Mars

  • 'How We'll Live on Mars': Q&A with Author Stephen Petranek
    'How We'll Live on Mars': Q&A with Author Stephen Petranek Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    Stephen Petranek, an award-winning journalist and technology forecaster, thinks people will be living on Mars within 20 years. Petranek states his case in a new book called "How We'll Live on Mars" (Simon & Schuster/TED, 2015). Complementing Petranek's TED talk of the same name, the book paints a picture of humanity's first journey to the Red Planet, which he sets in 2027, and describes the key technologies needed to reach, survive and thrive on the planet and exactly how that process would play out. More »

  • NASA Tech Aims for Precise Landings on Mars (Video)
    NASA Tech Aims for Precise Landings on Mars (Video) Sat, Aug 29, 2015

    Getting a robotic spacecraft to nail a pinpoint landing is still just a dream for engineers, but a new technology could make it easier to reach distant destinations with better precision. The new Mars landing technology, which is being co-developed by scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, and the University of Texas at Austin, compares pictures of the ground below to images already stored in the spacecraft's computer, to figure out how close to get to the landing site. NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, for instance, was targeted to land in a zone that measured 4 miles by 12 miles (7 by 20 kilometers). More »

  • NASA's Next Nuclear-Powered Mars Rover: Building the Beast
    NASA's Next Nuclear-Powered Mars Rover: Building the Beast Fri, Aug 28, 2015

    NASA's next nuclear-powered Mars rover, slated to launch in 2020, is slowly coming together. NASA's Mars 2020 rover mission is expected to explore a select site that's geologically diverse, is likely to have been habitable and to seek out signs of past life. Years later, according to NASA's plan, those Martian samples would be scooped up by a "ship and shoot" robotic mission to deliver the specimens back to Earth. More »

  • Mars Hoaxes! 6 Stubborn Red Planet Conspiracy Theories
    Mars Hoaxes! 6 Stubborn Red Planet Conspiracy Theories Thu, Aug 27, 2015

    Every year in August, the same Mars message circulates across the Internet: The Red Planet will appear "as big as the full moon" in the sky, as seen with the naked eye. The so-called Mars Hoax (which started in 2003 after a real-life close approach of Mars to the Earth) is just one of a series of false claims concerning the Red Planet. Readers apparently missed the line saying that it would take a 75-power magnification in a telescope to make Mars appear as big as the full moon. More »

  • Dead rats anyone? Hollywood gets creative to promote movies
    Dead rats anyone? Hollywood gets creative to promote movies Thu, Aug 27, 2015

    Hollywood studios are going to ever more creative lengths to attract attention in a jam-packed entertainment market where social media plays a key role in promoting content. For Matt Damon's October film "The Martian," in which an astronaut is stranded on Mars, 20th Century Fox Studios hosted a media day last week at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California just to promote a trailer. Journalists got a sneak peek at the first 50 minutes of the film, toured the lab and interviewed Damon at its Mission Control which is usually reserved for scientists working on operations such as landing the Curiosity rover on Mars in 2012. More »

  • Billionaires Wanted to Fund Private Mars Colony
    Billionaires Wanted to Fund Private Mars Colony Wed, Aug 26, 2015

    Could the first Mars colony be called Buffettville, or Zuckerburgh? The Netherlands-based nonprofit Mars One aims to establish a permanent settlement on the Red Planet, beginning with the touchdown of the first four pioneers in 2027. Mars One "is so ambitious and — I think 'crazy' is the right word — that we might actually get a phone call from a billionaire who says, 'I want to make this happen. More »

  • 'The Martian' Shows 9 Ways NASA Tech Is Headed to Mars
    'The Martian' Shows 9 Ways NASA Tech Is Headed to Mars Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    In the sci-fi film "The Martian," which hits theaters in October, astronaut Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon) is stranded by himself, and presumed dead, on the Red Planet. Watney must figure out a way to survive on the inhospitable planet, and somehow alert NASA that he is still alive so a rescue mission can be mounted. Fortunately, Watney is an engineer and knows how to adapt technology to fit his needs. More »

  • Star Wars ‘Star Destroyer’ Is Seen Crashed On Mars
    Star Wars ‘Star Destroyer’ Is Seen Crashed On Mars Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    Visitors from the Dark Side? More »

  • 'The Martian' Lands at NASA's Mars Mission Control (Photos)
    'The Martian' Lands at NASA's Mars Mission Control (Photos) Fri, Aug 21, 2015

