Mars

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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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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