Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Mars Science Laboratory

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Curiosity bids farewell to Murray Buttes

    Jim SharkeySeptember 12th, 2016

    NASA's "Curiosity" Mars rover recently began driving away from "Murray Buttes" on lower Mount Sharp but not before taking several images of the spectacular layered geological formations in the area.

  • Mars Curiosity rover enters, leaves safe mode

    Larry KlaesJuly 8th, 2016

    Just two days before the start of the Fourth of July holiday, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity went into an unexpected safe mode, a state that it had not entered since 2013. According to NASA, the nuclear-powered rover has since resumed communications with Earth and engineers are working to restore Curiosity to its full working capacity.

  • Curiosity rover finds surprising sand dunes

    Jim SharkeyJuly 3rd, 2016

    Studies of the "Bagnold Dunes" by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover have resulted in the discovery of an unusual type of wind-sculpted sand ripples not found on Earth. The rover began its investigation of the dunes on the northwestern flanks of Mount Sharp six months ago.

  • Mars rover scientist hopes to find more evidence of liquid water on the Red Planet

    Tomasz NowakowskiMay 18th, 2016

    Although the existence of liquid water on the Red Planet was confirmed by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) last year, the scientific community is gearing up for a more thorough analysis of the topic. This investigation could be provided by NASA's Curiosity rover as it studies the Martian surface from its vantage point in Gale Crater.

  • Curiosity rover crosses rugged plateau

    Jim SharkeyMay 1st, 2016

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity is traversing some rugged terrain. Recent images collected by the rover highlight how rough the ground is – and it raises concerns about the state of the rover's wheels.

  • Mars 360 – Curiosity rover continues to wow with stunning panorama!

    Jason RhianFebruary 16th, 2016

    Curiosity landed on the surface of Mars in August of 2012. Since that time, the nuclear-powered, one-ton rover has helped redefine how humanity views the Red Planet – and paving the way for NASA's "Journey to Mars". JPL recently unveiled a 360-degree panorama of the robot's current location, allowing viewers to stop and appreciate the jaw-dropping vista that comprises Curiosity's current workplace.

  • Alien waves on ancient shores: Curiosity confirms lake flourished at Gale Crater

    Joe LatrellOctober 13th, 2015

    The team working with NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover has found the best evidence to date that, billions of years ago, Mars once had lakes that lasted for extended periods of time. This is just the latest discovery concerning the Red Planet's past.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: A voyage driven by Curiosity

    Jason RhianAugust 6th, 2015

    NASA's MSL rover, touched down three years ago on this date, August 6, 2012. Just getting the one-ton rover onto the surface of the Red Planet required a new way of landing the robotic geologist on the flash-frozen world. NASA found a way through this and other hurdles and has spent the last three years exploring Mars' Gale Crater.