Mars

  • Awesome Hubble Telescope Pics Pop on Times Square Screens in NYC
    Awesome Hubble Telescope Pics Pop on Times Square Screens in NYC Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    Advertisements hawking clothing, smart phones and theater tickets usually overwhelm New York City's Times Square — but look closely this week and you'll also see exploding stars, whirling galaxies and bubbling nebulas. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, The Toshiba Vision screen in Times Square is displaying awe-inspiring images taken by Hubble, as well as a few snapshots of the telescope itself. This isn't the first time the Toshiba screens have broadcast amazing images from space. In August 2012, the Toshiba Vision screen also broadcast the Mars rover Curiosity's touchdown on the Red Planet. More »

  • Mars Rover Curiosity Spotted from Space (Photo)
    Mars Rover Curiosity Spotted from Space (Photo) Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    NASA's eagle-eyed Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has captured a view of the space agency's Curiosity rover trundling across the Red Planet. More »

  • The top 10 audiobooks on Audible.com Tue, Apr 21, 2015

    Audible.com best-sellers for week ending April 18, 2015: More »

  • Mars Rover Curiosity Runs 10K on Red Planet
    Mars Rover Curiosity Runs 10K on Red Planet Mon, Apr 20, 2015

    Just three weeks after NASA's Opportunity rover completed the first-ever Mars marathon, the robot's bigger, younger cousin wrapped up its own long-distance race on the Red Planet. A 208-foot-long (65 meters) drive pushed the car-size Curiosity rover's odometer past 10 kilometers (6.21 miles) on Thursday (April 16), NASA officials said. Curiosity, which has been exploring Mars' huge Gale Crater since August 2012, is currently studying the foothills of Mount Sharp, which rises 3.4 miles (5.5 km) into the sky from Gale's center. "We've not only been making tracks, but also making important observations to characterize rocks we're passing, and some farther to the south at selected viewpoints," Curiosity science team member John Grant, of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, said in a statement. More »

  • LEGO Launching Awesome Spaceport Shuttle Sets in August
    LEGO Launching Awesome Spaceport Shuttle Sets in August Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    Have you ever wanted to build your own space shuttle? Now, thanks to LEGO, you're going to get the chance, years after the end of NASA's shuttle program. LEGO is set to release a new series of sets all based around the idea of flying to space. The four LEGO City sets are scheduled for release in August 2015, and will have a variety of different spacecraft any space fan can build. More »

  • On Mars, Liquid Water Appears at Night, Study Suggests
    On Mars, Liquid Water Appears at Night, Study Suggests Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    Liquid water lurks just below the surface of Mars on cold winter nights, according to new research. The Mars Curiosity rover has found evidence that when temperatures drop on cold winter nights, trace amounts of water from the atmosphere can turn to frost, which can then be absorbed into the upper layers of the Martian soil and liquefied. The liquid water evaporates back into the atmosphere after sunrise, when temperatures start to go up again. More »

  • Mars rover data boosts hope for liquid water on Mars
    Mars rover data boosts hope for liquid water on Mars Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    Research from NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has strengthened hopes that liquid water may exist near the surface of Mars, astrophysicists said on Monday. More »

  • Scientists make Mars water finding
    Scientists make Mars water finding Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    A Nasa space probe has found evidence of brines on Mars, suggesting there could be water on the red planet. More »

  • Signs of Alien Life Will Be Found by 2025, NASA's Chief Scientist Predi …
    Signs of Alien Life Will Be Found by 2025, NASA's Chief Scientist Predi … Tue, Apr 7, 2015

    Humanity is on the verge of discovering alien life, high-ranking NASA scientists say. "I think we're going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade, and I think we're going to have definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years," NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan said Tuesday (April 7) during a panel discussion that focused on the space agency's efforts to search for habitable worlds and alien life. Former astronaut John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, shared Stofan's optimism, predicting that signs of life will be found relatively soon both in our own solar system and beyond. "I think we're one generation away in our solar system, whether it's on an icy moon or on Mars, and one generation [away] on a planet around a nearby star," Grunsfeld said during Tuesday's event. More »

  • Fan's LEGO Replica of International Space Station Soars to 10,000 Votes
    Fan's LEGO Replica of International Space Station Soars to 10,000 Votes Tue, Apr 7, 2015

    A fan's yearlong mission to gain support for his LEGO version of the International Space Station is now complete. Christoph Ruge's model of the orbiting outpost recorded its 10,000th vote on Friday (April 3) after being posted to the Danish toy company's social website, LEGO Ideas, more than a year ago. Ruge's plastic brick replica of the space station racked up its final 2,035 supporters in a matter of just 10 hours after it made it onto the front page of another popular website. LEGO will officially review fan-proposed ideas for production if they receive 10,000 votes on the LEGO Ideas site. More »

