Mars

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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NASA forms Opportunity rover rescue plan as Mars dust storm abates

NASA forms Opportunity rover rescue plan as Mars dust storm abates

NASA has issued its latest update on the Mars dust storm impacting one of its two Martian rovers, Opportunity. According to the space agency, researchers continue to see signs that the global dust storm is calming down. NASA expects enough sunlight will soon make its way to Opportunity rover for it to recharge its batteries, but questions remain over whether it's in any condition to do so.

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Halfway to Mars, NASA’s InSight phones home

Halfway to Mars, NASA’s InSight phones home

NASA's InSight spacecraft has called home for an mid-flight update, halfway through its roughly 300 million mile trip to Mars. Launched on May 5, InSight - or "Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport" - used the opportunity to run through the status of its equipment, as it prepares for a never-before-attempted mission.

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NASA says Opportunity rover may never be the same, but hope remains

NASA says Opportunity rover may never be the same, but hope remains

NASA has published an update on its Opportunity rover, which fell silent after losing power during the ongoing Mars dust storm. The space agency reveals what may happen next, including what it would take to get the rover back in action. Though it remains optimistic, NASA also warns that Opportunity may not be the same after the dust clears, with potential issues including reduce battery capacity.

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Terraforming Mars: Enough CO2, a misunderstanding

Terraforming Mars: Enough CO2, a misunderstanding

A supposed debate broke out earlier this week amongst NASA and Elon Musk about the possibility of terraforming Mars. NASA scientists suggested that there isn't enough CO2 on Mars to terraform the planet with today's technologies. Elon Musk replied (on Twitter, of all places) that it was indeed terraform-friendly with the CO2 trapped in the planet's soil, using heat. Then people started to lose their minds, arguing one side or the other, when in reality there wasn't much of an argument in the first place, only a matter of a couple of different perspectives.

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How to livestream Friday’s blood moon total lunar eclipse

How to livestream Friday’s blood moon total lunar eclipse

If you're located anywhere in North America, you won't be able to see tomorrow's total lunar eclipse...at least not by stepping outside. The celestial event won't be visible in the US, Canada, or Mexico, which is disappointing due to its uniqueness: this will be the longest lunar eclipse of the century. This doesn't mean that you're without options, however.

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Mars liquid water lake detected beneath southern polar ice cap

Mars liquid water lake detected beneath southern polar ice cap

Scientists have announced the discovery of liquid water on Mars, a milestone find located at the Red Planet's southern polar ice cap. The subglacial lake's existence is teased by more than two dozen radar samplings of the regions, which were found to have similar profiles to subglacial lakes on Earth near Greenland and the Antarctic.

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NASA details ‘spiders’ on Mars with crazy new photo

NASA details ‘spiders’ on Mars with crazy new photo

NASA has released an image showing "spiders" on Mars, small darks spots on the reddish landscape with tendrils one could easily perceive as tiny legs. The marks were captured by the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in mid-May at Mars' south pole during the planet's winter season. The "spiders" make their appearance as the season turns to spring, dotting the terrain.

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Airbus Mars rover will send samples back to Earth

Airbus Mars rover will send samples back to Earth

The United Kingdom has announced a new deal with Airbus that will have it develop a special Mars rover for the European Space Agency (ESA). Unlike the two rovers NASA currently has operating on Mars, Airbus' rover will be able to ship samples back to Earth, giving scientists physical access to soil and rock dust from the Red Planet. This will mark the first time Mars samples have been delivered to our own planet.

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Mars’ global dust storm size visualized in new animation

Mars’ global dust storm size visualized in new animation

A new animation helps us visualize just how massive the Mars dust storm is. This storm, which obscured the Sun and resulted in NASA's Opportunity rover going into a deep sleep, at one point was "only" as big as North America. In the weeks following that detail, NASA continued to update the public on this storm's size, using countries as a reference. A new image, though, shows us exactly how much of the Red Planet is covered by this storm.

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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 Opportunity rover’s life in limbo as Mars dust storm rages on

NASA Opportunity rover’s life in limbo as Mars dust storm rages on

NASA researchers fear the space agency's Opportunity rover may soon reach the end of its life as a major Mars dust storm continues to blot out the sun. As we reported last week, a Martian dust storm bigger than North America is currently interfering with the rover's ability to operate on the Red Planet, and the rover has now put itself into a deep sleep mode.

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