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Curiosity Rover

Graphic showing the Sun/mars Conjunction (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA is taking an enforced holiday of sorts in April as it suspends Mars exploration missions for 17 to 21 days. This isn't due to budget cuts, but rather because Mars will be in conjunction with the Sun during April, which will make direct communications with the probes difficult, if not impossible.  Read More

Artist’s concept of Curiosity (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has discovered a rock outcropping that may have been a suitable habitat for microbes in ancient times. Based on a sample collected by unmanned rover’s drill at the John Klein area in Gale Crater and analyzed using the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) and Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instruments, the findings contribute to Curiosity's primary mission of seeking out areas of the Red Planet where life may have once or still could exist.  Read More

The panoramic selfie made up of 130 images captured by Curiosity's MAHLI and Mastcam (Imag...

We already know that NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover isn’t averse to displaying a touch of vanity by snapping high-definition self-portraits using its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI). Curiosity’s latest selfie is even more impressive, combining 130 images taken in the first week of February to provide a 360-degree panorama of the Red Planet.  Read More

First sample of powdered rock extracted by the Curiosity's drill (Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/...

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity sent back images on Wednesday that confirm it has obtained its first Martian drilling sample. This is not only the first sample drilling ever performed on the Red Planet, but also the first by a rover anywhere off of Earth.  Read More

First sample drill hole made by Curiosity (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity collected its first drilling sample on Saturday. The 4x4-sized robot used the drill in its hand to collect samples from the interior of a flat, veiny sedimentary bedrock that was formed by ancient Martian water.  Read More

”Mini drill” test by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity made the historic first drilling ever attempted on the Red Planet on February 6. The drilling, at a patch of flat, vein-bearing rock called "John Klein" at Gale Crater, was the 4X4-sized robot’s first full use of its drilling unit and a major test before it uses the drill to collect pulverized rock samples for analysis in its internal laboratories.  Read More

Test drilling carried out on the rock called “John Klein” on February 2nd (Image:  NASA/JP...

NASA’s Curiosity rover recently took a step closer to its historic first drilling on Mars, as it tested its drilling system. Last Saturday, the nuclear-powered explorer conducted a "drill-on-rock checkout" on a rock designated “John Klein” in Gale Crater. The brief test of the drill’s percussive action in a back and forth motion was part of a series of tests to determine if the rover’s drill is ready for full operation.  Read More

MAHLI's first night imaging of Martian rock called 'Sayunei' under ultraviolet lighting (I...

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has taken to working the night shift lately. This week, on the Martian night of January 22, the nuclear-powered explorer used its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) instrument under ultraviolet light to examine a rock called "Sayunei” as part of its two-year mission to seek out areas of the Red Planet where life may once or could still exist.  Read More

Artist's impression of the Curiosity rover (Image: NASA)

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover ended its holiday break this week and resumed its travels across the Red Planet. The unmanned nuclear-powered explorer drove about 10 feet (3 m) northwestward to a sinuous rock feature called ”Snake River.” This brings its total driving distance since touching down at Bradbury Landing on August 6 to 2,303 feet (702 m). As part of its next phase of exploration, Curiosity tested its motorized brush for the first time and is seeking a target for its sampling drill.  Read More

Artist's impression of a proton-proton collision producing a pair of gamma rays (yellow) i...

Keeping tabs on the furious rate of technological development happening all around us is no easy task and the passing of another year provides a good excuse to reflect and take stock of the major milestones we've seen. So sit back in your power-generating rocking chair, crack yourself a self-chilling beverage and enjoy our take on the significant trends, technological victories and scientific bombshells of 2012.  Read More

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