It was a rough month for Phobos, as astronomers decreed—yet again—that Mars is ripping its lumpy moon apart. But apparently, Phobos’ loss is the Red Planet’s gain. After the satellite is torn to pieces, its fragments will fan out into a disk and 20 million years from now, Mars will become a ringed planet. »
The mineral veins that crisscross through the rock around this ridge tell an important story about Mars’ ancient past. So of course the Curiosity rover shot them with a laser. »
Mars today (despite the presence of a small amount of a liquid water) is a dry, frozen place. But this was not always the case. Ancient Mars was likely warm and wet, much like Earth. So what happened to change it? Thanks to brand new results from NASA’s MAVEN mission, announced today, we may finally know. »
This is the European Space Agency’s ExoMars 2018 rover — kinda. In fact, its a half-scale model that’s been tested over the past few weeks in the ESA’s Mars Yard, but it does show what the vehicle will look like.
This looks like it could the latest rover to land on the surface of Mars. But in fact it’s a test of the European Space Agency’s ExoMars mission happening right here on Earth. »
What lurks beneath the dusty red surface of Mars? NASA’s InSight Lander is launching next spring to go delving deeper than ever before as the first Martian geophysicist. »
It’s one thing to send a rover to Mars. It’s another to send a biologically fragile human body. We don’t know much about how space will affect us–and recent findings involving mice suggest it could change our brains in unexpected ways. »
New data collected by the Curiosity rover shows that Mars was once quite Earth-like, featuring river deltas, lakes, and a warm climate. What’s more, the Red Planet may have been able to sustain liquid water at the surface long enough for life to emerge and evolve. »
NASA’s Curiosity Rover is currently drilling holes on the lower slopes of Mount Sharp in a region called the Stimson Unit. It recently took a break from its duties to take some long-range photos of a hilly region that the rover will explore in the coming months and years. »
In another reminder that the Red Planet features a complex and active surface, the HiRISE camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured an image of a “dry ice avalanche” streaming down a cliff.
Every time the Curiosity Rover drills into Mars, it creates a beautiful dime-sized hole and a pile of powdered rock just waiting for analysis. Here’s why these drill holes are so important—and all the technology that makes them happen. »
The discovery of liquid water on Mars is great news for would-be settlers, but we’ll need more than H2O if we actually want to live there. The only cost-effective way for humans to colonize the Red Planet is for us to start building infrastructure out of local materials. I’m talking rovers made of Martian metals and… »
Discovering life on another planet, only to contaminate that world with our own pesky microbes, is one of NASA’s nightmare scenarios. To find out whether single-celled Earthlings can hitchhike to Mars and survive on the Red Planet’s surface, NASA is going to see how they like it 120,000 feet up.