A new study has documented for the first time how certain microorganisms are able to survive the extreme aridity of Chile’s Atacama Desert—the world’s driest—by going dormant for decades.
The Phoenix Lander detected water on Mars during its three-month mission in 2008, and now it is being swallowed by the planet’s dust. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped the above two images, one in 2008 and the other in December of 2017.
Saturday, February 17th marks the 5,000th local day (sol) of operations for NASA’s Mars Opportunity rover, which was originally designed to last for just 90 sols after its January 2004 landing date, but has instead continued to set milestones like completing a marathon-length tour of its surroundings and taking huge…
After months of steady progress, NASA’s Curiosity rover has reached the top of Vera Rubin Ridge. And like the good mountain climber that it is, the rover took the opportunity to look around and bask in the view from up high. The resulting panorama—stitched together from 16 individual photos—is one of the most…
Mars likely held flowing water during its ancient past, possibly even vast oceans of it. Most of this precious liquid escaped into space, but some of it stayed behind, transforming into ice and settling beneath the rocky surface. New research shows that a sizable portion of this water ice is surprisingly near the…
Mars looks like it used to have water—perhaps even entire oceans. But not today. Today, scientists can’t even decide whether it’s got slight trickles darkening the dirt on its mountainsides. If Mars did once have oceans, then where did they go?
Facts are built into the fabric of the Universe, but science can sometimes be a problematic tool for establishing them. On occasion, even the most exciting discoveries can be overturned with more evidence.
In preparation for NASA’s next robotic mission to Mars, the space station has performed a successful test of a special parachute that’s designed to withstand the intense speeds involved during an atmospheric descent.
As Elton John once sang, it’s lonely out in space—so it helps if you have a close family member around to help you get the job done. However, it’s also way scarier when something goes wrong, as it does for the mother-and-son team stationed on Mars in Tom Teller’s suspenseful short Icarus.
Andrew Finch’s Others Will Follow is about a mission to Mars gone awry, but this isn’t The Martian. There are no alien potatoes, and no jokes about space pirates—just a lonely astronaut reflecting on his fate, and deciding to risk it all to send one last inspirational message back to Earth.
The Odyssey orbiter has been hovering above Mars, photographing its surface and taking data for 16 years now. There’s seemingly infinite combinations of things to study and instruments to study them with—this time, all NASA had to do was turn the camera around.
Before the 68th International Aeronautical Congress early this morning, Elon Musk delivered some bold predictions for his aeronautics company SpaceX: a massive new rocket that could put a satellite ten times the size of Hubble into space, a base on the moon, and two manned missions to Mars by 2024 to find a water…
Billionaire whiz kid Elon Musk, who last year announced his plan to send a group of astronauts either incredibly brave or incredibly eager to get off this dumb planet to colonize Mars, is poised to give a big update on those plans on Friday.
Before Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and other space enthusiasts can ship humans to Mars as easily as an Amazon Prime delivery, we need to figure out they’ll fare on a foreign planet. Luckily, NASA and the University of Hawaii have been all over this, funding several successful iterations of an experiment called Hawaii Space…
When you think about what makes a planet special, maybe you think about its size, its composition, how far it is from the Sun, and maybe how large its collection of apples is. You are probably not thinking about its density. But maybe you should be.
Over the past few days, NASA’s Curiosity rover has been making a steady climb towards a strange Martian ridge that’s captivated scientists since before the mission even started. Known as Vera Ridge after the pioneering astrophysicist Vera Rubin, the durable outcrop could shed new light on the environment and potential…
Last month, NASA’s Curiosity rover captured some of the most remarkable images of Martian clouds we’ve ever seen. Now rare, these Earth-like cirrus clouds are a glimpse into the Red Planet’s distant past.
Mars’ two moons, Phobos and Deimos, are like the bay leaves of the solar system: they’re fine I guess but what are they trying to do? The larger satellite, Phobos, is interesting because its existence is almost poetic: it’s small, falling apart due to stress, and apparently, desperately in need of validation.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, whose prior plan for stellar colonization involved sending people who are not Elon Musk to go die on Mars, thinks this noble endeavor will require a practice round of sending people to die on the Moon first.
On Sunday, four Chinese volunteers were sealed into a 1,720-square-foot lab where they are supposed to remain for the next six and a half months. The experiment is one of the latest steps in China’s plan to put astronauts on the moon by 2036.