  • Mars Rover Curiosity Spots 'Ice Cream Sandwich' Rocks (Photos)
    Mars Rover Curiosity Spots 'Ice Cream Sandwich' Rocks (Photos) Thu, Apr 2, 2015

    NASA's Curiosity rover has photographed some Martian rocks that bear a passing resemblance to a tasty frozen treat. The rocks, which lie at a site dubbed Garden City near the base of Mars' 3.4-mile-high (5.5 kilometers) Mount Sharp, harbor ridges up to 2.5 inches (6 centimeters) tall that are composed of bright and dark mineral veins. "Some of them look like ice-cream sandwiches: dark on both edges and white in the middle," Curiosity science team member Linda Kah of the University of Tennessee said in a statement. The fluid movement responsible for the Garden City veins was likely more recent than the conditions that formed the Yellowknife Bay lake, which probably existed around 3.5 billion years ago. More »

  • The Scars on Mars from the Curiosity Rover Landing Are Healing (Video)
    The Scars on Mars from the Curiosity Rover Landing Are Healing (Video) Wed, Apr 1, 2015

    The wounds NASA's Curiosity rover mission inflicted on the Martian landscape during its August 2012 landing are healing in a surprisingly inconsistent fashion, scientists say. NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been keeping tabs on four different Red Planet blast zones created by the Curiosity rover and various pieces of its entry, descent and landing hardware, such as its heat shield and "sky crane" descent stage. "Spacecraft like Curiosity create these dark blast zone patterns where bright dust is blown away by the landing," Ingrid Daubar, a scientist working with MRO's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, said in a statement. More »

  • NASA's 'Flying Saucer' Takes a Spin Ahead of June Flight Test
    NASA's 'Flying Saucer' Takes a Spin Ahead of June Flight Test Wed, Apr 1, 2015

    NASA put some new Mars-landing tech through its paces Tuesday to help prep for a flight test from Hawaii this June. Engineers subjected the saucer-shaped Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) test vehicle, which is part of a project designed to help get heavy payloads down safely on Mars, to a "spin table" test Tuesday (March 31) at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. The main goal was to look for any wobbles caused by an imperfect distribution of mass throughout the 15-foot-wide (4.6 meters), 7,000-lb. (3,175 kilograms) LDSD vehicle, project team members said. "This is like spinning your automobile tire, and putting weights on it to make sure that it spins perfectly," LDSD Chief Engineer Rob Manning, of JPL, said during today's event, which was broadcast live on NASA TV. More »

  • United Launch Alliance Wants Your Vote to Name New Rocket
    United Launch Alliance Wants Your Vote to Name New Rocket Mon, Mar 30, 2015

    United Launch Alliance — the rocket company that launched NASA's New Horizons probe to Pluto — is asking people around the world to help name a new kind of booster. People have until April 6 to vote on three names — Eagle, Freedom or GalaxyOne — for the ULA rocket that the company plans to use for most of its future launches. The three names are finalists from more than 400 suggestions submitted by ULA employees and space enthusiasts earlier this year. "ULA's new rocket represents the future of space — innovative, affordable and reliable," Tory Bruno, ULA's president and CEO, said in a statement. More »

  • NASA Spacecraft Takes 'Deep Dip' Into Martian Upper Atmosphere
    NASA Spacecraft Takes 'Deep Dip' Into Martian Upper Atmosphere Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    NASA's newest Mars probe recently made a risky dive into the Red Planet's upper atmosphere to learn more about how the planet's climate changed over time. Between Feb. 10 and Feb. 18, NASA's MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) spacecraft reduced its minimum altitude to 78 miles (125 kilometers) — about 15 miles (25 km) lower than usual. This subjects the spacecraft to atmosphere 10 times thicker than what it usually encounters. While there are few atmospheric molecules at that altitude, if the spacecraft were to dip much below that, it risks encountering too much drag — too many molecules to run against. More »

  • NASA rover completes 11-year Mars marathon
    NASA rover completes 11-year Mars marathon Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    NASA's Opportunity Mars rover has become the first human-made vehicle to complete a marathon on another planet -- a feat accomplished in a record time of no less than 11 years. More »

  • NASA’s Opportunity Rover Completes a Martian Marathon
    NASA’s Opportunity Rover Completes a Martian Marathon Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    Only 11 years and two months after it began, NASA’s Mars Opportunity rover has completed a marathon across the planet’s barren red desert. “It’s historic,” said John Callas, a NASA astronomer who manages the Mars Exploration Rover project, in an interview. “This is the first time any human enterprise has exceeded a marathon somewhere other than Earth.” Opportunity was designed to drive a distance of only one kilometer. More »

  • Mars has nitrogen, key to life: NASA
    Mars has nitrogen, key to life: NASA Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    NASA's Curiosity rover has found nitrogen on the surface of Mars, a significant discovery that adds to evidence the Red Planet could once have sustained life, the space agency said. More »

