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Keyword: mars

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Nocturnal: Scenes from the Southern Night

    08/06/2012 6:19:19 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | August 06, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Have you ever seen the night sky change? It does -- sometimes in beautiful and unexpected ways. To see it, though, usually requires patience. The above award winning video shows several of the possible changes in dramatic fashion with a time lapse video. Visible are sunset-illuminated clouds moving, stars of vivid colors rising, the long tail of a Comet Lovejoy rising, bright satellites crossing, a meteor exploding, a distant lightning storm approaching, skyscapes including the Magellanic Clouds rotating, and a fisheye sky rotating while the foreground becomes illuminated by moonlight. Frequently featuring an artistic human sculpture in the foreground...
  • Curiosity Has Landed

    08/07/2012 10:04:24 PM PDT · by neverdem · 10 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 6 August 2012 | Richard A. Kerr
    Enlarge Image On the ground. One of the first images snapped by Curiosity, sent within minutes after it touched down, shows the rover's own shadow. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech It all worked. The 500,000 lines of computer code went off without a glitch. The 76 onboard explosive devices popped off in sequence to the microsecond, throwing valves and cutting loose tether lines. So Curiosity rover's 7 minutes of terror had the happiest of endings. At 1:37 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, word came down: "Touchdown confirmed. We're safe on Mars." Signals from Curiosity, followed within minutes by the first crude images of...
  • Mars Rover Already Doing Science

    08/07/2012 9:53:04 PM PDT · by neverdem · 15 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 6 August 2012 | Richard A. Kerr
    Not smashing itself to smithereens was only one of Curiosity’s achievements in the NASA rover’s first day on Mars. It also hit the bull’s-eye and did a first bit of science. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Curiosity on its Way. From 340 kilometers away, the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter caught the Curiosity rover inside its entry vehicle dangling from its parachute. The chute had been ejected from the entry vehicle by an explosive charge after atmospheric drag had slowed it to Mach 2. The descent vehicle with the rover tucked inside would soon drop out to fire its retrorockets. Credit:...
  • Ustream Mars Curiosity broadcast numbers beat primetime CNN, company says (Media Death Watch)

    08/08/2012 1:14:28 PM PDT · by tennmountainman · 8 replies
    The ^ | 8-8-2012 | Adi Robertson
    The live stream of NASA's Curiosity rover landing garnered more interest than primetime Sunday television, Ustream says. A spokesperson told Mashable that 3.2 million people in total had checked the stream at some point during the landing, with a peak of 500,000 people watching at the same time. That's higher than the estimated viewing numbers for CNN during Sunday primetime, which came in at 426,000, or MSNBC, which had an audience of 365,000 viewers over age two. Ustream's peak audience was lower only than that of Fox, which had an audience of 803,000.
  • Mars HD Panoramic

    08/08/2012 12:50:20 PM PDT · by SMCC1 · 44 replies ^ | 8/12/2012 | curiosity
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Wheel on Mars

    08/07/2012 2:31:57 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 28 replies
    NASA ^ | August 07, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A wheel attached to NASA's Curiosity rover is firmly on the martian surface in this early picture from the Mars Science Laboratory mission, captured after a successful landing on August 5, 2012 at 10:32pm (PDT). Seen at the lower right of a Hazard Avoidance Camera fisheye wide-angle image, the rover's left rear wheel is 50 centimeters (about 20 inches) in diameter. Part of a spring hinge for the camera's dust cover is just visible in the right corner, while at the upper left is part of the rover's RTG power source. Looking into the Sun across the rock stewn...
  • Mars Curiosity - Latest Images

    08/07/2012 10:38:08 AM PDT · by dragnet2 · 95 replies
    NASA/JPL ^ | 8/7/2012 |
    This image taken by NASA's Curiosity shows what lies ahead for the rover -- its main science target, Mount Sharp. The rover's shadow can be seen in the foreground, and the dark bands beyond are dunes. Rising up in the distance is the highest peak Mount Sharp at a height of about 3.4 miles, taller than Mt. Whitney in California. The Curiosity team hopes to drive the rover to the mountain to investigate its lower layers, which scientists think hold clues to past environmental change. This image was captured by the rover's front left Hazard-Avoidance camera at full resolution...
  • NASA photographs split second when Curiosity enters Mars airspace

