121 posts tagged with Space and mars.
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NASA's new ride

NASA is designing a spiffy new rocket, the Space Launch System, which will lob people and cargo to the moon, an asteroid and eventually Mars. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 20, 2011 - 92 comments

"And the Cadillac of rovers is not far behind...."

Martian Life's Last Stand in the Trenches? "Scientists have found water-bearing deposits on Mars that are out of step with what was happening elsewhere on the planet, raising the prospect that the sites could have hosted Martian life's last stand."
posted by Fizz on Sep 28, 2011 - 27 comments

Water water everywhere

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 - 65 comments

The frozen desert

Huge cache of frozen carbon dioxide found on Mars.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 24, 2011 - 45 comments

Is there life before Mars?

Six would-be astronauts will this week begin a 520-day mock space voyage to simulate a mission to Mars. How will they cope with the huge psychological pressures? It's a project that may simulate a mission that's going nowhere.
posted by twoleftfeet on Jun 1, 2010 - 113 comments

Designing Space Fighters & Marines

The Physics of Space Battles "I had a discussion recently with friends about the various depictions of space combat in science fiction movies, TV shows, and books. We have the fighter-plane engagements of Star Wars, the subdued, two-dimensional naval combat in Star Trek, the Newtonian planes of Battlestar Galactica, the staggeringly furious energy exchanges of the combat wasps in Peter Hamilton's books, and the use of antimatter rocket engines themselves as weapons in other sci-fi. But suppose we get out there, go terraform Mars, and the Martian colonists actually revolt. Or suppose we encounter hostile aliens. How would space combat actually go?"
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Dec 17, 2009 - 106 comments

Explore the Surface of Mercury

NASA's MESSENGER team (previously: 1, 2, 3), with help from the U.S. Geological Survey, released yesterday the first global map of the planet Mercury. [more inside]
posted by SpringAquifer on Dec 16, 2009 - 15 comments

Photos of Martian landscapes

The frequently excellent photo-blog The Big Picture at the Boston Globe has posted a collection of stunning and, well, alien-looking photos of the martian landscape.
posted by Frankieist on Nov 7, 2009 - 30 comments

A trip to Mars

Columbia Hills Flyover 2.0 - "a flyover of the Columbia Hills on Mars using data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Spirit, the Mars rover. "
posted by Burhanistan on Sep 25, 2009 - 13 comments

Please Prepare For Landing

1,512 high-resolution images of Mars from the viewpoint of an airplane passenger. Previous photos: 1 2 3
posted by msalt on Sep 4, 2009 - 14 comments

One Way Ticket

In the next few weeks, NASA will present President Obama with options for the near-term future of human spaceflight. A manned flight to Mars is one possibility. But if we do send astronauts to Mars, do we really need to bring them home again?
posted by william_boot on Sep 1, 2009 - 138 comments

Has life on Mars been confirmed?

A British tabloid claims that NASA will today announce the probable presence of life on Mars. Planetary and atmospheric scientists from NASA's Mars program will address a press conference at 2PM EST, apparently about concentrated methane plumes that bloom and dissipate [pdf]. There was a false alarm about a similar briefing a few months ago; is this the real deal?
posted by Joe in Australia on Jan 15, 2009 - 129 comments

Martian maps

Martian maps and a few others in good quality PDF.
posted by Wolfdog on Dec 16, 2008 - 9 comments

Phoenix Confirms Martian Water, Mission Extended

"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 - 52 comments

New Hi-Res Mars Pix

The European Space Agency's Mars Express Probe has sent back some beautiful new high-resolution images of the Echus Chasma. More images and information can be found here.
posted by tits mcgee on Jul 16, 2008 - 14 comments

Phoenix to land on Mars.

Phoenix is set to land on Mars at 2353 UTC. Video coverage: NASA | CNN
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on May 25, 2008 - 97 comments

How to land at the Martian north pole.

Seven minutes of terror. A short video on describing how the Phoenix probe will land at the North Pole of Mars on May 25th. Follow updates to the mission via Twitter and the blog. Previously
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 14, 2008 - 38 comments

Is life on Mars a good sign for us?

The "Great Filter" is a hypothetical barrier to explain why civilisations are so unlikely to progress to the point of inter-stellar colonisation that we have not encountered any in 40 years of looking. Maybe humanity has already negotiated the filter - as some massive evolutionary improbability - or perhaps it lies in our future as an almost-certain threat to our existence? We should hold our breath as we look for evidence of life on Mars.
posted by rongorongo on May 12, 2008 - 85 comments

In tribute to Charlton Heston, Russia has begun a real-life Planet of the Apes.

