Mars

NASA says Mars’ global dust storm is finally over

NASA says Mars’ global dust storm is finally over

NASA says the global dust storm on Mars that incapacitated its Opportunity rover has finally ended. The space agency made the determination based on tau, which is the amount of sunlight that manages to penetrate the hazy dust in the planet's atmosphere. According to the agency's latest update, the measurement is now back to normal.

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ESA ExoMars mission leans towards Oxia Planum for Mars landing site

ESA ExoMars mission leans towards Oxia Planum for Mars landing site

The ESA is working on a mission that will put another rover on the surface of Mars with launch aiming at 2020. The ExoMars Landing Site Selection Working Grop has now issued its recommendation on a landing site for that mission; the landing site is a location called Oxia Planum. The final step in the selection process is an internal review by the ESA and Roscosmos.

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NASA parachute world record paves way for Mars 2020 rover launch

NASA parachute world record paves way for Mars 2020 rover launch

NASA has yet another record under its belt: the fastest inflation of a parachute. The milestone was achieved with the Mars 2020 parachute, which was tested in early September using Earth's atmosphere and a Black Brant IX sounding rocket. The parachute was packed as a payload, ultimately separating from the rocket to fall back to Earth.

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Mars researchers confirm potential for breathable air

Mars researchers confirm potential for breathable air

This week a paper published in Nature Geoscience showed the potential for a whole lot of oxygen on the planet Mars. Within the salty waters under the surface of the planet, Mars may well have enough oxygen to support life, planet-wide. These scientists suggested that "our findings suggest that there can be near-surface environments on Mars with sufficient O₂ available for aerobic microbes to breath." That's "even at the limits of the uncertainties" they calculated in time and space - the possibility is there.

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NASA testing Insight mission’s robotic arm

NASA testing Insight mission’s robotic arm

Playing the claw game that sits in the entry area of your local Walmart store is a challenge to win. This is despite that fact that you are standing right in front of the glass case controlling the arm. If you had to play that claw game from another planet, the difficulty would be greatly compounded. This is essentially what NASA scientist will be doing when it comes to controlling the robotic arm used for the InSight mission.

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NASA tasks experts with finding the perfect Mars 2020 rover landing site

NASA tasks experts with finding the perfect Mars 2020 rover landing site

NASA has tasked its team of scientists with figuring out the perfect spot to land its next Mars rover. The topic will be discussed at a conference in Los Angeles this week, during which time enthusiasts and scientists will gather for a three-day workshop. This is the latest -- and last planned -- of multiple gatherings before a location is selected.

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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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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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