Tag Archives: Mars rovers

Curiosity’s Mars Drill Is Jammed

Having your drill break down while you’re millions of miles from the nearest hardware store would be a bummer, but that is exactly what’s happened to NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity.

The rover, which is currently located at the lower slopes of the 3.4-mile-high Mount Sharp (officially known as Aeolis Mons), was supposed to carry out a drilling operation on a geologically interesting location on Dec. 1 when mission controllers got word that Curiosity was unable to complete its commands. Early indications show that the rover detected a fault with the “drill feed” mechanism that lowers the drill piece to the rocky sample and aborted the operation. Continue reading Curiosity’s Mars Drill Is Jammed

NASA Is Ready to Start Building Its Life-Hunting 2020 Mars Rover

NASA’s life-hunting 2020 Mars rover has cleared an extensive review process and is now ready to begin the final design and construction phase, agency officials announced July 15.

If all goes according to plan, the six-wheeled robot will blast off in August 2020, touch down in February 2021 in a yet-to-be-determined spot, and then explore the Martian surface for at least two years, mission team members said. Continue reading NASA Is Ready to Start Building Its Life-Hunting 2020 Mars Rover

Powered Up, Veteran Rover Soldiers Through Mars Winter

For a rover with a prime mission of only 3 months, NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity sure is going above and beyond the call of duty.

On Monday, the veteran wheeled rover celebrated its 12th year (yes, that’s 12 Earth years, or 144 months) on the red planet and, although it’s been a hard road for the robot, it is still doing science. And it’s doing science during the most aggressive period of the Martian year, which is nearly 687 Earth days long. Continue reading Powered Up, Veteran Rover Soldiers Through Mars Winter