    This week, the people behind the upcoming sci-fi blockbuster "The Martian" got a little taste of how real Red Planet exploration works. "The Martian" star Matt Damon, director Ridley Scott and Andy Weir, who wrote the book on which the movie is based, visited NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, on Tuesday (Aug. 18) — the same day a new trailer for "The Martian" was released. The special "Martian Day" featured a talk by Jim Green, head of NASA's Planetary Science division, and a Q&A discussion involving Green, Damon, Scott, Weir and astronaut Drew Feustel. More »

  • Where Will NASA's 2020 Mars Rover Land?
    Where Will NASA's 2020 Mars Rover Land? Thu, Aug 20, 2015

    NASA's next Mars rover may touch down in a big crater called Jezero. The 28-mile-wide (45 kilometers) Jezero Crater emerged as the frontrunner among 30 or so potential locales during the second landing-site workshop for NASA's 2020 Mars rover mission, which about 200 scientists and engineers attended here from Aug. 4 through Aug. 6. Jezero is rich in clay minerals and once harbored a basin lake and drainage network that covered a huge catchment area, scientists say. More »

  • Curiosity Rover Snaps Awesome Selfies on Mars During Mountain Trek
    Curiosity Rover Snaps Awesome Selfies on Mars During Mountain Trek Thu, Aug 20, 2015

    NASA's Curiosity rover captured a glorious selfie on Mars this month, shortly before resuming its trek up a huge Red Planet mountain. More »

  • Matt Damon recruits NASA to simulate life on Mars in 'The Martian'
    Matt Damon recruits NASA to simulate life on Mars in 'The Martian' Wed, Aug 19, 2015

    By Piya Sinha-Roy PASADENA, Calif. (Reuters) - When Matt Damon needed to play an astronaut stranded on Mars, he and director Ridley Scott were able to turn to U.S. space agency NASA to make the extreme circumstances of "The Martian" as scientifically accurate as possible. "We're kind of on the cusp of being able to do everything that happens in the movie," Damon told Reuters, speaking of space exploration. "With the right funding and the right attention, these are the kinds of things that we will be exploring in the very near future and this is going to be a part of our kids' lives." "The Martian," based on Andy Weir's 2011 novel of the same name, follows Astronaut Mark Watney (Damon) who is stranded on Mars after his team, led by actress Jessica Chastain's Captain Lewis, presume he is dead in the aftermath of a powerful Martian storm. More »

  • For Pluto 'Truthers,' the New Horizons Mission Is Only the Latest L …
    For Pluto 'Truthers,' the New Horizons Mission Is Only the Latest L … Wed, Aug 19, 2015

    For nine long years, scientists at NASA, Johns Hopkins University and the Southwest Research Institute waited for their piano-sized New Horizons space probe to pass by Pluto. The stunning images captivated the scientific community, revealing ice mountains, frozen tundras and other never-before-seen details on Pluto's surface. There's a small but vocal group of conspiracists—bloggers have taken to calling them "Pluto Truthers"—who claim the recent images are fake. More »

  • Matt Damon talks space travel as the new trailer for The Martian debuts
    Matt Damon talks space travel as the new trailer for The Martian debuts Wed, Aug 19, 2015

    The actor stars in Ridley Scott’s epic new space adventure The Martian. More »

  • Matt Damon in no hurry to follow movie characters into space
    Matt Damon in no hurry to follow movie characters into space Wed, Aug 19, 2015

    Matt Damon has said he is in no hurry to travel into space, despite portraying astronauts in two movies in quick succession. More »

  • NASA Joins Tumblr to Explore the Social Media Frontier
    NASA Joins Tumblr to Explore the Social Media Frontier Wed, Aug 12, 2015

    A constellation of new NASA profile pages have gone live on Tumblr — including profiles for astronaut Peggy Whitson, the Juno mission to Jupiter and the Curiosity rover on Mars. NASA posted its first message to the new Tumblr page Aug. 7, adding that platform to its large collection of social media accounts on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. More »

  • Eagle-Eyed NASA Mars Orbiter Launched 10 Years Ago Today
    Eagle-Eyed NASA Mars Orbiter Launched 10 Years Ago Today Wed, Aug 12, 2015

    The sharpest set of eyes peering down at Mars launched toward the Red Planet 10 years ago today. More »

  • Water on Mars: Last lake to exist on surface of red planet discovered
    Water on Mars: Last lake to exist on surface of red planet discovered Mon, Aug 10, 2015

    This suggests the ancient lake could have hosted some of the last lifeforms to potentially exist on the Red Planet. A team of researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder analysed an 18sq/m chloride salt flat in the Meridiani region of Mars - near the Mars Opportunity rover's landing site. Just like on Earth, large-scale salt deposits on Mars are thought to be evidence of evaporated bodies of water. More »

