Articles about mars

 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

Anglo, French space agencies sitting in a tree, K I S S I N G

The British and French space agencies have agreed to team up on more missions together. In a week full of Anglo-French announcements, such as a proposed bridge across the channel and a holiday to Blighty for the Bayeux Tapestry, the UK Space Agency and the Centre national d'études spatiales inked the deal yesterday at …
Richard Priday, 19 Jan 2018

Ice cliffs found on Mars and NASA says they’re a tap for astronauts

Mars boffins have spotted lots of almost-pure water ice on Mars. Detailed in a Science paper titled ” Exposed subsurface ice sheets in the Martian mid-latitudes”, the find was made using the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera. The scientists who tend that instrument spotted …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jan 2018

Where did all that water go? Mars was holding it wrong, say boffins

Mars is dry, frozen and arid because its water reserves dried up. A large chunk of that water was lost when the planet’s magnetic field collapsed and it could no longer shield itself from the energetic solar rays. And top of this, research out this week shows that a portion of that liquid was absorbed by its rocks, too. How …
Katyanna Quach, 22 Dec 2017
Mars and the solar winds

Which distant Mars-alikes could we live on? Ask these Red Planet data-sifters

Scientists are applying knowledge gained from studying Mars to calculate how the atmospheres of theoretical exoplanets would behave. David Brain, professor at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder and co-investigator for NASA's MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) …
Richard Priday, 14 Dec 2017
Photo by Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock

Trump to NASA: Fly me (or some other guys) to the Moon

President Trump has called on NASA to focus its attention on returning humans to the Moon and landing on Mars. Trump on Monday signed off on Space Policy Directive 1, an order that the American space agency prioritize the establishment of a base on the Moon and eventual plans to land people on Mars. The directive also looks …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Dec 2017
Perseverance valley, Mars, shot by Opportunity Rover in october 2017

Opportunity rover survives Martian winter for eighth time

It has been the week of long-lived space hardware: first came the news of Voyager 1's thrusters working after 37 years without use and now NASA's cautiously suggested that the Opportunity rover on Mars will be fit to roll into its 14th year of red planet operations. Two big threats imperil Opportunity's ongoing operations. The …
The rippled surface of the first Martian sand dune ever studied up close fills this Nov. 27, 2015, view of "High Dune" from the Mast Camera on NASA's Curiosity rover. This site is part of the "Bagnold Dunes" field of active dark dunes along the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

'Water on Mars' re-classified as just 'sand on Mars'

Scientists have revisited a 2015 sighting of water on the surface of Mars and revised the theory to suggest what we saw was sand, and probably not even damp sand at that. In a new paper titled Granular flows at recurring slope lineae on Mars indicate a limited role for liquid water seven authors from United States Geological …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Nov 2017
Curiosity 2020's camera manifest

NASA reveals Curiosity 2020's 23-camera payload

NASA's revealed its Curiosity 2020 mission will pack 23 cameras. That's a half-dozen more the current Curiosity's 17 cameras, and way ahead of the Pathfinder mission's measly five (two on the lander and three on the Sojourner rover). The Jet Propulsion Laboratory announcement explains what all these cameras are for. …
curiosity drill

Curiosity rover gives Mars the middle finger, prepares to get drilling

Pics After an extensive summer of long, long, long-distance remote support by NASA engineers on Earth, it looks as though Curiosity on Mars is back in the drilling game. At the end of 2016, the rover's drill bit, which it has used more than a dozen times to explore the bedrock of the Red Planet, started playing up. The problem was …
Iain Thomson, 24 Oct 2017
Mars' twisty magnetic tail

Once more, with feeling: Dawn to take a closer look at Ceres

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has received another reprieve, with its mission to dwarf planet Ceres extended for another, closer, flyby. The probe has orbited Ceres since March 2015 and has already revealed a 4,000 metre high mountain that's evidence of cryovolcanism on the dwarf planet. The science is good enough – as is Dawn's …

Red (Planet) alert: Future astro-heroes face shocking adventures on Martian moon Phobos

Vid Strong solar eruptions may be blasting the Martian moon Phobos with an avalanche of electrically charged particles, charging parts of it to hundreds of volts, and hampering attempts to land on and study the alien landscape. Interest in human spaceflight to Mars has ramped up as scientists keep finding promising signs that the …
Katyanna Quach, 20 Oct 2017

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