As the Curiosity rover crawls its way across the Martian surface, it has to deal with a team of over 20 people to decide its every move. That makes riding in the car with an annoying navigator seem like a luxury.
Researchers with the ExoMars mission are pointing to a potential computing glitch as the cause of last week’s crash of the Schiaparelli lander. The challenge now will be to isolate and correct the error in hopes of preventing a repeat in 2020, when mission planners aim to land a much larger rover on the Red Planet.
NASA is racing to finish a new Mars rover, and the mission just got a launch and land date. The new rover will leave Earth by August 2020, and in February of 2021, it will hit the surface of the Red Planet to search for signs of life.
Late last year, the lander NASA was going to send up to Mars was grounded just three months before its planned launch date. Now, it looks like NASA’s Insight Lander will make it up there after all.
When NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on Mars in August 2012, millions of people across the globe tuned in to watch. It was the culmination of nine long years of effort — and it went off without a hitch. In particular, we marveled at the ingenious method designed by the engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to lower…
In August 2012, millions of Earthlings watched live as a hovering sky crane dropped the Curiosity rover onto the surface of Mars, 140 million miles away. Rocket scientist Adam Steltzner was on the front lines for that mission, and takes us behind the scenes in his new book, The Right Kind of Crazy: A True Story of…
Mars InSight lander was set to blast its way towards the red planet just three short months from now. Today, NASA announced that leaks that had sprung up in the lander wouldn’t be fixed in time. The next window to send it back won’t be for two years—and whether it will make it then isn’t yet certain.
The first Martian marathon was no easy trek: the Opportunity rover had to struggle through smooth, soft sand and clamber over sharp rocks. This is the sounds of the terrain it covered in its 11-year journey exploring the red planet.
On the 949th day of its Martian mission, the Curiosity Rover was spotted by its space-based companion, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Back in 2010, XKCD's Randall Munroe devoted a surprisingly moving webcomic to Spirit, NASA's ill-fated and ultimately abandoned Mars rover. Today's comic is about Spirit's twin, the apparently indomitable Opportunity, and its tone is markedly less sentimental.
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…
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…
When sending spacecraft to Mars, the current, preferred method involves shooting spacecraft towards Mars at full-speed, then performing a braking maneuver once the ship is close enough to slow it down and bring it into orbit.
It took a little more than 2 years and nearly 9 kilometers of driving, but NASA's Curiosity Rover has finally reached the base of Mount Sharp.
NASA plans to extend seven of its ongoing planetary missions, a review panel announced yesterday. Two of the missions, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars rover Opportunity, were at risk of being shut down, but it was Mars rover Curiosity that drew the least-favorable reviews, and the harshest criticisms.
NASA's Opportunity rover is still trundling across the surface of Mars, more than 11 years after its 90 day mission began. But its software is getting bogged down, so NASA's doing a full system backup, memory wipe, and reboot. It's just like your routine computer cleanup, just from the next planet over.
NASA just announced what the Mars 2020 rover will carry to the Martian surface, and one of them sounds like pure sci-fi: MOXIE, a machine that sucks in carbon dioxide from the Martian atmosphere and pumps out pure oxygen for use in rocket fuel—or someday, for humans to breathe.
NASA's Curiosity rover recently... erm... "unburdened" itself of a rock sample, then took a photo to mark the occasion. The small pile of Martian material was collected back in May at the Windjana drill site, the fourth location from which Curiosity has probed the planet's terrain.
Forty-five years ago today, Apollo 11 launched from Kennedy Space Center on humanity's first crewed mission to the surface of the moon. This view of Earth was captured from Apollo soon after translunar injection, just as the spacecraft was breaking away from our planet's orbit.