Mars

How to see Mars on Monday

How to see Mars on Monday

This Memorial Day, Mars will be closer to Earth than it's been at any point in the past 11 years. Back in 2005, Mars got up close and personal with our Earth - we didn't even really have smartphones back then. Now, here on Memorial Day, Mars will be appearing low in the east-southeast sky just after darkness. When you see it, Mars will be the color of sand - or just a bit more orange.

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Evidence of Martian ice age discovered

Evidence of Martian ice age discovered

A team of scientists at the Southwest Research Institute have been pouring over data collected by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and report that they have found evidence of an ice ago in the polar deposits of Mars. The team says that the same forces that drive ice ages here on Earth drive ice ages on Mars. Those forces are long-term cyclical changes in the orbit and tilt of the planet that directly affect how much solar radiation the planet receives at each latitude.

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How to spot Mars at its brightest in the sky this weekend

How to spot Mars at its brightest in the sky this weekend

The planet Mars is about to be the closest it's been to the Earth in over a decade this weekend, and you'll be able to step outside and spot our red neighbor with the naked eye. Sunday, specifically, marks the "Mars opposition," which is when the sun and Mars are on the opposite sides of Earth, but you can peer into the sky just after sunset on both Saturday and Sunday and find what looks like a bright red star.

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China wants its own rover on Mars by 2020

China wants its own rover on Mars by 2020

China wants to have its own rover rolling around Mars by the year 2020, and it said in a recent statement that its efforts are proceeding as planned. The project would involve sending a spacecraft to orbit Mars, then have it land on the planet where it — or a rover it deploys — will travel around much like the Curiosity, Opportunity and former Spirit rovers. China has had previous success landing its own rover on the moon.

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NASA’s accepting Mars habitat prototype ideas until June

NASA’s accepting Mars habitat prototype ideas until June

Before we send humans to Mars, we need somewhere for them to live. NASA has been entertaining ideas for deep space habitats for years, and now it is actively seeking proposals on the development of those prototypes. This is the next step in the NextSTEP Broad Agency Announcement from October 2014, and it’s being called NextSTEP-2. NASA describes NextSTEP as a “public-private” partnership.

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Mars probe departs this week on joint European-Russian study

Mars probe departs this week on joint European-Russian study

As part of the ExoMars 2016 mission, a new unmanned spacecraft will be departing for Mars on Monday thanks to collaboration between the space agencies of Europe and Russia. The European Space Agency (ESA) notes that the probe is heading to the red planet to study its atmosphere and dust storms, and to get there it will be riding atop a Russian Proton rocket.

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NASA Mars InSight mission set for May 2018 launch

NASA Mars InSight mission set for May 2018 launch

NASA has announced the new launch date that it is targeting to send the Mars InSight mission into the heavens on course to the Red Planet. The InSight mission was originally set to launch in March 2016, but was delayed. NASA is now targeting InSight for launch on May 5, 2018 with landing scheduled for November 26, 2018.

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Mars Express images reveal past Red Planet flooding

Mars Express images reveal past Red Planet flooding

The European Space Agency has published images of a Mars region showing marks left by water in the Red Planet’s distant past. According to the ESA, water has left “a variety” of marks on Mars, parts of which have been captured as part of the agency’s Mars Express mission. A large impact basin is shown in the newly published images, as well as thin grooves that had been cut by flowing water long ago.

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Hawaiian space rover can build a landing pad

Hawaiian space rover can build a landing pad

Scientists and engineers in Hawaii are working hard on a very interesting lander that could be sent to the Moon or Mars to help get the surface of the planet ready for humans. The lander seen here is called Pisces and in the tradition of spacecraft and other hardware, the name stands for Pacific International Space Center for Exploration.

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You’re going to Mars, I went to NASA

You’re going to Mars, I went to NASA

I woke up at 5:30 AM after a string of nightmares about being left alone on a dusty red planet. Like a fool I'd eaten a gigantic piece of chocolate cake the night before while watching a set of tiny teaser clips of "The Martian" to mentally prepare for the next day, which was then, now, today. "It's OK," I told myself. "Stay calm. You're in Houston. You're on East NASA Parkway in the same hotel you'd checked in to the day before. Today you're going to go on a brief ride in a Mars rover and talk to an astronaut."

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Phobos to put a ring on Mars, proper Beyonce style

Phobos to put a ring on Mars, proper Beyonce style

Mars closest moon, Phobos, is about to crash into the planet's atmosphere, creating a ring around it in the process. Phobos currently orbits Mars at around 3,700 miles above the planet's surface. It's currently on its way inward - eventually it'll start to break apart. The sad news is, we won't be able to see this crash happen. The good news is, we won't be around to see any potential ill effects. This ring-making will take place in between 20 to 40 million years from now.

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NASA donates two robots for DARPA Mars research and exploration

NASA donates two robots for DARPA Mars research and exploration

Two university groups receive their very own Valkyrie robots from NASA as part of the DARPA Robotics Challenge. NASA calls these robots the Valkyrie or "R5" models, as revealed earlier this year as part of the DARPA Robotics Challenge. These robots and their intended purpose are important to the future of beyond-Earth exploration. Both are humanoid so that they're able to "help or even take the place" of astronauts that'd otherwise be working in extreme space conditions and environments.

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