  • More Ingredients for Life Identified on Mars
    More Ingredients for Life Identified on Mars Mon, Mar 23, 2015

    The more scientists learn about Mars, the more intriguing the Red Planet becomes as a potential haven for primitive life in the ancient past ... and perhaps even the present. An unrelated study suggests that atmospheric carbon monoxide has been a feasible energy source for microbes throughout the Red Planet's history. Both papers were published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). "It's more support for this environment that would have had the ingredients that life would have needed," said Jennifer Stern of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, lead author of the nitrogen study. More »

  • The Mission to Mars is a complete sham…
    The Mission to Mars is a complete sham… Tue, Mar 17, 2015

    … according to the Irish physicist who was selected to take part. More »

  • Fan's LEGO International Space Station on Mission for 10,000 Votes
    Fan's LEGO International Space Station on Mission for 10,000 Votes Sat, Mar 14, 2015

    It took 200 astronauts and cosmonauts some 13 years to create the International Space Station. "This space station is out of this world!" LEGO told the model's creator, Christoph Ruge, in a comment posted to the LEGO Ideas website on Thursday (March 12). Ruge, who goes by the username XCLD on LEGO Ideas, first submitted his toy brick-version of the orbital complex in March 2014. As LEGO noted, "in last few months, there has been a huge upswing in support," in part due to social media mentions by both NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). More »

  • Mars Rover Curiosity Hits the Road Again After Short Circuit
    Mars Rover Curiosity Hits the Road Again After Short Circuit Fri, Mar 13, 2015

    NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is back in action for the first time after suffering a glitch late last month. The 1-ton Curiosity rover transferred powdered rock sample from its robotic arm to an analytical instrument on its body on Wednesday (March 11), and then drove about 33 feet (10 meters) toward the southwest on Thursday (March 12), NASA officials said. Curiosity had been stationary since Feb. 27, when it experienced a short circuit while attempting to transfer the sample, which the rover had collected from a rock dubbed Telegraph Peak. "That precious Telegraph Peak sample had been sitting in the arm, so tantalizingly close, for two weeks. More »

  • Blast Off! Apollo-Inspired Art Takes Over Times Square Screens
    Blast Off! Apollo-Inspired Art Takes Over Times Square Screens Fri, Mar 13, 2015

    The last Apollo mission launched by NASA was Apollo 17, in 1972 — but an art exhibit called "Apollo XVIII" is launching from Times Square all this month. For three minutes, dozens of the screens collectively display an art piece called "Apollo XVIII" created by Marco Brambilla that was inspired by space exploration and the work of NASA. "The space age represented a landscape of optimism, capturing the imagination of the public," Brambilla said in a statement from Times Square Arts, which coordinated the work's display. "Apollo XVIII" is a nonlinear video piece, composed of archival footage from NASA mission launches mixed with new, digital images by the artist. More »

  • Mars rover moving robotic arm again after electrical short Thu, Mar 12, 2015

    PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — NASA says the robotic arm on the Curiosity rover is moving again after a short circuit temporarily halted its work on Mars. More »

  • How Smart Can Robotic Space Explorers Get?
    How Smart Can Robotic Space Explorers Get? Tue, Mar 10, 2015

    These were problems puzzling Yogesh Girdhar who, as a part of his doctorate dissertation at McGill University in Montreal, redid the "brains" of an undersea robot called Aqua. An underwater robot is somewhat analogous to a space-bound robot, as both face the difficulties of communication. "Mars is [situated] at the limit of where humans can directly control a robot to do these kinds of research," said Girdhar, who is now a postdoctoral scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. More »

  • NASA Finds Likely Source of Mars Rover Curiosity's Short Circuit
    NASA Finds Likely Source of Mars Rover Curiosity's Short Circuit Mon, Mar 9, 2015

    The short circuit that has stalled some of the science work by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity apparently originated in the robot's rock-boring drill, mission team members say. Those diagnostic tests have been productive, Curiosity Project Manager Jim Erickson, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said Friday (March 6). A brief short occurred during a test on Thursday (March 5) that used the drill's percussive action, NASA officials explained. Curiosity may start moving its arm again as early as next week, NASA officials said. More »

  • Med on Mars: Ocean covered 20% of Red Planet surface long enough for life to …
    Med on Mars: Ocean covered 20% of Red Planet surface long enough for life to … Thu, Mar 5, 2015

    Mars once had an ocean covering 20% of the planet's surface which was a similar depth to the Mediterranean, scientists have discovered. Using data gathered with powerful ground-based telescopes, researchers from Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Centre were able to create maps of the atmospheric water across the Red Planet. They discovered this by measuring maps of atmospheric water and its deuterated form (where the hydrogen atom is replaced with heavy hydrogen atom). "The researchers found that the ratio of deuterated water to regular water in some regions is higher - perhaps sevenfold higher than in the Earth's oceans, for instance - than previously thought," a statement said. More »