By 2020, Mars may have monkeys, adding to the impressive roster of primates in space.
posted by myopicman on Apr 14, 2008 - 24 comments

Robots in Space

Welcome to the decade of space robotics. Jules Verne, Europe's shiny new automated transport vehicle, docked with the International Space Station today, where Canada's Dextre is flexing her circuits after moving in last month. Meanwhile, the Cadillac of Mars rovers, JPL's humbly named Mars Science Laboratory, is prepping for a fall 2009 journey to the red planet. Are we witnessing the beginning of the symbiotic relationship between robots and humans in space?
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Apr 3, 2008 - 26 comments

Mars Ain't The Kind Of Place To Raise Your Kids

A "no-return, solo mission" to Mars? The comments - 179 of them as of the time of this post - are even more interesting than the article.
posted by amyms on Mar 7, 2008 - 89 comments

Mars in Pictures

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 - 11 comments

Bad news for the Martian dinosaurs...

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 - 37 comments

Spirit's Swan Song?

Real robot drama is happening on Mars today. Spirit, racing for her life to find shelter before winter, injured and underpowered after four years of hard labor, may have made her most significant find yet. The broken foot she's dragged behind her for the past two years unexpectedly uncovered evidence of a once-wet Mars with conditions theoretically hospitable for primitive life.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Dec 12, 2007 - 89 comments

Race To Mars

"Somewhere on the planet are ten-year-olds who, someday, will be the first people to set foot on Mars" 300 scientists and space-experts contributed to what's billed as "a realistic vision of the first Human Mission to Mars" -- Race to Mars. Discovery Channel Canada used Hollywood special effects, but for added realism rather than ray-guns and aliens. On the website, you can argue about whether they got it right. www.racetomars.ca
posted by richlach on Sep 7, 2007 - 24 comments

Space Oddity

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, 3, 4, 5, 6)
posted by madamjujujive on Jun 10, 2007 - 9 comments

Rosetta Mars Flyby Pics

ESA's Rosetta probe just flew by Mars en route to a deep space rendezvous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. During the 200 km close flyby, the Rosetta's Philae Lander camera got this lovely view of the craft's solar panel backdropped by the Martian arc, plus an animation of the moon Phobos' shadow on the Martian surface, and more lovely Mars imagery.
posted by brownpau on Feb 27, 2007 - 14 comments

To boldly go, whenever we get around to it...

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 - 22 comments

Look at those cavemen go!

Please let it be true. NASA announces something pretty major, further prompting David Bowie's nagging question.
posted by gcbv on Dec 6, 2006 - 50 comments

Miracles You’ll See In The Next Fifty Years

Miracles You’ll See In The Next Fifty Years (Feb, 1950)
Some more up-to-date predictions: science, invention, space travel, colonisation, immortality, water shortage, flooding, nanotech, techno-apocalypse, extinction, mental health, smart machines, robots, mind uploading, AI, Asia, economics, demographics, goverance, cities. What is your prediction?
posted by MetaMonkey on Oct 5, 2006 - 54 comments

Why the long face?

Mars Express finally photographs the "face on Mars". Will these new pictures finally end the artifact theory?
posted by oh pollo! on Sep 21, 2006 - 30 comments

Mars Mystery

Mars Spirit rover finds something strange. Scientists are puzzled. I'm no scientist, but when I saw the photo, "natural phenomenon" wasn't the first thing to enter my mind.
posted by davebush on Feb 11, 2006 - 62 comments


Martian dust devils (gif movies) NASA’s Mars rover Spirit has caught a bevy of dust devils racing across the surface of Mars.
posted by dhruva on Oct 3, 2005 - 18 comments

Spirit photographs Phobos and Deimos

Two Moons Passing in the Night. Mars rover Spirit took these sequential photos of Martian moons Phobos and Deimos passing overhead in the night sky. Those rovers are still going strong!
posted by brownpau on Sep 10, 2005 - 17 comments

Free at last, free at last, thank Mars almighty, Opportunity is free at last

Free at last, free at last, thank Mars almighty Opportunity is free at last. After a several week long struggle, the Mars Opportunity Rover is free from the sand trap many across the world had predicted would bring it to an end.
posted by mk1gti on Jun 4, 2005 - 22 comments

Mars Polar Lander found?