    08/06/2012 3:44:40 PM PDT · by Vince Ferrer · 69 replies
    Fox news ^ | August 6, 2012 | Foxnews
    Thanks to a remarkable combination of engineering and mathematics, a NASA satellite in orbit around Mars was able to capture this picture of the split second when Curiosity fell from the skies to its successful landing on the surface of the red planet.
  • NASA Lands Car-sized Rover on Martian Surface (VIDEO)

    08/06/2012 10:25:20 AM PDT · by Brown Deer · 17 replies
    NASA ^ | 8/6/2012 | NASA
    NASA's most advanced Mars rover Curiosity has landed on the Red Planet. The one-ton rover, hanging by ropes from a rocket backpack, touched down onto Mars Sunday to end a 36-week flight and begin a two-year investigation. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft that carried Curiosity succeeded in every step of the most complex landing ever attempted on Mars, including the final severing of the bridle cords and flyaway maneuver of the rocket backpack.
  • Curiosity nails perfect landing on Mars

    08/06/2012 4:22:01 AM PDT · by Islander7 · 141 replies
    Boston Herald ^ | Aug 6, 2012 | AP
    PASADENA, Calif. In a show of technological wizardry, the robotic explorer Curiosity blazed through the pink skies of Mars, steering itself to a gentle landing inside a giant crater for the most ambitious dig yet into the red planets past. Cheers and applause echoed through the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory late Sunday after the most high-tech interplanetary rover ever built signaled it had survived a harrowing plunge through the thin Mars atmosphere.
  • Curiosity" Safely on Mars!

    08/05/2012 10:40:16 PM PDT · by BwanaNdege · 95 replies
    Odyssey has safely landed on Mars and is transmitting photos.
  • Watch NASA's live coverage of Mars rover landing (Cnet)

    08/05/2012 8:48:39 PM PDT · by Dallas59 · 29 replies
    Cnet ^ | 8/6/2012 | Cnet
    Video Linky Here
  • Mars rover Curiosity nears make-or-break landing attempt

    08/05/2012 3:07:52 AM PDT · by Berlin_Freeper · 38 replies ^ | Aug 5, 2012 | steve gorman
    PASADENA, Calif., Aug 5 (Reuters) - The Mars rover Curiosity, on a quest for signs the Red Planet once hosted the building blocks of life, streaked into the home stretch of its eight-month voyage on Sunday nearing a make-or-break landing attempt NASA calls its most challenging ever. Curiosity, the first full-fledged mobile science laboratory ever sent to a distant world, was scheduled to touch down inside a vast, ancient impact crater on Sunday at 10:31 p.m. Pacific time (1:31 a.m. EDT on Monday/0531 GMT on Monday). Mission control engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Los Angeles acknowledge that delivering...
  • Mars Rover Curiosity Lands successfully!! LIVE THREAD

    08/05/2012 11:04:03 AM PDT · by hattend · 631 replies
    Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) ^ | 5 Aug 2012 | JPL
    Landing at 10:30PM Pacific...yes, this is early so all the aviation, space, astronomy and science pingers can "get 'er done".
  • Mars: A New Hope

    NASAs most ambitious Mars probe is set to land late today (or early tomorrow, depending where you live). NASA is one of the few government programs that actually invests in a major and important industry that supports high-tech jobs and science and technology advancement. However, the geniuses in Washington has been throwing NASA under the bus as of late. Theyd rather bailout unsuccessful ventures. But I digress. At least NASA is finally relying more on the commercialization of space.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Curiosity Before Mars: Seven Minutes of Terror

