Mars

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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NASA’s Mars rover weathers North America-sized dust storm

NASA’s Mars rover weathers North America-sized dust storm

NASA's Opportunity rover may not have to worry about running into traffic congestion on Mars, but vast dust storms are definitely an occupational hazard. The science robot has been forced to go into emergency lock-down, after a storm larger than all of North America whipped itself into a frenzy on the red planet.

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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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Curiosity’s new percussive drilling produces first rock samples since 2016

Curiosity’s new percussive drilling produces first rock samples since 2016

NASA engineers on the Curiosity rover on Mars have been working hard to devise a new way for the rover to drill into rocks and then extract powder that can be tested from them. Their efforts paid off over last weekend when Curiosity was able to produce the first drilled sample from Mars in more than a year.

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This is NASA’s Mars Helicopter: It’s a GO!

This is NASA’s Mars Helicopter: It’s a GO!

Today NASA announced they'd be bringing their Mars Helicopter to Mars, officially. This is not the sort of helicopter you saw circling your house the last time you stole a bunch of diamonds, but the kind that carries payloads. More like a drone than a traditional human-piloted helicopter. In the NASA Mars Helicopter is the future of flight on other worlds - or at least the next step.

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NASA successfully launches Mars InSight lander

NASA successfully launches Mars InSight lander

This early hours of Saturday morning saw NASA successfully send the Mars InSight lander on its way to the Red Planet. Just after 4:00 AM Pacific, the lander was launched atop a ULA Atlas V rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, marking NASA's first interplanetary mission to depart from the West Coast. The InSight lander will now make a six-month journey to Mars, where it will study the planet's subsurface.

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NASA is sending a seismology spacecraft to Mars: Here’s why

NASA is sending a seismology spacecraft to Mars: Here’s why

NASA will launch a groundbreaking mission to Mars this Saturday, sending a new spacecraft to the red planet for the first time since 2012. The NASA InSight lander - short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport - aims to drill into Mars' crust, tracking seismic activity that might unlock new secrets about our own planet.

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Desiccation Cracks on Mars shed new light on ancient climate

Desiccation Cracks on Mars shed new light on ancient climate

Scientists are sure that Mars once had an atmosphere and liquid water on its surface. Scientists have known since very early in the mission of Curiosity in 2012 that Gale Crater once contained lakes. The image below shows a feature found on Mars called desiccation cracks which form when mud is exposed to air, dries, and cracks.

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SpaceX Mars BFR rocket Port of Los Angeles plans confirmed

SpaceX Mars BFR rocket Port of Los Angeles plans confirmed

Following information revealed in a document published in mid-March, Los Angeles officials have confirmed that SpaceX will be leasing space at the Port of Los Angeles to work on its Mars rocket. The plans must be approved by the board of harbor commissioners, however that approval is expected this upcoming Thursday. The city is offering extensive perks to SpaceX for its work there.

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Scientists harvest the first veggies from fancy Antarctic greenhouse

Scientists harvest the first veggies from fancy Antarctic greenhouse

Scientists working in the Antarctic have announced that the very first crop of vegetables has been harvested in a new greenhouse that doesn't use any earth, daylight, or pesticides. The project is part of research that is designed to help astronauts to cultivate fresh foods on other planets. The greenhouse is at the German Neumeyer-Station III.

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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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NASA Opportunity rover celebrates its 5,000th Martian day

NASA Opportunity rover celebrates its 5,000th Martian day

Back in the summer of 2003, NASA launched a pair of Mars rovers named Opportunity and Spirit. Both landed on the Martian surface in January 2004, each designed for a mission that would last 90 Martian days (which are called sols). Both rovers managed to drastically outlive that 90-sol mission. Though Spirit became stuck in 2009, eventually losing communication with NASA, Opportunity lived on.

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