Coming soon to a red planet near you, it's the Mars Science Laboratory
Monday, August 6 at 05:31 UTC (other times around the world
Curiosity rover is expected to land on Mars in search of conditions suited to
past or present Martian life. Live coverage begins on NASA TV
at 03:30 UTC.
But this mission has been years in the making, so if you have a little catching up to do... [more inside]
posted by ddbeck
on Aug 4, 2012 -
Having now traversed 34 kilometres (21 miles) across the surface of Mars and exceeding it's 90-day mission to explore Mars by 2,830 days, NASA's Opportunity rover turned 8 years old
today. So what's the feisty martian robot been up to lately? It's now exploring the rim of the 14-mile-wide Endeavor crater
, discovering "slam-dunk" evidence
that water once flowed through underground fractures, and is being strategically positioned at a 15-degree angle for a long winter suntan
posted by joinks
on Jan 24, 2012 -
NASA May Have Discovered Flowing Water on Mars Dark, finger-like features appear and extend down some Martian slopes during late spring through summer, fade in winter, and return during the next spring. Repeated observations have tracked the seasonal changes in these recurring features on several steep slopes in the middle latitudes of Mars' southern hemisphere.
posted by modernnomad
on Aug 4, 2011 -
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has announced
: NASA has ended operational planning activities for the Mars rover Spirit and transitioned the Mars Exploration Rover Project to a single-rover operation focused on Spirit's still-active twin, Opportunity.
New Scientist has a quality obituary
for the little Mars Rover that could.
posted by hippybear
on May 28, 2011 -
Compromise emerging for NASA's spaceflight future
Since the announcement was made last month of the cancellation of Constellation (NASA's plan for returning to the Moon and Mars), the punditsphere has been ablaze with condemnation, support, and outright confusion over the future of American manned spaceflight. Keith Cowling, editor of the Nasawatch.com blog, has posted an interesting new development
that if proven right, could prove to be a compromise between those wanting NASA to get out of manned spaceflight altogether and those seeking to keep the administration in the spaceflight business. [more inside]
posted by zooropa
on Apr 6, 2010 -
"We have water
," said William Boynton of the University of Arizona, lead scientist for the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, or TEGA
. "We've seen evidence for this water ice before in observations by the Mars Odyssey orbiter and in disappearing chunks observed by Phoenix last month
, but this is the first time Martian water has been touched and tasted."
posted by finite
on Aug 1, 2008 -
The evolution of Mars imaging from orbit: Mariner 4 (1964)
, Mariner 6
and Mariner 7 (both 1969)
, Mariner 9 (1971)
(all NASA), Mars 5 (1973)
(USSR), Viking 1 (1975)
, Viking 2 (1976)
, Mars Global Surveyor (1996)
, Mars Odyssey (2001)
(NASA), Mars Express (2003)
(ESA), up to this spy-quality shot of an active avalanche
taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (2005)
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot
on Mar 5, 2008 -
probe launched Saturday
from Cape Canaveral, destination Mars. Its mission is to investigate polar ice. This probe is unique for a couple of reasons: first, it will face a traditional parachute-and-retro-rockets landing, unlike previous endeavors.
Second, it will be landing far north of any previous mission. Previous Mars missions have had mixed success, with only about half
successfully making it to their destination. It is scheduled to land in May, 2008.
posted by backseatpilot
on Aug 5, 2007 -
funding a research project that looks into a new and much faster way of getting astronauts to Mars
posted by C17H19NO3
on May 2, 2005 -
With all this talk of wars in distant countries, it's easy to forget that there's exciting things going on just 300 million km from your back porch. NASA has provided 90 second videos of the first 90 sols of the Spirit
[5MB .mov] and Opportunity
rovers [5MB .mov].
posted by fatbobsmith
on May 18, 2004 -
Life on Mars? Methane has been found in the Martian atmosphere which scientists say could be a sign of present-day life on Mars. It was detected by telescopes on Earth and has recently been confirmed by instruments onboard the European Space Agency's orbiting Mars Express craft. Methane lives for a short time in the Martian atmosphere so it must be being constantly replenished. There are two possible ways to do this. Either active volcanoes, but none have yet been found on Mars, or microbes
. The Independent has it as Methane find on Mars may be sign of life
. The second group to detect signals of methane in the Martian atmosphere is led by Michael Mumma of Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland, who used powerful spectroscopic telescopes based on Earth. This team is even believed to have detected variations in the concentrations of methane, with a peak coming from the ancient Martian seabed of Meridiani Planum, which is being explored by a Nasa rover. This could indicate a subterranean source of methane which is pumping out the gas, either due to some residual geological activity or because of the presence of living organisms producing it as a waste gas. Asked whether the continual production of methane is strong evidence of a biological origin of the gas, Dr Mumma said: "I think it is, myself personally." As to how...
posted by y2karl
on Mar 28, 2004 -