    07/31/2012 4:57:46 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 27 replies
    NASA ^ | July 31, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Next week at this time, there may be an amazing new robotic explorer on Mars. Or there may be a new pile of junk. It all likely depends on many things going correctly in the minutes after the Mars Science Laboratory mission arrives at Mars and attempts to deploy the Curiosity rover from orbit. Arguably the most sophisticated landing yet attempted on the red planet, consecutive precision events will involve a heat shield, a parachute, several rocket maneuvers, and the automatic operation of an unusual device called a Sky Crane. These "Seven Minutes of Terror" -- depicted in the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Hole in Mars

    07/18/2012 3:21:59 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 52 replies
    NASA ^ | July 18, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What created this unusual hole in Mars? The hole was discovered by chance on images of the dusty slopes of Mars' Pavonis Mons volcano taken by the HiRISE instrument aboard the robotic Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter currently circling Mars. The hole appears to be an opening to an underground cavern, partly illuminated on the image right. Analysis of this and follow-up images revealed the opening to be about 35 meters across, while the interior shadow angle indicates that the underlying cavern is roughly 20 meters deep. Why there is a circular crater surrounding this hole remains a topic of speculation,...
  • Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity's Seven Minutes of Terror (Upcoming Mars landing)

    07/13/2012 5:53:33 PM PDT · by bigbob · 21 replies
    NASA JPL ^ | 6-22-12 | NASA JPL News
    Team members at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory share the challenges of the Curiosity Mars rover's final minutes to landing on the surface of Mars. Video with interviews with the designers and excellent computer animations can be viewed at the link: "DARE MIGHTY THINGS"
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Greeley Panorama on Mars

    07/09/2012 7:43:46 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | July 09, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What did you do over your winter vacation? If you were the Opportunity rover on Mars, you spent four months of it stationary and perched on the northern slope of Greeley Haven -- and tilted so that your solar panels could absorb as much sunlight as possible. During its winter stopover, the usually rolling robot undertook several science activities including snapping over 800 images of its surroundings, many of which have been combined into this 360-degree digitally-compressed panorama and shown in exaggerated colors to highlight different surface features. Past tracks of Opportunity can be seen toward the left, while...
  • Ray Bradbury Loved Reagan, Called Clinton a 'Sh*thead' (Ray Bradbury, Tea Partier, RIP)

    06/06/2012 3:21:57 PM PDT · by montag813 · 55 replies
    USNews ^ | 06-06-2012 | Elizabeth Flock
    Science fiction author Ray Bradbury sits in front of a photo of Mars, presented to him during an 83rd birthday party in his honor on Aug. 23, 2003. Ray Bradbury, master of the sci-fi fantasy and author of Fahrenheit 451, died Tuesday at 91.The man who chronicled dystopian societies had strong political beliefs and spoke as darkly about contemporary politics as he did about burning books. "I think our country is in need of a revolution," the Los Angeles Times quoted him as saying in 2010. "There is too much government today. We've got to remember the government should be...
  • Company Vows Mars Colony by 2023, Funded by Reality Show

    06/04/2012 7:51:37 PM PDT · by garjog · 37 replies
    NBCUniversal Chanel 4 New York ^ | Monday, Jun 4, 2012 | By DANIEL MACHT
    A Dutch firm wants to build a colony on Mars and fund it with an international reality TV show. Historically the Dutch financed exploration of the new world established business colonies in New York and Australia. Sounds like a good idea.

    05/21/2012 7:01:31 PM PDT · by KevinDavis · 27 replies
    Discovery News ^ | 05/21/12 | Irene Klotz
    Privately owned Space Exploration Technologies is poised to make a test run to the International Space Station early Tuesday, but visiting the orbital outpost is just the beginning of the company's grand plan to give humanity a toehold on Mars. "Our goal is to revolutionize space transport, so we'll be doing every kind of space transport, except for suborbital. We'll launch satellites of all shapes and sizes, service the space station with cargo and crew, and then the long-term objective is to develop a space transport system that will enable humanity to become a multi-planet species," company founder and chief...
  • David Mars, The 1929 Curtiss Robin, and A Girl Named "Pearl"