  • Mediterranean on Mars: Ocean covered 20% of Red Planet surface long enough for …
    Mediterranean on Mars: Ocean covered 20% of Red Planet surface long enough for … Thu, Mar 5, 2015

    Mars once had an ocean covering 20% of the planet's surface which was a similar depth to the Mediterranean, scientists have discovered. Using data gathered with powerful ground-based telescopes, researchers from Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Centre were able to create maps of the atmospheric water across the Red Planet. They discovered this by measuring maps of atmospheric water and its deuterated form (where the hydrogen atom is replaced with heavy hydrogen atom). "The researchers found that the ratio of deuterated water to regular water in some regions is higher - perhaps sevenfold higher than in the Earth's oceans, for instance - than previously thought," a statement said. More »

  • NASA to produce breathable air on Mars in 2020
    NASA to produce breathable air on Mars in 2020 Thu, Mar 5, 2015

    Machine will produce air for astronauts - and rocket fuel for a return trip to Earth More »

  • NASA's Curiosity Rover on Mars Sidelined By 'Short Circuit' Gli …
    NASA's Curiosity Rover on Mars Sidelined By 'Short Circuit' Gli … Wed, Mar 4, 2015

    NASA's Mars rover Curiosity experienced an electrical problem last week, and the robot will stay put for a few days while mission engineers try to figure out exactly what happened. The car-size Curiosity rover suffered a "transient short circuit" on Feb. 27 while it was transferring sample powder from its robotic arm to instruments on its body, NASA officials said. Curiosity halted the activity in response, as it was programmed to do in such situations. "We are running tests on the vehicle in its present configuration before we move the arm or drive," Curiosity Project Manager Jim Erickson, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a statement Tuesday (March 3). More »

  • Mars Curiosity Rover Has A Broken Arm
    Mars Curiosity Rover Has A Broken Arm Wed, Mar 4, 2015

    The Mars Curiosity Rover has lost the use of one of its arms after a short circuit. The electrical problem was discovered at the weekend when Curiosity tried to transfer powder from a drilled rock to its on-board analysis tools. "A transient short in some systems on the rover would have little effect on rover operations. Curiosity landed on Mars in 2012 and since then it has uncovered evidence of an environment that could have supported life early in the planet's history. More »

  • NASA investigating short circuit on Mars rover Curiosity Tue, Mar 3, 2015

    PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — The Curiosity rover has temporarily stopped work on Mars while NASA engineers investigate a short circuit. More »

  • What Would It Be Like to Live on Mars?
    What Would It Be Like to Live on Mars? Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    The idea of living on Mars has been a staple of science fiction since the 19th century, when American astronomer Percival Lowell speculated that the channels on the Red Planet were really ancient canals built by intelligent extraterrestrials. In 1965, NASA's Mariner 4 spacecraft completed the first Martian flyby, and six years later, the Soviet Union's Mars 3 lander became the first spacecraft to land softly on Mars. Since then, there have been numerous successful missions to the Red Planet, including the deployment of four Mars rovers — the now-defunct Sojourner and Spirit, and the still-active Opportunity and Curiosity — and NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft, which produced a map of the entire planet. NASA is now planning for a manned mission to Mars, which is slated for the 2030s. More »

  • Artist's 'Apollo 18' Moon Mission Launching Onto Times Square B …
    Artist's 'Apollo 18' Moon Mission Launching Onto Times Square B … Sun, Mar 1, 2015

    The countdown is on to the launch of Apollo 18 and you're invited to witness it from New York City's Times Square. "Apollo XVIII," created by artist Marco Brambilla, weaves archival footage from real NASA missions with computer-generated imagery to form a countdown to a fictional flight to the moon. It will be shown on Times Square's electronic billboards from 11:57 p.m. to midnight each night in March as part of "Midnight Moment," a presentation by the Times Square Advertising Coalition and Times Square Arts. More »

  • Curiosity Rover Drills into Mars Mountain Again (Photo)
    Curiosity Rover Drills into Mars Mountain Again (Photo) Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has bored into rocks at the base of the towering Mount Sharp for the third time. The car-size Curiosity rover drilled into a rock called Telegraph Peak on Tuesday (Feb. 24), collecting sample powder for analysis by its onboard instruments. The action marked the third drilling operation at an outcrop at the base of Mount Sharp called Pahrump Hills, which Curiosity reached in September 2014 after more than a year of driving. Mission team members decided to drill Telegraph Peak after Curiosity's Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer instrument detected some interesting chemistry in the rock, NASA officials said. More »