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Mars

Space

Flat volcanoes hint at an icy ancient Mars

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has discovered evidence of ancient volcanoes on the surface of the Red Planet. They are believed to have erupted under a sheet of ice, despite the fact that they were discovered around 1,000 miles (1,609 km) away from the vast southern Martian ice cap.Read More

Space

New imaging technique provides "drone's eye" view of Mars

University College London (UCL) has released images of the Martian surface with five times the resolution of anything previously sent back from Mars orbit. The images come courtesy of the new Super-Resolution Restoration (SRR) imaging technique developed by a UCL research team, which takes images from spacecraft orbiting Mars and stacks and matches them to create new, more detailed images of the Beagle 2 lander, ancient Martian lake beds, and the tracks of the NASA MER-A rover.Read More

Space

ExoMars opens its eyes en route to the Red Planet

ESA has confirmed that the ExoMars 2016's Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) mothership has opened its "eyes" and sent back its first test images. Launched on March 14 from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the joint ESA/Roscosmos mission to Mars was over 83 million km from Earth on April 7 when it transmitted a picture of random section of sky near the southern celestial pole as part of its commissioning process.Read More

Space

To better understand Martian geology, scientists make a cake

When NASA's Viking spacecraft touched down on the surface of Mars in 1976, one of the geologic features it observed was massive mounds inside craters. More recently, the Curiosity Mars rover got up close with one of these mounds called Mount Sharp where it landed in 2012 inside the Gale Crater. It revealed that the base of the three-mile (4.8-km)-high mound was made from sediment carried by water, while the upper layers consisted of regolith deposited by wind. To find out just how such a mixed mound could be developed, researchers created a "crater layer cake" and they popped it in a wind tunnel.Read More

Space

Mars drone tech sniffs out methane leaks on Earth

Natural gas pipelines stretch for thousands of miles across entire continents and inspecting them for potentially dangerous leaks is a full-time, never-ending job. To take some of the pressure off, NASA is testing a quadcopter equipped with a miniature methane gas sensor originally designed for testing the Martian atmosphere. The space agency says that the exceptional sensitivity of the equipment makes it possible to monitor many miles of pipeline at a time from the air.Read More

Space

High-resolution gravity map confirms Mars’ molten core

NASA has released a new gravity map for Mars stitched together from telemetry data collected by a trio of spacecraft over the course of 16 years orbiting the Red Planet. The map has already led to the confirmation that Mars hosts a molten liquid outer core, and insights relating to the titanic transfer of atmospheric material to the polar regions of the Red Planet during their winter cycle.Read More

Space

ExoMars 2016 phones home on way to Mars

ESA has confirmed that the ESA/Roscosmos ExoMars 2016 mission is alive and well and on its way to the Red Planet. The news comes courtesy of mission control in Darmstadt, which received telemetry signals from the spacecraft via the Malindi ground tracking station in Kenya at 21:29 GMT today, 12 hours after liftoff from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.Read More

Space

ExoMars 2016 is on its way to the Red Planet

The latest mission to Mars began its long journey today as the ExoMars 2016 lifted off at 09:31 GMT atop a Russian Proton-M/Breeze-M rocket at the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. A joint effort led by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Roscosmos, ExoMars 2016 is the first of a two-spacecraft mission to the Red Planet with the second unmanned probe scheduled to launch in 2018.Read More

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