretty big deal. That's the reason why scientists at NASA were more than happy to spend their weekend at work to analyze and do more tests with the data that the Curiosity Rover just sent them from Mars.

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NASA’s Curiosity rover sensors repurposed to measure Mars’ gravity

NASA’s Curiosity rover sensors repurposed to measure Mars’ gravity

Back in the Apollo mission days to the moon in 1972, the moon rover that the astronauts drove around had instruments on board to measure the gravity of the surface. Scientists wanted to measure the gravity on the surface of Mars, but the Curiosity rover lacks sensors for such measurements. That didn't stop researchers from figuring out a way to measure gravity with what Curiosity does have on board.

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NASA Curiosity rover snaps image of another shiny Mars object

NASA Curiosity rover snaps image of another shiny Mars object

A couple days ago, Curiosity woke up to the song Please would you be my neighbor from Mr. Rogers, that being a greeting for the newly arrived InSight rover. Following that, NASA researchers explain, Curiosity got to work at Mars' Highfield drill site, where it will dump a sample. The rover, which has been rolling around Mars since 2012, previously detected four interesting rocks, including one that is atypically smooth and shiny.

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Curiosity turns over new mile as rover returns to old location

Curiosity turns over new mile as rover returns to old location

NASA says its Curiosity rover just wrapped up a relatively long trip on Mars, this resulting in its odometer turning over the 12-mile mark. The rover is now located at the Red Planet's Lake Orcadie, a site where NASA previously attempted to drill into grey rock. The space agency anticipates successful results this time around thanks to newly identified drill sites and an improved drilling process.

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NASA Curiosity rover finds Mars rocks that are too hard to drill

NASA Curiosity rover finds Mars rocks that are too hard to drill

Mars' global dust storm is abating and skies are clearing. NASA's Curiosity rover, the one that is still operational, has sent back a panorama of its position on the planet, including a rare look at some of its instruments (which are covered in a layer of dust). Researchers say the rover has encountered a mystery on the Red Planet, as well: rocks that are too hard for its drill to bore into. Two attempts at drilling the rocks have failed.

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Growing Mars dust storm now circles entire planet says NASA

Growing Mars dust storm now circles entire planet says NASA

NASA has published its latest update on the Mars dust storm, saying it is now spanning the entire Red Planet. The storm has been underway for about two weeks, blotting out the Sun and forcing the solar-powered Opportunity rover into a deep sleep mode as it clings to the last of its energy reservers. The Curiosity rover, meanwhile, remains unaffected by the event.

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NASA’s major Mars findings: organic molecules and seasonal changes

NASA’s major Mars findings: organic molecules and seasonal changes

As promised, NASA has announced new milestone Mars discoveries, namely the presence of organic molecules and seasonal changes in atmospheric methane. The findings add to the body of evidence suggesting Mars may once have been able to sustain life. Both discoveries were made possible by NASA's Mars Curiosity rover and have been detailed in a pair of new studies.

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NASA Curiosity rover reaches 2,000 Martian days milestone

NASA Curiosity rover reaches 2,000 Martian days milestone

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has achieved yet another milestone: 2,000 Martian days ("sols") of service. The rover has been rolling around the Red Planet since landing in August 2012. Since then, Curiosity has traveled more than 11 miles, revealing evidence of ancient freshwater, the basic ingredients for microbial life, and more.

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Curiosity rover snaps selfie with Mars’ Mount Sharp before climb

Curiosity rover snaps selfie with Mars’ Mount Sharp before climb

NASA's Curiosity rover has called Mars home for years and it's work isn't done yet. The rover will soon start yet another investigative mission, this time climbing the Red Planet's Mount Sharp, a mountain located in the Gale Crater. Ahead of starting its climb, though, Curiosity paused in the crater's rim to snap a selfie with the mountain featured in the background.

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Curiosity rover’s stunning new Mars panorama is unlike any other

Curiosity rover’s stunning new Mars panorama is unlike any other

We have no shortage of pictures taken on Mars thanks to NASA's hard work. You've no doubt seen many of them by now, possibly even large panoramas created by stitching many images together. Those images probably all looked similar: dusty and rocky with a distinct orange hue and, maybe, reddish soil. That's what makes Curiosity rover's latest panorama so stunning -- it looks nothing like the others.

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Curiosity finds strange, tiny Mars feature: trace fossils possible

Curiosity finds strange, tiny Mars feature: trace fossils possible

NASA's Curiosity rover has discover an unusual -- an quite tiny -- feature on the Mars landscape, one with a strange shape and an unknown explanation. The features, which may be related to minerals, were found in an area so interesting that researchers had sent the rover back for a second look. The features' strange appearance have raised questions about whether NASA has discovered trace fossils on the Red Planet, and researchers aren't ruling that out yet.

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Curiosity Rover finds evidence of mud cracks in Martian rocks

Curiosity Rover finds evidence of mud cracks in Martian rocks

It's been a little while since we've heard from the Mars Curiosity rover, but over the past few weeks, it's been very busy examining what could be evidence of mud cracks in a slab of Martian rock. That slab of rock - dubbed Old Soaker by NASA scientists - features many raised ridges that could have been created by drying mud billions of years ago. If that's the case, then we'll have even more evidence for a wetter environment in the planet's past.

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