rover

Growing Mars dust storm now circles entire planet says NASA

Growing Mars dust storm now circles entire planet says NASA

NASA has published its latest update on the Mars dust storm, saying it is now spanning the entire Red Planet. The storm has been underway for about two weeks, blotting out the Sun and forcing the solar-powered Opportunity rover into a deep sleep mode as it clings to the last of its energy reservers. The Curiosity rover, meanwhile, remains unaffected by the event.

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NASA Opportunity rover’s life in limbo as Mars dust storm rages on

NASA Opportunity rover’s life in limbo as Mars dust storm rages on

NASA researchers fear the space agency's Opportunity rover may soon reach the end of its life as a major Mars dust storm continues to blot out the sun. As we reported last week, a Martian dust storm bigger than North America is currently interfering with the rover's ability to operate on the Red Planet, and the rover has now put itself into a deep sleep mode.

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Mars Rover Concept looks more like a sci-fi armored van

Mars Rover Concept looks more like a sci-fi armored van

When you hear or read about off-planet rovers, you probably think of unmanned, somewhat smaller vehicles built for exploration and scientific missions. This concept Mars rover, in contrast, looks like something the Dark Knight himself would ride into battle. More armored car than mobile lab, this Rover Concept from NASA’s “Summer of Mars” promotion isn’t meant to actually roam the Red Planet. It serves more as a seedbed for actual rover technologies, as well as an inspiration to those visiting the Kennedy Space Center complex.

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NASA’s little Rover companion was inspired by origami

NASA’s little Rover companion was inspired by origami

There is only so much you can launch into space, much less land on planets like Mars. Space, weight, and budget all conspire against having more rolling laboratories roving the planet. Not that you'd want to depend solely on a rover either. Big and expensive, they are hardly qualified for cramped spaces and more treacherous terrain. Which is why NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratories or JPL has been developing a companion robot for rovers that would serve as research scouts. But to make them compact and lightweight, the engineers and scientists took inspiration from the foldable properties of paper.

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Audi Lunar Quattro moon rover first look: XPRIZE-bound

Audi Lunar Quattro moon rover first look: XPRIZE-bound

Easily the tiniest of the vehicles we've seen so far at the Detroit Auto show is here in the Audi Lunar Quattro. This vehicle is meant to head to the moon as part of Google's Lunar XPRIZE competition, aiming to launch a vehicle that'll be placed on the moon and explore a space of at least 500 meters. Equipped with an HD camera array, this tiny vehicle will send high-definition video and high-definition photos aplenty from our moon back to the planet Earth.

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Audi’s moonshot: a Quattro-powered rover on the moon

Audi’s moonshot: a Quattro-powered rover on the moon

These days, an Audi is present anywhere cars are, from public roads to race tracks. As those areas become congested by rivals, the time is nigh to break out into new territory, like the vast, unclaimed terrain of the moon. No, Audi won't exactly be trying to bring one of its cars to the moon, but it's doing the next best thing. It has partnered with German engineers in the Part-Time Scientists Google Lunar XPRIZE team to developed an unmanned moon rover powered by its Quattro all-wheel drive system.

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Opportunity rover shows its age with double amnesia event

Opportunity rover shows its age with double amnesia event

In Mars news today, NASA has reported their Opportunity rover to be having a second bit of amnesia in so many weeks. This event is affecting the machine's flash memory banks, and scientists had, after the first incident, attempted to bypass the faulty bank. The first event happened back on March 20th, and another event happened on the 25th. NASA scientists suggest that they're disappointed at the second occurrence, but not surprised. Another memory reformat may be just the ticket to get this machine back in order.

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Curiosity’s latest Mars find: “biologically useful” nitrogen

Curiosity’s latest Mars find: “biologically useful” nitrogen

Despite the recent resurfaced scandal surrounding Mars One, it's business as usual for those working on the real and present-day Mars. That doesn't mean, however, that NASA's scientists don't have anything just as spectacular but even more scientifically sound. From the results gathered by Curiosity Rover's "Sample Analysis at Mars" equipment, or SAM, researchers discovered the presence of nitrogen, quite a lot of them. While this alone might be boring, it's the nature of those nitrogen molecules that are more interesting. These particular molecules are a type of nitrogen that could have very well been useful to organic life.

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Curiosity Rover discovers ancient Martian organic molecules

Curiosity Rover discovers ancient Martian organic molecules

NASA has just reached another breakthrough in its exploration of Mars' landscape and history. Barely two weeks after revealing their findings and theories about the Gale Crater, the scientists are now announcing that the Mars Rover has found two things: a tenfold spike in methane gas as well as organic molecules in rock-powder drilled by the robot. These two organic materials could help in learning more about Mars and its history as well as helping predict its viability as a habitat in the future.

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Mars Rover Opportunity’s next feat: long distance reformat

Mars Rover Opportunity’s next feat: long distance reformat

NASA has just announced that it has started preparations to have the Opportunity Mars Rover's flash memory reformatted, a procedure that is relatively rarely undertaken considering the intricacies involved in trying to reformat a computer located on a different planet.

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NASA solves Mars mystery rock case, aliens didn’t do it

NASA solves Mars mystery rock case, aliens didn’t do it

As much as some of us (ahem) were hoping the Mars mystery rock turned out to be a long-lost baseball from yet unknown aliens, the cause behind the rock's sudden appearance has been solved with a far less exciting explanation: Opportunity's wheel, as first speculated, kicked the rock up while moving. No alien mushroom to be seen.

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China’s moon rover Yuta may be dead

China’s moon rover Yuta may be dead

The public is grieving this week as China's Yuta moon rover appears to have kicked the bucket once and for all. While Space.com confirms that China's moon lander Chang'e 3 is running just fine after a brutal battle with a lunar night cycle, its closest relative Yuta seems to be down for the count.

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