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 -
There's a slight chance that an asteroid could impact Mars
at the end of this month. Usually, collisions between heavenly bodies have vanishingly small odds (a million to one, say), but the chances on this one have been steadily improving, from 350-to-1 to 75-to-1 to 25-to-1
(link to Washington Post). Scientists say that this could be comprable to the famous Tunguska blast
in Siberia a hundred years ago (not to be confused with this other Tunguska blast
). [more inside]
posted by math
on Jan 7, 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 -
Mars and Beyond
- 50 years ago, this animated episode of Tomorrowland aired on Disneyland a few months after the launch of Sputnik - an entertaining melange of astronomy, sci-fi, pop culture, science, speculation, and surreality. Walt himself and Wernher von Braun make guest appearances and clip 5 is particularly trippy. (Parts 2
posted by madamjujujive
on Jun 10, 2007 -
The government of Canada
has just turned down
a request that would have seen Canada build the European Space Agency
's Mars Rover, even though no additional funding was required. Saying it hasn't made up it's mind about the future of Canada's space role, the government has also let the position of president of the Canadian Space Agency
remain vacant for more than a year (after Marc Garneau
resigned to run for the Liberal
party. The decision has left the ESA scrambling to find a new partner and already has some wondering whether the uncertainty will lead to another Avro Arrow
-esque brain drain.
posted by Zinger
on Dec 14, 2006 -
Miracles You’ll See In The Next Fifty Years
Some more up-to-date predictions: science
, space travel
, mental health
, smart machines
, robots, mind uploading
What is your prediction
posted by MetaMonkey
on Oct 5, 2006 -
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 -
A pair of NASA scientists
told a group of space officials at a private meeting here that they have found strong evidence that life may exist today on Mars. Spirit
has also recently taken a very intriguing photo.
Of course this is just making things official, since we've known
the truth for years.
posted by jikel_morten
on Feb 16, 2005 -
is a skill pretty much taken for granted now, but it wasn't
. Accurate maps were once prized state secrets, laborious efforts that cost a fortune and took years (or even decades) to complete.
How things have changed. (Yours now, $110
) It took almost 500 years to map North America, but it's only taken one tenth of that to map just everything else. In the last 50 years, we've been able to create acurate atlases of two planets
and one moon
(with a second
in the works). Actually, we've done a lot more than that
. We're actually running out of things to map.
posted by absalom
on Jan 27, 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 -
Meanwhile, on Mars, The Spirit rover has reached Bonneville Crater, a primary mission objective, and snapped photos of the far side of the crater rim with its navcam. But what is that glint to the left side?
posted by brownpau
on Mar 11, 2004 -
More Mars Express images.
The German space agency (DLR) has the biggest and fastest loading set of Mars Express images I've seen so far. Among them is one which apparently was not part of the press kit (it hasn't been in any MEX-related report), and is not on the official ESA site
: This one
. It shows the Spirit rover landing site in Gusev crater -- and the area is covered with a green substance. Olivine or salt, perhaps. It should be highly interesting to get spectral readings. [Note: These images are, to my knowledge, near true color like all other MEX/HRSC photos.]
posted by Eloquence
on Jan 23, 2004 -
You may be familiar with the story, reported here
, about the southern California watch maker who supplied wrist watches for Mars scientists to get to work on time
. You may not have seen these time applications that make the time story equally as compelling for the rest of us. What is interesting from a graphics standpoint is the different qualities expressed with these versions, as a table of exact times
for specific locations (this site has a lot of great detail about the mission), or as an approximate time with shadows projected on the Mars map (for Mac OS X)
Any other Mars time graphics that you know about?
posted by xtian
on Jan 23, 2004 -