    05/08/2012 3:04:23 AM PDT · by Yosemitest · 11 replies
    David Mars, The 1929 Curtiss Robin, and A Girl Named "Pearl" Or Touching Flying History, With David Mars I was at Tom Rose's Fly-In to raise money for the "Domestic Violence Shelter" and the turn out was small. Approaching from the west was a slow, high-wing aircraft that I first thought was an old Cessna, but as it got closer I realized it was traveling too slow to be a Cessna. As it entered downwind to the south and then turned final to what is more of a driveway than a runway, it looked like something I'd never seen before...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Flowing Barchan Sand Dunes on Mars

    04/22/2012 8:17:03 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | April 22, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: When does Mars act like a liquid? Although liquids freeze and evaporate quickly into the thin atmosphere of Mars, persistent winds may make large sand dunes appear to flow and even drip like a liquid. Visible on the above image right are two flat top mesas in southern Mars when the season was changing from Spring to Summer. A light dome topped hill is also visible on the far left of the image. As winds blow from right to left, flowing sand on and around the hills leaves picturesque streaks. The dark arc-shaped droplets of fine sand are called...
  • Viking robots found life on Mars in 1976, scientists say

    New analysis of 36-year-old data, resuscitated from printouts, shows that NASA found life on Mars, an international team of mathematicians and scientists conclude in a paper published this week.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Dust Devil of Mars

    04/12/2012 9:44:43 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    NASA ^ | April 13, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It was late in the northern martian spring when the HiRISE camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spied this local denizen. Tracking south and east (down and right) across the flat, dust-covered Amazonis Planitia the core of the whirling dust devil is about 30 meters in diameter. Lofting dust into the thin martian atmosphere, its plume reaches more than 800 meters above the surface. Not following the path of the dust devil, the plume is blown toward the east by a westerly breeze. Common in this region, dust devils occur as the surface is heated by the Sun, generating...
  • 12-mile-high Martian dust devil caught in act

    04/05/2012 7:31:35 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 25 replies
    04-05-2012 | By DC Agle
    A Martian dust devil roughly 12 miles high (20 kilometers) was captured whirling its way along the Amazonis Planitia region of Northern Mars on March 14. It was imaged by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Despite its height, the plume is little more than three-quarters of a football field wide (70 yards, or 70 meters). Dust devils occur on Earth as well as on Mars. They are spinning columns of air, made visible by the dust they pull off the ground. Unlike a tornado, a dust devil typically forms on a clear...
  • John Carter Movie Opening Tomorrow Nationwide

    03/08/2012 9:09:54 AM PST · by trailhkr1 · 57 replies
    IMBD ^ | March 2012 |
    Transplanted to Mars, a Civil War Confederate Captain discovers a lush planet inhabited by 12-foot tall barbarians. Finding himself a prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter a princess who is in desperate need of a savior.
  • John Carter; Disney movie

    03/04/2012 5:16:17 PM PST · by rrebo · 113 replies
    Just saw a pre-screening of "John Carter", a new Disney movie scheduled to open on March 9. It pretty much followed the Edgar Rice Burroughs Martian books. We saw it in 3D and it was quite good. Action all the way. Pretty sure there will be sequels by the way it ended.
  • But What of Our Future?

    Here we often discuss history, but what of our future? I wonder this as the shuttle program ends and after reading the The Case for Mars. The exploration of space is adrift, blown about by the shallow whims of politicians only interested in making it to the next election. Will the lessons of history that tell us of the perils of short-sightedness ever impact the feeble minds of Washington?
  • US bins (i.e. scraps) joint EU project to visit Mars

    02/14/2012 10:48:13 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 2012.02.14 @ 09:17 | Andrew Rettman
    The US is scrapping a joint project with the EU to land a robot on Mars due to lack of money. Charles Bolden, the chief of US space agency NASA, announced the move at a press conference in Washington on Monday (13 February) on how his agency plans to spend its 2013 budget. He said: "Tough choices had to be made ... This means we will not be moving forward with the planned 2016 and 2018 ExoMars missions that we had been exploring with the European Space Agency (ESA)." He added the US is not giving up on Mars as...
  • Scientists say NASA cutting missions to Mars

