Mars

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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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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Mars’ global dust storms may have big effect on atmosphere loss

Mars’ global dust storms may have big effect on atmosphere loss

Every so often, Mars experiences a dust storm that spans the entire planet -- a global dust storm, one that may contribute to the loss of gas from the Red Planet's atmosphere. The possibility was discussed in a newly published study, which looked at data gathered by the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, also known as the MRO. The most recent global dust storm happened on Mars back in 2007.

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NASA and DOE test compact nuclear Mars power system for future missions

NASA and DOE test compact nuclear Mars power system for future missions

The US Department of Energy and NASA have teamed up to test a compact nuclear power system that may one day sustain human energy needs on Mars. The system is being tested in the Nevada desert, where initial tests have proven successful. According to US officials, a full-power test will be performed in March under the NASA Kilopower project.

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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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Trump wants Americans on the moon again, Mars afterwards

Trump wants Americans on the moon again, Mars afterwards

The past few years have been kind to space science in general and especially to NASA. Advancements in technology, monumental achievements, and historic phenomena has made being an astronaut and even a space scientist or engineer cool again. When Trump took the helm of the world’s largest superpower, there were worries that the outspoken president would de-emphasize the country’s space program. With a little indirect help from a rival, however, Trump signed a directive that would put Americans back on the moon and, in the future, on Mars as well.

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Mars rover images show round balls, stirring up new conspiracies

Mars rover images show round balls, stirring up new conspiracies

NASA's Mars rover has provided humans with a slew of images from the Red Planet and you can freely search through them if you have the free time. That's exactly what some people do, analyzing hundreds of Mars images in search of oddities. Some of those oddities have resulted in big conspiracy theories, but perhaps none are so intriguing as the "metal balls" spotted in some Mars photos.

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Mars streaks are probably caused by dust and sand, not water

Mars streaks are probably caused by dust and sand, not water

Mars photos show an interesting landscape feature: dark streaks that appear to show flowing movement, which some thought may be water. A new study says that is probably not the case, though, instead being more likely attributed to dry flow processes. This is based in part on assessments made with the Mars orbiter's telescopic camera. That's bad news in the hunt for microbes, unfortunately.

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Explore the Mars landscape in Chrome via Google’s Access Mars project

Explore the Mars landscape in Chrome via Google’s Access Mars project

NASA rovers have taken a huge number of photos from the Mars surface, enabling researchers on the ground to combine them into a single massive, highly detailed 3D model of the planet's landscape. This 3D model, thanks to a Google project called Access Mars, is now easily accessible to anyone with access to Chrome or your Internet browser of choice.

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Lockheed Martin Mars Base Camp could take us to the Red Planet in a decade

Lockheed Martin Mars Base Camp could take us to the Red Planet in a decade

Lockheed Martin is at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Australia and at the event it has offered up details on its Mars Base Camp. Among the detail is how Lockheed would align it vision with the NASA lunar deep space gateway and Mars surface lander plans. Mars Base Camp is Lockheed's vision of how to send humans to mars in about ten years.

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Elon Musk’s multiplanetary vision includes our own Blue planet

Elon Musk’s multiplanetary vision includes our own Blue planet

Elon Musk just held a press conference revolving around his "multiplanetary species" campaign and, while a large part of his presentation recapped SpaceX's adventures and misadventures, the ambitious luminary didn't fail to impart some extraordinary plans as well. By now, it is no secret that he plans to set up camp on Mars and even on the moon. But it seems that Musk's dream of making life multiplantery will also come back full circle to make life here on Earth just as spectacular.

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