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Mars

Scientists have unearthed the first evidence that pools of water are developing on Mars to...

There's plenty to suggest that water exists in various non-liquid forms on Mars, as well as signs that liquid water existed in the past, but now scientists have unearthed the first evidence that microscopic pools of water are developing and evaporating just below the surface of the Red Planet on a regular basis.  Read More

Artist's impression of Opportunity, which has completed a marathon across the Martian surf...

Marathons may be an everyday occurrence for people on Earth, but are a little more noteworthy when you're a little robot on Mars. According to NASA, as of March 16, the Mars Opportunity rover has covered 26.219 mi (42.195 km) in the leisurely time of about 11 years and two months. or 3,968 Martian days. In 2014, Opportunity broke the record of any space rover when it passed the distance covered by the Soviet Union's Lunokhod 2 moon rover, which was launched in 1973.  Read More

Self-portrait of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity taken on February 3 (Image: NASA)

In another hopeful sign that Mars was once habitable, NASA's Curiosity rover has detected nitrogen in the soil of the Red Planet for the first time. While NASA doesn't think that the compounds are biological in origin, they are still significant to Mars having been more favorable to life in the ancient past.  Read More

Artist's impression of MAVEN capturing the aurora (Image: University of Colorado)

NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft has detected two unexpected phenomena in the short time since making orbit around the red planet – an aurora occurring deep in the Martian atmosphere, and an as of yet unexplained high altitude dust cloud. MAVEN is currently four months into a primary mission lasting one Earth year, during which time it is attempting to shed light on the characteristics of the Martian upper atmosphere and ionosphere, studying how they interact with our Sun.  Read More

Artist's concept of Jupiter/Exoliner docking with the ISS

Lockheed Martin has provided a glimpse at the next generation of commercial spacecraft by revealing its proposal for NASA's Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) program. The new cargo ships, which Lockheed compares to the US transcontinental railroads of the 19th century, are designed to not only resupply the International Space Station, but also support manned deep space missions, such as the first expedition to Mars.  Read More

Carbon dioxide engines may power future interplanetary missions (Photo: Jonathan Sanderson...

Future missions to Mars may well be powered by carbon dioxide fueled engines, thanks to a recent prototype developed by Northumbria and Edinburgh Universities. Exploiting a phenomenon known as the Leidenfrost effect, researchers hope that their engine could be powered by the vast amount of dry-ice deposits found on the red planet, thereby reducing the need to transport fuel on interplanetary missions.  Read More

Mars as it may have looked 4.5 billion years ago (Image: European Southern Observatory)

In Edgar Rice Burroughs's Barsoom novels, Earthman John Carter's adventures took place on the dry beds of Mar's ancient oceans. Now NASA scientist's say that may not be so far fetched. Though they haven't found signs of any thoats, they have estimated that Mars may once have had enough water to form a vast ocean surrounding its north pole of which only plains remain.  Read More

NASA says that the short occurred during operations with Curiosity's drill assembly (Image...

NASA is putting its Curiosity Mars rover on hold for a few days as engineers try to determine the cause and severity of a recent short circuit. The space agency says that during a recent sample-taking operation, the unmanned explorer suffered a transient short circuit that activated an automatic shutdown by the rover's computers.  Read More

Curiosity's new selfie shows the Pahrump Hills region, where the rover has been conducting...

NASA has released a self-portrait of Curiosity, showing a full view of the Pahrump Hills sites where the rover has been working for the last five months. The mosaic view includes a look at the Telegraph Peak site where the rover has just begun drilling, analyzing the chemistry of the rocks and soil.  Read More

Artist's concept of MAVEN, which recently got a little closer to the surface of Mars (Imag...

NASA’S Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) orbiter has taken a deep dive into the Martian atmosphere. The first of a series of five planned deep-dip maneuvers by the unmanned spacecraft, its purpose was to gather information about the lower limits of the upper regions of the Red Planet's atmosphere.  Read More

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