The First People On Mars Could Have One Hell Of A Case Of Jet Lag

A day on Mars—or a "sol"—is 24 hours and 40 minutes long, close enough to Earth's that for a long time NASA didn't think much of it. But those 40 minutes a day add up, and sleep scientists now worry that our Earthly circadian rhythms could be one more major headache for the first humans on Mars. » 2/26/15 2:45pm Thursday 2:45pm

Check out the new (and coolest) Mars Curiosity panorama selfie

Bravo NASA f0r capturing this new cool Mars Curiosity selfie on the surface of Mars at its new research site, the Mojave. NASA made this image by combining dozens of photos taken during January 2015. Here is the annotated version, so you can see the sites that the rover visited before reaching this point. » 2/25/15 12:01am 2/25/15 12:01am

(Mock) Mars Mission Comes to (Mock) Tragic End Thanks to (Real) Fire

The brave men and women living in a (mock) Martian base (in Utah), have met a (mock) brutal and fiery end. After an (actual) greenhouse fire sent flames soaring up 10 feet into the air, our (mock) astronauts have been laid to rest (in their respective homes as they see fit). Goodbye and godspeed, you magnificent… » 1/28/15 1:30pm 1/28/15 1:30pm

A Look at How Mini Helicopters Could Help NASA's Future Rovers

Driving on the surface of Mars pretty much sucks. Even though the Opportunity rover celebrated its 11th anniversary on the Martian surface today, that robust little craft has also ran into tricky sand dunes and other perplexing surface anomalies. It sure would be nice if some aerial reconnaissance could identified… » 1/25/15 7:00pm 1/25/15 7:00pm

NASA's Opportunity Has Now Explored the Martian Surface for 11 Years

Eleven years ago today—in fact, at this very minute (12:05 am ET)—NASA's Opportunity rover touched down on Mars for what was supposed to be a 90-day mission. Since then, Opportunity has proven to be an engineering marvel by traveling almost 26 miles on the Martian surface, more than any other off-Earth surface vehicle. » 1/25/15 12:05am 1/25/15 12:05am

What Would Happen If the Earth Stopped Its Orbit? (Nothing Good)

Welcome to Reading List. Another year and another week means another roundup of great stories that might have squeaked by during the holiday. We've got some speculative doom and gloom, a look into the future of one of NASA's Mars rovers, and a profile of a man who is clickbait personified. Happy New Year and happy… » 1/04/15 2:00pm 1/04/15 2:00pm

Amnesiac Mars Rover Is Getting Brain Surgery From Millions of Miles Away

NASA has had some truly bad luck lately, underscored by the cancellation of an ambitious balloon mission due to a leak last week. Even Opportunity, the decade-old Mars rover that has surprised everyone by exploring for more than a decade after its mission ended, is showing signs of slowing down. Now, NASA has a plan… » 1/02/15 11:50am 1/02/15 11:50am

We Found a New and Cheaper Way to Get to Mars

There are myriad reasons why getting from Earth to Mars is hard, but chief among them are two 1) the massive amount of fuel needed and 2) a launch window that is limited to every 26 months, when the two planets are in optimal alignment. A couple of mathematicians have calculated a new path to Mars that solves both—and… » 12/23/14 4:25pm 12/23/14 4:25pm

Curiosity rover snaps cool Mars shot through damaged wheel

Curiosity snapped this cool closeup of its wheel on Mars soil last week. You can see the bumps and damage the tire. Note: I have color corrected and enhanced the original image for clarity. Note 2: Jesuschrist, that's a photo of freaking Mars, people! It still amazes me that this is happening. » 12/22/14 7:41pm 12/22/14 7:41pm