    02/09/2012 7:20:41 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 29 replies
    Yahoo ^ | 2/9/12 | Seth Borenstein - AP
    WASHINGTON (AP) Scientists say NASA is about to propose major cuts in its exploration of other planets, especially Mars. And NASA's former science chief is calling it irrational. With limited money for science and an over-budget new space telescope, the space agency essentially had to make a choice in where it wanted to explore: the neighboring planet or the far-off cosmos. Mars lost. Two scientists who were briefed on the 2013 NASA budget that will be released next week said the space agency is eliminating two proposed joint missions with Europeans to explore Mars in 2016 and 2018. NASA...
  • The Mars Prize, Newt Gingrich was right to propose it

    02/01/2012 2:03:54 PM PST · by Nachum · 31 replies
    National Review ^ | 2/1/12 | Rober Zubrin
    In August 1994, I was invited to have dinner with House Minority Whip Newt Gingrich. At that time, I was a senior engineer working for Martin Marietta Astronautics in Denver, where I had been responsible for inventing a new plan called Mars Direct. By radically simplifying the mission architecture and making bold use of Martian resources starting on the very first mission, this concept offered the potential to reduce the cost and schedule of a human Mars-exploration program. NASA analysis had confirmed these advantages, and word had leaked to Newsweek, which featured it as the cover story of its July...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Opportunity Rover Spots Greeley Haven on Mars

    01/25/2012 4:20:45 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    NASA ^ | January 25, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Where on Mars should you spend the winter? As winter approached in the southern hemisphere of Mars last November, the Opportunity rover had just this problem -- it needed a place to go. The reduced amount of sunlight impacting Opportunity's solar panels combined with the extra power needed to keep equipment warm could drain Opportunity's batteries. Therefore Opportunity was instructed to climb onto the 15 degree incline of Greeley's Haven, shown as the rocky slope ahead. The incline increased power input as Opportunity's solar panels now have greater exposure to sunlight, while also giving the rolling robot some interesting...
  • Mars rocks fell in Africa in JUly

    01/18/2012 12:12:32 PM PST · by wolfcreek · 38 replies
    yahoo ^ | 1.17.2012 | S. Borenstein
    Scientists are confirming a recent and rare invasion from Mars: meteorite chunks from the red planet that fell in Morocco last July. This is only the fifth ...
  • World awaits crash of failed Russian Mars probe [Sunday or Monday]

    01/13/2012 6:55:58 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 32 replies · 1+ views
    msnbc ^ | 1/13/2012 12:33:38 PM ET 2012-01-13T17:33:38 | Leonard David
    A coordinated global campaign is monitoring a wayward Russian Mars probe that's slated to crash to Earth in the next few days, the European Space Agency has announced. The doomed Phobos-Grunt spacecraft, which Russian officials estimate will re-enter Earth's atmosphere between Saturday and Monday, is now officially a target for the 12-member Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee, or IADC for short. "An IADC re-entry prediction campaign is ongoing since Jan. 2. Phobos-Grunt was identified to be no high-risk object," said Heiner Klinkrad, head of the space debris office at the European Space Agency's (ESA) European Space Operations Center in Darmstadt,...
  • Russian Official Suggests Weapon Caused Exploration Spacecrafts Failure (Also Destroyed Kursk)

    01/11/2012 5:03:20 AM PST · by lbryce · 23 replies
    New York Times ^ | Jauary 10, 2012 | Andrew E. Kramer
    A Russian scientific spacecraft whizzing out of control around the Earth, and expected to re-enter the atmosphere on Saturday, may have failed because it was struck by some type of antisatellite weapon, the director of Russias space agency said in an interview published Tuesday. He did not say who would want to interfere with the spacecraft, which was intended to explore a moon of Mars. The Russian craft, named Phobos-Grunt for the moon and the Russian word for ground, ran into trouble soon after it was launched in November, when its rockets failed to lift it out of low Earth...
  • Space powers propose roadmap for flight to Mars

