Articles about mars

mars_ghost_dunes

Geoboffins spot hundreds of ghost dunes on Mars

Mars was once covered in hundreds of giant dunes as big as the US Capitol Building billions of years ago, according to new research. A pair of scientists from the University of Washington have discovered more than 300 crescent-shaped structures wedged into the eastern side of Hellas Planitia, an impact crater measuring over 2, …
Katyanna Quach, 12 Jul 2018
NASA's Opportunity Rover

Da rude sand storm seizes the Opportunity, threatens to KO rover

Video Time may be up for America's plucky Opportunity rover that has trundled across the surface of Mars for more than 14 years. During a press conference on Wednesday, NASA officials said that the robot had been caught in a massive dust storm encircling a quarter of the planet, and this had blocked the probe's solar cells from …
Iain Thomson, 14 Jun 2018
Martian Dust Storm

Done and dusted? Vast storm gobbles NASA's long-lived Mars robot

As NASA's Opportunity rover nears its 15th birthday, engineers are worried the plucky little robot may not survive a worsening Martian dust storm. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spotted the approaching storm on 1 June, giving the Opportunity team notice to kick off their contingency plans. The storm now covers more than …
Richard Speed, 11 Jun 2018
alien

NASA finds more stuff suggesting Mars could have hosted life, maybe

NASA’s Curiosity rover has again found evidence that Mars was potentially capable of hosting life. As detailed in a new Science paper, “Organic matter preserved in 3-billion-year-old mudstones at Gale crater, Mars”, some of the soil samples Curiosity took from the bottom of Gale Crater turned up molecules of “thiophenes, …
NASA tech inspects MOMA

Toaster oven-sized boffin box bound for Mars to search for life

A team from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center gathered last week to bid farewell to a mass spectrometer as it began its journey to the red planet via an assembly plant in Italy. The instrument is a key component of a toaster oven-sized lab, called the Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA), which will detect evidence of …
Richard Speed, 25 May 2018
Curiosity

NASA fix for Curiosity rovers's damaged drill: hitting it, repeatedly

NASA's top engineers think they've figured out a way to get the Curiosity rover's drill back to work holing the rock faces of Mars. Back in 2016 the nuclear-powered rover's rock-sampling drill broke down after a motor failed. As 225 million km (140 million miles) is too far to make an on-site visit, the men and women of NASA …
Iain Thomson, 18 May 2018
NASA Mars InSight Lander (pic: NASA/JPL-CALTECH)

The Rocky Planet Picture Show: NASA Mars InSight ready for launch

NASA's Mars InSight will launch from California’s Vandenberg airbase tomorrow morning, with the aim of discovering how rocky planets form. InSight will lift off at 1105 UTC and is intended to be the first mission to peer beneath the Martian surface, studying the planet's interior by measuring its heat output and listening for …
Richard Speed, 4 May 2018
old_soaker_mars

Here's another headline where NASA is dragged through the mud for cheap Mars wise cracks

Pic Water that once flowed across the surface of Mars caused the formation of mud cracks that were spotted by NASA's Curiosity rover, scientists have confirmed. The fractures were discovered in 2017 while the nuclear-powered robot was busy snapping away pictures of the Gale Crater – an area believed to be a 3.5-billion-year-old …
Katyanna Quach, 20 Apr 2018
ExoMars parachute inflation (credit: ESA/I.Barel)

Let's go to Mars, dude: Euro space parachute passes maiden test

The European Space Agency (ESA) claimed today that the first test of the giant parachute destined for use by the ExoMars lander has been a success, paving the way for more ambitious trials before an eventual attempt on the Red Planet itself. The 195kg parachute assembly was lofted to 1.2km above Kiruna, Sweden, before being …
Richard Speed, 29 Mar 2018
Mars_ocean

Geoboffins believe gigantic volcanoes kickstarted Mars' oceans

A team of geophysicists have developed a new theory explaining how eruptions from some of the biggest volcanoes in the Solar System could have led to oceans on Mars. Tharsis, a region in equatorial Mars stretching about 5,000 kilometers across, is home to some of the biggest volcanoes on the planet. The largest one, Olympus …
Katyanna Quach, 19 Mar 2018
Mars

Martian microbes may just be resting – boffins

Demonstrating that scientists can extrapolate with the best of them, researchers have speculated that long dormant microbes on the Red Planet might reawaken with the introduction of liquid water. The Washington State University team, led by astrobiology boffin-in-chief, Dirk Schulze-Makuch, found that microbes lurking in the …
Richard Speed, 28 Feb 2018
 Schiaparelli separating from Trace Gas Orbiter. Pic: ESA–D. Ducros

Euro Space Agency probe begins search for guff gas on Mars

The European Space Agency's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) is to conduct its final aerobraking manoeuvre this evening prior to starting its mission of sniffing for Martian methane. TGO should finally settle into its proper orbit tonight, 400km above the red planet. It was launched nearly two years ago aboard a Russian Proton …
Richard Speed, 21 Feb 2018
NASA Opportunity Rover on Mars (pic: NASA)

Opportunity knocked? Rover survives Martian winter, may not survive budget cuts

The knives are out for MER-B, better known as the Opportunity rover, at NASA beancounter central. The beloved rover has just passed the 5,000 sol mark on Mars and is approaching the 15th anniversary of its launch (thankfully without the desolate rendition of "Happy Birthday" played by its plutonium-powered successor, Curiosity …
Richard Speed, 19 Feb 2018

Mars is red, Earth is blue. Here's a space laser story for you

NASA has decided to use fragments of Martian meteorites for target practice ahead of the Mars 2020 mission, then send one back to Mars. The instrument doing the shooting is called SHERLOC - short for "Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals" - an instrument scheduled for the Mars …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Feb 2018
lightfoot

NASA budget shock: Climate studies? GTFO. We're making the Moon great again, says Trump

President Trump's administration has handed down a budget for 2019 to NASA – and it effectively kills off key projects in exchange for a vague promise to go back to the Moon. For the year, America's space agency has been awarded $19.9bn, around $500m more than the previous year, albeit with significant changes of focus. The …
Iain Thomson, 12 Feb 2018
Mars

Can't wait to get to Mars on a SpaceX ship? It's a cold, dead rock – boffins

SpaceX today parked Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster in Earth's orbit, using a Falcon Heavy lifter, with a rocket strapped to the flash motor to take it on to Mars. The billionaire also wants to set up a base on the Red Planet, and use his rocketry technology to ferry brave folks over there to face certain death, er, glory as early …
falcon heavy

MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF CARS: SpaceX parks a Tesla in orbit (just don't mention the barge)

Video After years of setbacks, SpaceX today successfully launched its Falcon Heavy three-in-one rocket and delivered into orbit its cherry-red payload – Elon Musk's very own Tesla Roadster. After a morning of delays due to high winds, the mighty rocket lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39, in Florida, USA, at …
Iain Thomson, 6 Feb 2018
Mars storm

NASA rethinking InSight probe mission after dust storm predicted for Mars

It's highly likely that Mars is going to suffer one of its periodical planet-wide dust storms this year – and NASA is concerned the event could disrupt its operations on the Red Planet. When the American agency's Mariner 9 spacecraft became the first probe to orbit another world – specifically, Mars – in November 1971, …
Iain Thomson, 24 Jan 2018

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