Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Mars

  • Giant asteroid crashed into Mars billions of years ago, study suggests

    Tomasz NowakowskiJuly 24th, 2017

    The complex geology of Mars and the origin of its two small irregular moons has mystified planetary scientists for some time. A new study, published in June in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, reveals that the Red Planet had suffered a giant asteroid collision nearly four-and-a-half billion years ago which could account for some of Mars' geological oddities.

  • 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.

  • NASA scientists designing Martian dust filter

    Collin SkocikJuly 7th, 2017

    One of the challenges that astronauts will face on Mars is the presence of the fine Martian dust. Not only can the dust get into equipment and cause damage, but also it is extremely toxic with perchlorates.

  • 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 Opportunity Mars rover on walkabout near crater rim

    Jim SharkeyJune 28th, 2017

    NASA's Opportunity Mars rover is investigating rocks near the rim of Endeavour Crater for signs that they were either transported by a flood or eroded in place by the Martian wind. These are two of several possible explanations for features observed the crater rim's crest above "Perseverance Valley", which is carved into the inner slope of the crater's rim.

  • OPINION: Radiation hucksters strike again

    Robert ZubrinJune 16th, 2017

    Dr. Robert Zubrin states his opinion on recent claims by a professor that the cancer risk from cosmic-ray radiation on a mission to Mars is greater than expected.

  • Study suggests increased cancer risk on Mars missions

    Paul KnightlyJune 13th, 2017

    A new study by researchers at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) suggests the cancer risk for astronauts on a mission to Mars could be higher than expected. The results of the study were published in the May issue of Scientific Reports and show the risk is effectively doubled compared with previous models.

  • 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 Opportunity Mars rover begins study of ‘Perseverance Valley’

    Jim SharkeyMay 19th, 2017

    NASA's Opportunity Mars rover has reached the main objective of its current two-year extended mission – an ancient fluid-carved ravine, called "Perseverance Valley", on the western rim of Endeavour Crater.

  • Space Launch System (SLS) upper stage testing begins

    Scott JohnsonMay 8th, 2017

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A series of structural qualification tests on the SLS Integrated Spacecraft and Payload Element – a test version of the SLS upper / "in-space" section – is underway at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. The tests began on Feb. 22 and are expected to be completed by mid-May.

  • Opportunity Mars rover leaves ‘Tribulation’ for ‘Perseverance’

    Jim SharkeyApril 23rd, 2017

    NASA's Opportunity Mars rover is leaving "Cape Tribulation" – the crater-rim segment it has investigated since late 2014 – and driving south toward its next destination, "Perseverance Valley". The rover team plans to explore the valley to determine what type of activity carved it billions of years ago: water, wind, or flowing debris carried by water.

  • Lockheed Martin brings Mars Experience to students

    Vikash MahadeoApril 6th, 2017

    ORLANDO, Fla. — On April 6, 2017, Lockheed Martin showcased its Mars Experience Bus to students at Walker Middle School. The vehicle is a modified school bus that aims to bring the experience of Mars exploration to students across the United States.

  • 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.

  • SHERLOC could solve the mystery of life on Mars

    Tomasz NowakowskiMarch 17th, 2017

    Just like Sherlock Holmes solved complicated criminal cases, a scientific instrument named SHERLOC is being prepared to investigate one of the most fundamental mysteries of the Red Planet. The tool will be one of the most important instruments of NASA’s Mars 2020 rover, which is slated to study the possibility of past life on Mars.