Mars

NASA 2024 Moon mission lead quits – after just 45 days

NASA 2024 Moon mission lead quits – after just 45 days

The NASA official meant to lead the 2024 Moon mission has unexpectedly quit the agency, after Congress slapped down plans to create a new mission directorate. Mark Sirangelo only joined the agency a month and a half ago, but was widely expected to take the helm at a new group focused on NASA's return to the Moon, the mission that will help pave the way for a manned mission to Mars.

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NASA Mars 2020 mission is taking passenger names – but not how you think

NASA Mars 2020 mission is taking passenger names – but not how you think

NASA may not be ready to take passengers to Mars, but you'll be able to put your name down in the meantime - quite literally. The space agency is offering "frequent flyer" points along with souvenir boarding passes to members of the public for a trip to Mars, as part of its push around the Mars 2020 mission.

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Complete Mars 2020 spacecraft revealed for the first time

Complete Mars 2020 spacecraft revealed for the first time

NASA has revealed the spacecraft that the new Mars rover will use to travel to the red planet in 2020, as the US space agency continues to pave the way for an eventual manned mission. Mars 2020 will see a brand new rover set loose on the surface of the planet, complete with a toolkit of all-new instrumentation to do research.

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NASA’s MRO completed 60,000 orbits around the Red Planet

NASA’s MRO completed 60,000 orbits around the Red Planet

NASA has had a spacecraft orbiting Mars called the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter or MRO since March 10, 2006. The spacecraft has been circling the planet at about 2 miles per second and collecting daily science data about the planet's surface and atmosphere. NASA has announced a milestone for the MRO that was reached this week.

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NASA Mars 2020 rover’s heat shield passes intense, critical test

NASA Mars 2020 rover’s heat shield passes intense, critical test

Lockheed Martin has announced that the heat shield for NASA's Mars 2020 rover has passed a critical testing milestone. The component was exposed to "flight-like thermal conditions," according to the company, which confirmed its "physical integrity." The heat shield will be used to help protect the rover as it enters the Martian atmosphere.

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NASA InSight lander snaps pics of Martian sunrise and sunset

NASA InSight lander snaps pics of Martian sunrise and sunset

NASA has shared some images of sunrise and sunset on Mars that were snapped by the InSight lander. The spacecraft captured the images on April 24 and April 25 at the 145-day mark of the rover's mission. NASA says that the images were taken at 5:30 a.m. and then at 6:30 p.m. in local Mars time. A camera under the deck of the lander also caught some clouds drifting across the Marian sky.

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NASA InSight lander may have detected the first ‘marsquake’

NASA InSight lander may have detected the first ‘marsquake’

NASA's InSight lander may have detected its first quake on Mars, the space agency has announced. The 'marsquake' was recorded as a faint seismic signal by the rover's Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) instrument on April 6. This is the first time humans have recorded quaking that originates from within the planet rather than from something on the surface.

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Curiosity rover drills into “clay-bearing unit” for the first time

Curiosity rover drills into “clay-bearing unit” for the first time

NASA's Curiosity rover has been cruising the surface of Mars for a long time now. One of the missions that the rover has been gearing up for is the very first drilling sample gathering to be conducted on what has been called the "clay-bearing unit." That is a large rock that is also called "Aberlady." The announcement marks the first time that curiosity has drilled into this area.

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Methane on Mars confirmed: scientists pinpoint likely source

Methane on Mars confirmed: scientists pinpoint likely source

In 2013, NASA's Curiosity rover detected a methane emission on Mars, something more recently determined to be cyclical based on the planet's seasons. The first emission was detected by the rover in the Gale Crater in June 2013 followed soon after by another emission. Now, years later, a major development in this research has been announced: independent confirmation.

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NASA says this strange ‘brain terrain’ is a Mars mystery

NASA says this strange ‘brain terrain’ is a Mars mystery

NASA has shared a new Mars image, but instead of featuring the Red Planet's dusty orange landscape, we're greeted with far more unusual sight: "brain terrain." Scientists gave this mysterious surface its nickname due to its texture, which resembles the color and folds of a brain. The space agency has shared a high-resolution version of the image for the public to download.

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China plans to launch its own Mars rover in 2020

China plans to launch its own Mars rover in 2020

China has plans to launch four deep space missions by 2030, and one of those projects will include launching its own Mars lander. The nation anticipates launching multiple Mars probes, the first scheduled for a 2020 launch with the goal of putting a lander on the Red Planet. Assuming it is successful, the rover would join NASA's still-operational Curiosity and InSight landers.

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China’s simulated Mars camp is open to tourists and researchers

China’s simulated Mars camp is open to tourists and researchers

China has a rover on the moon's far side right now called Chang'e 4, and it has shared photos of the far side in the past. China has plans for more moon missions in the future with the launch of the Chang'e 5 planned for later this year. China also wants to go to the moon and is working on a Mars rover for 2020.

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