  • US 'forced' to hitch rides with Russia to space station, says NASA  … Thu, Aug 6, 2015

    To catch a ride to the International Space Station, American astronauts will still have to rely on Russia, and pony up rocket fare. While US-Russia relations are strained on Earth, NASA has extended its contract with the Russian space agency for transportation to space. In a letter to Congress made public Wednesday, NASA chief Charles Bolden said that NASA is "forced" to extend its contract with the Russian space agency Roscosmos through 2017, at an estimated cost to US taxpayers of about $490 million. The extension was prompted by budget cuts that have delayed commercial alternatives with partners such as SpaceX and Boeing, which would make transportation from America possible, he wrote. More »

  • Mars Rover Spots Alien ‘Dark Lady’ Watching It From The Surface
    Mars Rover Spots Alien ‘Dark Lady’ Watching It From The Surface Thu, Aug 6, 2015

    More mysterious goings-on on the Red Planet More »

  • 3 Years on Mars! Curiosity Rover Reaches Milestone
    3 Years on Mars! Curiosity Rover Reaches Milestone Wed, Aug 5, 2015

    NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has now been trundling across the Red Planet for three very productive and eventful years. Curiosity landed on the night of Aug. 5, 2012, pulling off a dramatic and unprecedented touchdown with the aid of a rocket-powered "sky crane" that lowered the 1-ton rover gently to the Martian surface via cables. Curiosity quickly succeeded in this main task. More »

  • ET-spotters get excited about 'alien crablike monster' spotted on M …
    ET-spotters get excited about 'alien crablike monster' spotted on M … Tue, Aug 4, 2015

    An apparently innocuous image of a Martian cliff taken by Mars Curiosity Rover has gone viral thanks to alien-hunters who have noticed that in one part of the high-res image released by NASA there appears to be a gigantic crablike "monster" lurking within a cave. ET-spotters say the crab looks like the terrifying creature in the movie Alien which attaches itself to the unlucky John Hurt's face and secretly laying eggs in his stomach then bursting out. SETI Director and astronomer Seth Shostak says this is the same process that tricks us into seeing faces in pieces of toast - and it all goes back to our primeval past when we had to spot predators in the jungle very quickly. More »

  • Alien ‘Crab Monster’ Is Sighted In Cave On Mars
    Alien ‘Crab Monster’ Is Sighted In Cave On Mars Tue, Aug 4, 2015

    Bears a resemblance to the deadly 'facehugger' in the Alien films More »

  • Astronauts Test Virtual-Reality Headset for Space On Ocean Floor
    Astronauts Test Virtual-Reality Headset for Space On Ocean Floor Mon, Aug 3, 2015

    It's a tech geek's dream fulfilled in the underwater lab hosting four "aquanauts" for 14 days this month, where they get to practice space exploration with a cutting-edge Microsoft virtual-reality headset. Microsoft's HoloLens, whose augmented-reality technology overlays a virtual display on the real world, will someday go to space itself to assist astronauts, and the NEEMO 20 underwater crewmembers are testing it out during their stay, which started July 20. A HoloLens was also supposed to fly to the International Space Station but was lost when the Dragon spacecraft exploded during launch June 28. More »

  • NASA Wants Your Help to Classify Weird Mars Terrain
    NASA Wants Your Help to Classify Weird Mars Terrain Thu, Jul 30, 2015

    Science enthusiasts around the world have a unique opportunity to help NASA learn more about Mars. More »

  • How Robots Could Build a Radio Telescope on Far Side of the Moon
    How Robots Could Build a Radio Telescope on Far Side of the Moon Thu, Jul 30, 2015

    Researchers are making strides on a radio telescope array that would be unfurled on the far side of the moon by an unmanned rover operated by nearby astronauts. The rover would be commanded by astronauts in NASA's Orion spacecraft, which would be hovering in a gravitationally stable spot near the lunar far side called Earth-moon Lagrange Point 2 (L2). Now, a university team has developed a system that mimics rover control to recognize potential problems with human-telerobotic operations, such as time lags and communication quality. More »

  • NASA's Curiosity Rover Eyes Weird Rock On Mars
    NASA's Curiosity Rover Eyes Weird Rock On Mars Wed, Jul 29, 2015

    NASA's Mars rover Curiosity went out of its way to investigate a rock the likes of which it has never seen before on the Red Planet. Measurements by Curiosity's rock-zapping ChemCam laser and another instrument revealed that the target, a chunk of bedrock dubbed Elk, contains high levels of silica and hydrogen, NASA officials said. "One never knows what to expect on Mars, but the Elk target was interesting enough to go back and investigate," ChemCam principal investigator Roger Wiens, of Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, said in a statement. More »

