Tag Archives: Mars

Curiosity Finds Mars May Be Covered in Organic Chemistry

New analysis from NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover shows that the red planet is likely flush with organics.

“I am convinced that organics are all over Mars,” said Jennifer Eigenbrode, a biogeochemist and geologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

“They’re all over the surface and they’re probably through the rock record. What that means is something we’ll have to talk about,” Eigenbrode said last week during a National Academy of Sciences workshop about the search for life beyond Earth. Continue reading Curiosity Finds Mars May Be Covered in Organic Chemistry

National Geographic ‘MARS’ Offers History of Future 1st Landing on Red Planet

Humanity is still years away from landing on Mars, but the first documentary to look back at that achievement is already complete.

The six-part television docudrama “MARS,” premiering on the National Geographic Channel Monday night (Nov. 14), chronicles the first mission to the Red Planet in 2033 using footage of the crew’s activities on the surface and through “flashbacks” to 2016, when the journey to Mars began. Continue reading National Geographic ‘MARS’ Offers History of Future 1st Landing on Red Planet

Odds Favor Successful SpaceX Mars Mission

Before NASA decided to help SpaceX on its journey to Mars, details of which company chief Elon Musk plans to unveil on Tuesday, the U.S. space agency reviewed the plan for SpaceX’s first mission, slated to launch in 2018, and decided it has a reasonably good chance of success.

For NASA, a successful mission means that SpaceX’s Mars vehicle, called Red Dragon, flies through the Martian atmosphere with its thrusters firing in the direction of travel, a technology known as supersonic retrograde propulsion. The feather in the cap would be a propulsive landing on the Martian surface. Continue reading Odds Favor Successful SpaceX Mars Mission

Spacecraft Spots Earth, Mars and Pluto’s Position in Time-Lapse Sequence

An incredible new time-lapse video shows Earth, Mars and the location of Pluto using images from NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory Ahead (STEREO-A) spacecraft, with the Milky Way as a vivid background. The spacecraft, whose primary mission is to monitor solar activity, was on the far side of the sun when the pictures were taken earlier this month. Continue reading Spacecraft Spots Earth, Mars and Pluto’s Position in Time-Lapse Sequence

Mars Is Coming Out of an Ice Age

Radar imagery from a NASA Mars orbiter shows the Red Planet has been through cycles of climate change — and it’s currently thawing.

 Mars is in the process of 370,000-year-old climate shift that, one day, will leave the Red Planet looking fairly pink, new research shows.

Evidence that Mars is emerging from an ice age comes from analysis of radar images showing dramatic variations within layers of ice inside the planet’s northern polar cap. As the planet warms, more ice collects on its polar regions, the reverse of long-duration climate shifts on Earth. The cycles are triggered by variations in the planets’ orbits around the sun and their axial tilts. Continue reading Mars Is Coming Out of an Ice Age

Mysterious Mars Mounds Were Liquid-Filled Craters

On Mars, formerly water-filled craters transformed to dry mile-high mounds with the help of wind, according to new research.

The results explain the geography of Gale Crater (the Curiosity rover’s landing site) as well as other high-topped places on the Red Planet, and confirm that wind is currently the dominant force in Mars’ geology. (Mars has no widespread plate tectonics or liquid water today). Continue reading Mysterious Mars Mounds Were Liquid-Filled Craters

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