Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Curiosity

  • Curiosity applies color talents to ‘Vera Rubin Ridge’

    Jim SharkeyNovember 3rd, 2017

    The color-discerning abilities of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover have proven particularly useful as the rover continues its climb of "Vera Rubin Ridge". In addition to the thousands of full-color images that Curiosity takes every year, the rover can image the Martian surface using special filters that can aid in identifying some minerals – something it has used to scout the terrain it will soon cover.

  • Curiosity team working to resume drilling

    Jim SharkeyOctober 25th, 2017

    Engineers with NASA's Curiosity Mars rover team are working to restore the rover's sample-drilling capability by using new techniques. Use of the drill has been suspended due to a mechanical problem with the arm that first occurred late last year.

  • Curiosity rover begins climb of ‘Vera Rubin Ridge’

    Jim SharkeySeptember 17th, 2017

    NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has started the steep climb of an iron-oxide bearing ridge on the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp that has long been of interest to researchers. "Vera Rubin Ridge", also known as "Hematite Ridge", was informally named in early 2017 in memory of pioneering astrophysicist Vera Cooper Rubin, whose research provided evidence for the existence of dark matter.

  • Curiosity spots clouds drifting across Martian sky

    Jim SharkeyAugust 15th, 2017

    Wispy clouds resembling Earth's ice-crystal clouds move across the Martian sky in new images from NASA's Curiosity Mars rover. The clouds are the most clearly visible so far from Curiosity, which landed on Mars in Gale Crater five years ago this month. Clouds in the Martian sky have been previously observed by Curiosity and other missions to the Martian surface, including NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Curiosity’s fifth year on Mars marked by celebration – and song

    Christopher PaulAugust 7th, 2017

    NASA’s Curiosity rover celebrated 5 (Earth) years on Mars on Saturday, August 6. After launching on a ULA Atlas V 541 rocket on Nov. 26, 2011, and then cruising through interplanetary space for nine months, the rover descended through the Red Planet's atmosphere to the surface via its Skycrane system. Curiosity landed on Mars at 05:17 UTC (1:17 a.m. EDT) on Aug. 6, 2012.

  • NASA prepares its Martian explorers for solar conjunction radio silence

    Curt GodwinJuly 16th, 2017

    For more than twenty years, NASA has had explorers surveying the Red Planet. Dutifully, the stalwart robotic travelers have followed commands beamed from their Earth-bound handlers and returned gigabytes of information of their Martian observations.

  • Curiosity eyes new ridge in exploration of the Red Planet

    Ocean McIntyreJuly 15th, 2017

    After nearly five years of its exploration of the Red Planet, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, more commonly known as the Curiosity rover, will begin its long-awaited study of a tantalizing ridge formation along a slope of Mount Sharp in the center of Gale Crater.

  • New driving algorithm helps protect Curiosity rover’s wheels

    Jim SharkeyJuly 4th, 2017

    The six wheels of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover have experienced considerable wear and tear since the one-ton rover landed on Mars on August 6, 2012. However, a new algorithm is helping the rover drive more carefully over rocks on the Martian surface to reduce wheel wear.

  • Curiosity rover finds evidence of stratified ancient Martian lake

    Jim SharkeyJune 8th, 2017

    A recent comprehensive study of data from the first three-and-a-half years of NASA's Curiosity mission indicates that a long-lasting ancient lake on Mars had stable environmental conditions that differed significantly from one part of the lake to another. Different conditions that were suitable for different types of microbes existed simultaneously in the lake.

  • ‘Halos’ discovered on Mars widen time frame for potential life

    Ocean McIntyreJune 6th, 2017

    A paper released recently indicates a habitable environment may have existed on Mars for far longer than previously believed. The paper, which was published in Geophysical Research Letters, looked at halos, or light areas, surrounding fractures in areas of Gale Crater on Mars.

  • 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.