    01/05/2012 5:56:51 PM PST · by KevinDavis · 8 replies
    RT ^ | 01/05/12
    Despite various economic issues undermining efforts by the worlds leading space powers to forge a program for future manned flights to the Red Planet, an international working group has come up with a universal space exploration roadmap. The effort by the partner nations in the International Space Station project, namely Russia, the United States, Canada, Japan and the European Space Agency, was also supported by China, India, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and other countries
  • Russia's failed Mars probe will come crashing down to Earth next month, space agency says

    12/16/2011 5:22:01 PM PST · by george76 · 27 replies
    ap ^ | December 16, 2011 | Vladimir Isachenkov
    A Russian spacecraft bound for a moon of Mars and stuck in Earth's orbit will come crashing back next month, but its toxic fuel and radioactive material on board will pose no danger of contamination, the Russian space agency said Friday. ... The failed mission was the latest in a series of recent Russian launch failures that have raised concerns about the condition of the country's space industries. Officials have blamed the failures on obsolete equipment and an aging workforce.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- An Unusual Vein of Deposited Rock on Mars

    12/12/2011 12:37:10 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | December 12, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What could create this unusual vein of rock on Mars? A leading hypothesis is that this thin rock layer dubbed "Homestake" was deposited by a running liquid -- like most mineral veins are here on Earth. And the running liquid of choice is water. Therefore, this mineral streak -- rich in calcium and sulfur -- is the latest in the growing body of evidence that part of Mars had a watery past. This, in turn, increases the speculation that Mars was once hospitable to life. Pictured above is a vista taken near the western rim of Endeavour Crater by...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Curiosity Rover Lifts Off for Mars

    11/30/2011 3:15:15 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies
    NASA ^ | November 30, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Next stop: Mars. This past weekend the Mars Science Laboratory carrying the Curiosity Rover blasted off for the red planet atop an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA, as pictured above. At five times the size of the Opportunity rover currently operating on Mars, Curiosity is like a strange little car with six small wheels, a head-like camera mast, a rock crusher, a long robotic arm, and a plutonium power source. Curiosity is scheduled to land on Mars next August and start a two year mission to explore Gale crater, to help determine whether Mars could ever...
  • NASA Live HD Coverage of Mars 'Curiosity' Rover Launch (Video at # 25)

    11/26/2011 5:50:50 AM PST · by lbryce · 26 replies
    NASA Live Launch Coverage
  • LIVE: Atlas V ready to launch NASAs MSL Rover to Mars

    11/26/2011 4:51:04 AM PST · by shove_it · 44 replies
    NASA ^ | 26 Nov 2011 | William Graham
    NASAs Mars Science Laboratory will begin its mission to the Red Planet Saturday, with a launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Liftoff from Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is scheduled to occur during a one-hour and 43 minute window opening at 15:02 UTC (10:02 local time). [...]
  • Mars landing will cap work of NASA Langley researchers

    11/24/2011 4:54:38 AM PST · by csvset · 13 replies
    The Virginian-Pilot ^ | November 23, 2011 | Diane Tennant
    HAMPTON Start with the big numbers - 354 million miles to Mars and a spacecraft weighing 7,000 pounds and traveling at 13,000 mph. Then go to the small numbers - an eight-month journey ending with seven minutes in nail-biting final descent. Put them together and you've got something that NASA Langley's David Way has worked toward for 10 years: the landing on Mars of NASA's newest planetary rover, Curiosity, scheduled to launch Saturday. More than 100 researchers and technicians at NASA Langley Research Center have worked on the mission. "When I started this project, my wife and I had a...
  • Russia Races to Save Mars Moon Probe from Space Junk Fate

