Advertisement

Mars

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

Space

Simulated Martian and lunar soils sprout their first crops

When and if colonists ever arrive on Mars, they're going to need something to eat … on a long-term, ongoing basis. That's why several research groups are looking into the feasibility of growing crops on the Red Planet. One of those teams, from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, previously tried growing food plants in simulations of both lunar and Martian soil. Although those tests proved unsuccessful, that wasn't the case the most recent time around.Read More

Space

Ordnance Survey creates map for Martian ramblers

When the first astronauts set foot on Mars, they'll need to be able to find their way around without the aid of GPS. To this end, Britain's Ordnance Survey (OS) has released its first map of another planet. Created in the distinct OS style, the one-off chart's purpose is to examine the potential of the agency's advanced cartographic methods in creating detailed, easy to understand maps for planning future missions to the Red Planet.Read More

Space

Fungi survive on the ISS under Mars-like conditions

Results are back from one of the latest experiments hosted on the International Space Station (ISS), with researchers from Spain's National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA) using the facility to study how hardy fungi species, collected from the Antarctic, cope under simulated Martian conditions. The results are helping scientists gain insights relevant to the search for life on the Red Planet.Read More

    Advertisement
    Advertisement
    Advertisement

    See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning