Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Curiosity rover

  • Visitors ‘dare mighty things’ at Explore JPL event

    Jerome StrachMay 22nd, 2017

    PASADENA, Calif. — On a 177-acre campus built into a mountainside, engineers and flight controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) offered their time to provide an experience for the public. For many, the Explore JPL event, which occurred on May 20–21, 2017, was a rare opportunity to visit the facilities that build and control spacecraft like Cassini, Voyagers 1 and 2, and the Curiosity Mars rover.

  • NASA’s Curiosity rover samples linear active dune on Mars

    Jim SharkeyMay 8th, 2017

    As NASA's Curiosity Mars rover travels uphill from a band of rippled sand dunes, it carries with it a sample of dark sand for later analysis that will complete the rover's examination of those dunes. The rover studied four sites near a linear dune from early February until early April to compare those to what it had found during its examination of crescent-shaped dunes in late 2015 and early 2016.

  • Most of Mars’ atmosphere lost to space, scientists say

    Jim SharkeyApril 1st, 2017

    According to a new study by scientists working with NASA's MAVEN spacecraft, the Martian atmosphere was mostly stripped away by solar wind and radiation, changing Mars from a world that could have supported life billions of years ago into the frigid desert planet it is today.

  • Wheel treads break on Curiosity rover

    Paul KnightlyMarch 23rd, 2017

    At nearly five years old, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is starting to show signs of its age following a routine inspection of the rover's six wheels that revealed two small breaks in the treads on the middle left wheel.

  • Curiosity rover findings raise new questions about ancient environment on Mars

    Jim SharkeyFebruary 8th, 2017

    While NASA's "Curiosity" Mars rover has discovered considerable evidence that there was once liquid water on the Red Planet's surface, a recent study has posed a new question: How was the surface of Mars warm enough to keep the water unfrozen?

  • NASA’s Curiosity rover studies possible mud cracks

    Jim SharkeyJanuary 19th, 2017

    Researchers with NASA's "Curiosity" mission have recently been using the Mars rover to study slabs of rock cross-hatched with shallow ridges that may have begun as cracks in drying mud more than 3 billion years ago.

  • Mars Curiosity rover pauses to check for dust in its eye

    Bart LeahyJanuary 13th, 2017

    NASA's "Curiosity" rover – a.k.a. Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission – delayed its travels because a robotic arm fault prevented the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) from putting the dust cover over its lens overnight. Curiosity's science team put any further roving and science for Sol 1576 on hold pending resolution of the fault.

  • NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is driving again, drill is still out of action

    Jim SharkeyDecember 24th, 2016

    NASA's "Curiosity" Mars rover drove, on Dec. 18, for about 10 meters from the spot where it had been stopped by ground engineers in order to determine the cause of its faulty drill.

  • Curiosity rover detects boron, more evidence of past habitability on Mars

    Jim SharkeyDecember 15th, 2016

    As NASA's "Curiosity" Mars rover climbs the slopes of Mount Sharp, the layered mountain at the center of Gale crater, it is finding patterns of change in rock composition in the mountain's higher, younger layers. The rover has also detected the chemical element Boron for the first time on the surface of Mars.

  • Curiosity rover team troubleshoots drill problem

    Jim SharkeyDecember 10th, 2016

    NASA's Curiosity rover is currently studying its surroundings and monitoring the Martian environment, but not driving or using its arm for science, while the rover team investigates an issue with a motor that moves the rover's drill.

  • Curiosity rover begins extended mission

    Jim SharkeyOctober 6th, 2016

    NASA's "Curiosity" Mars rover has started an uphill drive from the scenic "Murray Buttes" area and toward new destinations as part of its two-year mission extension that began on Oct. 1.

  • Curiosity discovers how Mars’ crust contributes to atmosphere

    Jim SharkeyOctober 4th, 2016

    NASA's "Curiosity" Mars rover has found evidence that chemical processes within the surface of Mars contribute to the makeup of the planet's atmosphere over time. The new findings come from the rover's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite, which studied the gases xenon and krypton in Mars' atmosphere.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: The age of automated sentinels begins

    Alexis CreedySeptember 7th, 2016

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — With NASA less than a day away from seeing their OSIRIS-REx spacecraft begin its voyage to asteroid Bennu, a brief review of some of the U.S. space agency's many robotic accomplishments is in order.

  • New software lets Curiosity select its own laser targets

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 22nd, 2016

    NASA's Curiosity rover can choose targets for examination via laser spectrometer on its own, thanks to new software developed at the space agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The development marks a major milestone: For the first time, a robotic explorer on a planetary mission can autonomously select target rocks for additional study.

  • Curiosity rover finds unusual mineral on Mars

    Jim SharkeyJune 27th, 2016

    Researchers using data from NASA's Curiosity Mars rover have found an unexpected mineral in a rock sample at Gale Crater. The discovery may change our understanding of how Mars evolved.