    11/10/2011 9:02:35 PM PST · by smokingfrog · 7 replies ^ | 10 Nov 2011 | Denise Chow
    Russian engineers are scrambling to salvage a robotic Mars moon probe that is stuck in orbit around Earth, but are facing an uphill battle to get the spacecraft back on a path to the Red Planet before it becomes just another piece of space junk. The Russian Phobos-Grunt spacecraft launched Tuesday (Nov. 8) and separated from its Zenit rocket as planned. But the probe's own thrusters failed to fire in a maneuver that would have sent Phobos-Grunt on a trajectory toward Mars, Russian space officials said. Now the spacecraft, which is also carrying China's first Mars orbiter, is trapped in...
  • Russia takes aim at Phobos

    Mission to Martian moon is the country's first interplanetary attempt since 1996. Eric Hand 04 November 2011 Main Phobos, as seen in 2008 by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona Article tools Print Email Rights and Permissions Share/bookmark For the first time in 15 years, Russia is getting back into the business of interplanetary space science. It plans to launch an ambitious mission on 8 November to return a sample of soil from the Martian moon Phobos. The PhobosGrunt mission (which means Phobos-soil) would welcome Russia back to the elite group of nations the United States, Japan and...
  • Simulated Mars mission 'lands' back on Earth (isolated for 1.5 years)

    11/04/2011 6:00:38 AM PDT · by decimon · 34 replies
    BBC ^ | November 4, 2011 | Jonathan Amos
    Six men locked away in steel tubes for a year-and-a-half to simulate a mission to Mars have emerged from isolation.The Mars500 project, undertaken at a Moscow institute, was intended to find out how the human mind and body would cope on a long-duration spaceflight. It is a venture that has fascinated all who have followed it around the globe. The study even saw three of the men carry out a pretend landing on Mars, donning real spacesuits and walking across an enclosed sandy yard.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- White Rock Fingers on Mars

    10/30/2011 5:54:42 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 27 replies
    NASA ^ | October 30, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What caused this unusual light rock formation on Mars? Intrigued by the possibility that they could be salt deposits left over as an ancient lakebed dried-up, detailed studies of these fingers now indicate a more mundane possibility: volcanic ash. Studying the exact color of the formation indicated the possible volcanic origin. The light material appears to have eroded away from surrounding area, indicating a very low-density substance. The stark contrast between the rocks and the surrounding sand is compounded by the unusual darkness of the sand. The above picture was taken with the Thermal Emission Imaging System on the...
  • ZUBRIN: Obama readies to blast NASA

    10/27/2011 8:28:43 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 37 replies
    Washington Times ^ | 10/26/11 | Robert Zubrin
    Word has leaked out that in its new budget, the Obama administration intends to terminate NASAs planetary exploration program. The Mars Science Lab Curiosity, being readied on the pad, will be launched, as will the nearly completed small MAVEN orbiter scheduled for 2013, but that will be it. No further missions to anywhere are planned. After 2013, Americas amazing career of planetary exploration, which ran from the Mariner probes in the 1960s through the great Pioneer, Viking, Voyager, Pathfinder, MarsGlobalSurveyor, MarsOdyssey, Spirit, Opportunity, MarsReconnaissanceOrbiter, Galileo and Cassini missions, will simply end. Furthermore, the plan from the Office of Management and...
  • Mars Express Finds Supersaturated Water Vapor in Mars' Atmosphere

    10/10/2011 4:38:18 PM PDT · by decimon · 15 replies
    Daily Tech ^ | October 10, 2011 | Tiffany Kaiser
    Mars Express was able to accomplish what so many other spacecraft have tried and failed by using a SPICAM(2) spectrometer The search for water on Mars has been ongoing for quite some time now, with Mars rovers like NASA's Spirit and Opportunity being two examples of those who have found clues that point to a once-tropical past on the dusty red planet billions of years ago. Now, the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft has discovered that Mars' atmosphere holds water vapor in a supersaturated state. Mars Express was able to accomplish what so many other spacecraft have tried and...