Mars Polar Lander found? The Mars Polar Lander was lost while attempting to land on Mars in December 1999. An initial search for the lander was fruitless. But now Michael Malin of Malin Space Science Systems thinks he may have found the lander's parachute and crashed remains. Meanwhile, some scientists are worried about landers and crashed vehicles contaminating Mars; others think it's not a problem. [via Slashdot]
posted by flug on May 6, 2005 - 4 comments

Life suspected, WMDs probable

ESA scientists announced that a giant sea is hidden under the Martian surface. With discoveries like this and weird photos like this, how long can it be before we find conclusive proof of extraterrestrial life?
posted by borkingchikapa on Feb 21, 2005 - 30 comments

NewsFilter - More evidence of life on mars

Life - a strong case for life on mars was presented sunday
posted by sourbrew on Feb 17, 2005 - 12 comments

Who can invent for us a cartography of autonomy, who can draw a map that includes our desires? - Hakim Bey

Cartography is a skill pretty much taken for granted now, but it wasn't always so. 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.

Maybe Not.
posted by absalom on Jan 27, 2005 - 17 comments

90 Sols in 90 Seconds

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 - 11 comments

Life On Mars's Meethane Traces Thought To Be Detected

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 - 25 comments

Martian Sea

Old Mars and the Sea. A salty sea may once have covered the Opportunity rover's landing site on Mars, boosting the possibility that the planet may once have evolved life. (Of course, there are those who believe NASA has been conspiring to cover it all up, but the Bad Astronomer has words on that. Bunnies and faces, my foot.)
posted by brownpau on Mar 23, 2004 - 4 comments

A Light at Bonneville

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? (more within)
posted by brownpau on Mar 11, 2004 - 40 comments

The Mars Bunny

NASA and the Mars Bunny. I first heard about it from our own kokogiak. Then the conspiracy theorists: "They're destroying the evidence!" But now NASA has come out to tell us, "It's probably just airbag material."
posted by brownpau on Mar 5, 2004 - 17 comments


From R.E.M. to Whitesnake, by way of Tangerine Dream, Buster Poindexter, and the Bobs, here's what the Mars rovers listen to.
posted by Vidiot on Feb 28, 2004 - 11 comments

Mars Rover, Quicktime.

Next Best Thing to Being There. A Quicktime Mars Rover Simulation.
posted by kozad on Jan 17, 2004 - 8 comments

Reinventing NASA

To the moon, Alice! (And then, on to Mars) Time will tell whether this declaration will lead to an actual rebirth of NASA and realignment of goals for the agency. But I for one am absolutely thrilled that Bush is planning to give NASA a long-overdue new mission and goal. Avoiding the obvious pro/con debate of doing this (or the cost), I think it's absolutely vital to the national psyche for the United States to have a long-range goal that it can focus positive energy upon. This could be the first real "Challenge to the Union" that I think should become an annual event to replace the State of the Union.
posted by tgrundke on Jan 9, 2004 - 84 comments

mars navigation history

The most accurate navigation in history. "We had to know everything from how the iron molten lava in the center of the Earth was churning to how plate tectonic movements were affecting the wobble of the Earth to how the plasma in the atmosphere delayed the radio signals to and from the Deep Space Network stations". ..even the seemingly insignificant solar radiation pressure and thermal radiation forces acting on the spacecraft to a level equal to less than a billionth of the acceleration of gravity one feels on the Earth needed to be taken into account. This mission set a new standard for navigation accuracy for all future interplanetary missions.
posted by stbalbach on Jan 4, 2004 - 2 comments

Brace yourself for immediate disintegration

Mars, take II - Still no word from Beagle 2 (discussed here), unfortunately, as Mars maintains its tough reputation. However, the first of two rovers much larger than 1997's very successful Pathfinder is expected to hit the Martian surface with a giant bounce tonight at 8:35 p.m. PST. Check out the realistic simulation videos of how it will land and get to work, then watch Nasa TV (RealVideo) for live coverage.
posted by planetkyoto on Jan 3, 2004 - 51 comments

European Space Agency's webpage about the Mars Express / Beagle 2 project.

Mars ho! In about 24 hours, the Beagle 2 lander will descend to the surface of Mars, courtesy of the European Space Agency. After a few mighty bounces, encased in a giant rubber ball, the lander will open up and allow its instrument payload to start sampling the surface. This is the first in a trifecta of landers destined for Mars during the next month. NASA's landers, Spirit and Opportunity, land on January 3rd and January 24th.
posted by warhol on Dec 23, 2003 - 25 comments

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