  • Mars Rover Curiosity Gives Advanced Sunspot Warning from Sun's Far Side
    Mars Rover Curiosity Gives Advanced Sunspot Warning from Sun's Far Side Wed, Jul 22, 2015

    The Curiosity rover on Mars has turned its cameras skyward and found sunspots brewing on the far side of the sun, a view that's impossible to get from Earth. Sunspots can often spawn into solar flares or massive eruptions, known as coronal mass ejections, which can pose a hazard to astronauts and satellites in space, and disrupt satellite navigation and communications systems on Earth. Sun-watching observatories on Earth, and most space-based telescopes, currently can only see the side of the sun facing the Earth. More »

  • How to See The Scorpion in July's Night Sky
    How to See The Scorpion in July's Night Sky Mon, Jul 6, 2015

    Only Orion (the Hunter), the staple of the wintertime sky, has more bright stars. From around 40 degrees north latitude — for cities such as Philadelphia, Denver and Reno — the entire figure of Scorpius just manages to clear the southern horizon. The most noteworthy object in Scorpius is Antares, a distinctly reddish star of the 1st magnitude that marks the heart of the Scorpion. More »

  • Wheel Worries: Mars Rover Curiosity Dealing With Damage
    Wheel Worries: Mars Rover Curiosity Dealing With Damage Mon, Jul 6, 2015

    NASA's Mars rover Curiosity faces ongoing wheel wear and tear as it continues its trek across the rock-strewn Red Planet. The car-size Curiosity rover has been on duty since landing on Mars in August 2012. Curiosity has six aluminum wheels, each with its own individual motor. More »

  • UFO hunters see 'pyramid' on Nasa image of Mars sparking theories it …
    UFO hunters see 'pyramid' on Nasa image of Mars sparking theories it … Tue, Jun 23, 2015

    Extraterrestrial researchers claim to have found a structure very similar to an Egyptian pyramid in Nasa images of Mars. ParanormalCrucible, a YouTube channel dedicated to the search for alien lifeforms has scrutinised video footage from Nasa's unmanned Curiosity Rover space vehicle. The video of the strange phenomena has gone viral, reaching nearly a quarter of a million views in just a few days. More »

  • UFO hunters see 'pyramid' on Nasa image of Mars speculating it was built …
    UFO hunters see 'pyramid' on Nasa image of Mars speculating it was built … Tue, Jun 23, 2015

    Extraterrestrial hunters claim to have found a structure very similar to an Egyptian pyramid in Nasa images of Mars. ParanormalCrucible, a YouTube channel dedicated to the search for alien lifeforms, has scrutinised video footage from Nasa's unmanned Curiosity Rover space vehicle. The video of the strange phenomena has gone viral, reaching nearly a quarter of a million views in just a few days. More »

  • Happy New Year, Mars! NASA Toasts Martian Calendar Milestone
    Happy New Year, Mars! NASA Toasts Martian Calendar Milestone Fri, Jun 19, 2015

    It's New Year's Day on the Red Planet today and NASA is celebrating in style with an epic three-day party in Mars itself … Mars, Pennsylvania, that is. NASA scientists and Mars experts have descended on the town of Mars to celebrate the Martian New Year today (June 18) with a press conference at 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT), which you can watch live on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV. The press briefing, which NASA will convene at a flying saucer spaceship monument in Mars, Pennsylvania, kicks off a weekend of Mars-themed activities by NASA to inspire kids to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics – all fields that the space agency says it will need in its push to the Red Planet. More »

  • Methane in Mars Meteorites Suggests Possibility of Life
    Methane in Mars Meteorites Suggests Possibility of Life Tue, Jun 16, 2015

    Methane, a potential sign of primitive life, has been found in meteorites from Mars, adding weight to the idea that life could live off methane on the Red Planet, researchers say. This colorless, odorless, flammable gas was first discovered in the Martian atmosphere by the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft in 2003, and NASA's Curiosity rover discovered a fleeting spike of methane at its landing site last year. Much of the methane in Earth's atmosphere is produced by life, such as cattle digesting food. More »

  • The Space Destination Debate Gets Us Nowhere ... Literally (Op-Ed)
    The Space Destination Debate Gets Us Nowhere ... Literally (Op-Ed) Tue, Jun 16, 2015

    Hannah Rae Kerner is chair of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) and a Ph.D. student at Arizona State University studying exploration systems design (systems engineering and robotics). In September 2014, I was asked to represent the voice of the next generation of space leaders on a panel, "Sustaining Human Space Exploration," as the chair of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS). More »