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Tag Archives: Mars

“Good Night Oppy” Beautifully Illustrates the Unbreakable Bond Between Humans and our Robotic Explorers

Credit: Amblin Entertainment/Amazon Studios In January 2004, NASA rovers Spirit and Opportunity (aka “Oppy”) landed in two completely different locations on Mars. Their missions were only designed to last 90 sols (approximately 90 Earth days), but they exceeded these parameters. While Spirit lasted until 2010, Opportunity lasted another astonishing eight years, when it sent its last transmission to Earth in ...

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Perseverance has Found a Nice Patch of Sandstone on Mars

NASA’s rolling geology robot shared a great image of sandstone that it found on Mars in Jezero Crater. It’s in a region called “Yori Pass”, which is part of an ancient river delta. Perseverance will take rock samples there for the upcoming Sample Return Mission. They should tell more about what happened with water in this region. And maybe they’ll ...

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Why NASA Is Trying to Crash Land on Mars

You know, sometimes the old ways are the best. At least, when it comes to landing on Mars and other planets, it’s worth looking at past successes—and failures. That’s the case with an idea that engineers at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory are testing: crashing spacecraft onto surfaces. Now, of course, NASA (and others) have already crashed plenty of missions onto ...

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Perseverance Has Collected Samples from One of the Best Places to Search for Ancient Life on Mars

Scientists with NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover said today that the rover has collected several “tantalizing” organic rock samples from an ancient river delta on the Red Planet. These samples have now been stowed for a planned future mission that hopes to retrieve the specimens and bring them back to Earth for the first-ever sample return from Mars. “The rocks that ...

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Beautiful Dunes on Mars, Sculpted by Swirling Winds

This interesting image from the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a field of fascinating dunes called barchan dunes. These dunes have formed along a cliff in Chasma Boreale, in the North Pole of Mars. The High-Resolution Imaging Experiment, or HIRISE is a powerful camera takes pictures that see features as small as a desk from orbit. The ...

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How Weak Will Astronauts Feel When They First set Foot on Mars After Months in Space?

In the coming decade, in 2033, NASA and China intend to send astronauts to Mars for the first time in history. This presents numerous challenges, ranging from logistical and technical issues to ensuring that astronauts can deal with waste and have enough food and water for the months-long transit to and from Mars. But of course, there’s also the health ...

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Mars and Moon Dust can be Turned Into Geopolymer Cement. Good Enough for Landing Pads and Other Structures

Materials science has long taken the lead in space exploration research, and it seems to have been getting even more attention than usual lately. That is especially true for building materials. NASA has funded several new research programs to develop new building materials that can do everything from providing structure to future human habs to landing pads for future reusable ...

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The Mars Sample Return Mission Will Take Two Helicopters to the Red Planet to Help Retrieve Samples

NASA’s upcoming Mars Sample Return mission plan just received a glow-up: it will now carry a pair of twin helicopters, each capable of retrieving samples and delivering them to the ascent vehicle for return to Earth. The helicopters take the place of a previously planned fetch rover, which has now been ditched from the plan altogether. The fetch rover would ...

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