Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Curiosity

  • Aliens discovered on Mars? Don’t believe the hype

    Laurel KornfeldJune 7th, 2018

    NASA's Mars Curiosity rover, which has been exploring the Red Planet since 2012, has discovered organic molecules in Martian rocks and atmospheric methane levels that change seasonally, according to an announcement and a live discussion the space agency held on Thursday, June 7. Proof of alien life? Not so much.

  • Curiosity’s laboratories resume analysis of Mars surface samples

    Laurel KornfeldJune 6th, 2018

    After more than a year and a half of inactivity, the laboratories on NASA's Mars Curiosity rover are once again analyzing surface samples collected from the Red Planet.

  • Update: Curiosity rover successfully drills hole in ‘Duluth’

    Jim SharkeyMay 23rd, 2018

    NASA's Curiosity rover has successfully tested a new method of drilling rocks on Mars. On Sunday, May 20, the rover drilled a hole about 2 inches (50 millimeters) into a target rock named "Duluth." It was the first rock sample acquired by Curiosity in more than a year.

  • NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover tests new drilling method

    Jim SharkeyMay 23rd, 2018

    NASA's Curiosity Mars rover may soon be back to drilling rocks on the Red Planet. Engineers with the rover team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have been working for the past year to restore the rover's full drilling capabilities, which were hampered by a mechanical problem in 2016.

  • Curiosity Mars rover reaches 2,000 sol milestone

    Jim SharkeyMarch 25th, 2018

    NASA's Curiosity Mars rover team celebrated the vehicle's 2,000th Martian day, or sol, on the Red Planet on March 22, 2018.  An image mosaic taken in January shows the rover's next major scientific target, an area with clay-bearing rocks that researchers have studied from orbit.

  • Curiosity rover tests new drilling technique

    Laurel KornfeldMarch 2nd, 2018

    NASA's Curiosity rover conducted its first drilling in over a year on Feb. 26, 2018, to test a new technique developed by mission team members on Earth after the motor powering the drill's feed mechanism malfunctioned in December 2016.

  • Curiosity Mars rover ‘photobombed’ by Mount Sharp

    Jim SharkeyFebruary 3rd, 2018

    A recent self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the robot on Vera Rubin Ridge, which it has been exploring for several months. Directly behind the rover is the foot of a clay-rich slope Curiosity will begin climbing in the coming weeks. North is on the left of the image and west is on the right, with the rim of Gale Crater on the horizon of both edges.

  • Panoramic images show Curiosity’s route on Mars since 2012 landing

    Laurel KornfeldFebruary 1st, 2018

    Members of NASA's Curiosity team combined individual photos taken by the rover's Mast Camera (Mastcam) on the northern flank of Mount Sharp to create a panorama that overlooks the many sites the six-wheeled geologist has visited since landing on Mars in 2012.

  • Dust storms linked to gas escaping Martian atmosphere

    Jim SharkeyJanuary 26th, 2018

    A new study using data gathered by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) during the Red Planet's most recent global dust storm in 2007, suggests that such storms play a role in the escaping of gases from the planet's atmosphere. That process transformed the warmer, wetter climate of ancient Mars into the arid, frozen conditions found on the surface of the Red Planet today.

  • Study: Exploration of Special Regions needed to find alien life on Mars

    Tomasz NowakowskiNovember 28th, 2017

    An international team of researchers has conducted a study endorsing the exploration of the so-called Special Regions on Mars. They call for the relaxation of the planetary protection policy in order to allow sending robotic explorers to the restricted areas that could potentially host microbial life.

  • 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.