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… »
Yesterday, NASA reignited our hopes of finding alien life when it announced the first direct evidence of liquid water on Mars. But before we start indulging in fantasies of space crabs and reptilian beings, we ought to remember that Mars is a frigid world with a thin atmosphere. And that raises an obvious question:… »
Today we learned something new, and amazing, about Mars. But, although today was the day that the news was confirmed, it’s been in the making for quite sometime. Here, in pictures, is a history of how we finally found out that there really was water flowing up on Mars. »
Over on reddit, an awesome AMA between readers and NASA Mars scientists plumbs deeper into today’s flowing water announcement. Here’re the highlights. »
I’m in Gentry Lee’s office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California for less than 30 seconds before he jumps to his whiteboard to explain to me why people care about Mars. »
After a weekend of rampant speculation, NASA has confirmed our suspicions: There’s probably liquid water on Mars today. The landmark finding makes the notion of life on the Red Planet all the more plausible. »
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.
For each mission, NASA does a considerable amount of work publicizing their efforts to bring awareness of their mission to the general public. The same would be true for a manned Mars Mission, as the official Mission Guide for The Martian demonstrates. »
The Apollo moon missions ended over 40 years ago, but incredibly, scientists are still learning from them. Case in point: A team of researchers has unearthed 210 previously unknown “moonquakes” in a slew of seismic data collected by Apollo 16. »
This is one of the most fascinating images of Mars I’ve ever seen. The perspective—captured by Mars Express—makes it feel like I’m standing under our closest planetary neighbor, looking up at its south polar ice cap and its billion-year-old cratered highlands. In other words, this is Mars’ nether regions. »
Life on Mars may sound glamorous, but in reality it’s going to mean a lot of time crammed in a small bubble with a few other humans. This could end very badly. So to practice, NASA has taken to sticking people in domes and keeping them isolated for months on end. »
Everybody’s talking about heading to Mars these days. But Buzz Aldrin, legendary figure from a space long past, might actually get to the job done. »
Our bodies aren’t meant for space. We require too much maintenance to speed through the stars. We need a steady supply of things absent from space — namely water, food and oxygen. We crave warmth but won’t find it in deep space, where the average temperature is -455 degrees Fahrenheit. Even if we could survive in an… »