Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Mars

  • NASA performs first test of Mars 2020 rover supersonic parachute

    Jim SharkeyNovember 16th, 2017

    On October 4, 2017, NASA completed the first supersonic parachute test in preparation for the space agency's Mars 2020 rover mission. A 58-foot (17.7-meter) Black Brandt IX sounding rocket launched the Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment (ASPIRE) payload from NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia.

  • NASA’s Mars 2020 rover to be equipped with 23 ‘eyes’

    Ocean McIntyreNovember 4th, 2017

    One of the key instruments that has accompanied every rover since Pathfinder became the first rover to land on the surface of Mars in 1997 are imagers – cameras. NASA’s newest rover continues this trend. In addition, it continues the trend of increased visible acuity that accompanies the increased instrument performance and improved technology.

  • Underground towns on the Moon and Mars: Future human habitats could be hidden in lava tubes

    Tomasz NowakowskiOctober 24th, 2017

    New research conducted by European scientists suggests that underground caves created by volcanic activity on the Moon and possibly on Mars could be large enough to house even underground towns. The "lava tubes" could, therefore, be excellent hidden locations for future human habitats.

  • Mars hydrothermal deposits hint at habitable conditions

    Ocean McIntyreOctober 21st, 2017

    A recent report in Nature Communications indicates that ancient Mars may have had deep sea-floor hydrothermal activity. Hydrothermal deposits on Earth are associated with the earliest signs of life and habitable environments today. Their detection on Mars has implications for the possibility of ancient life on the Red Planet.

  • Musk provides more insight on SpaceX’s Mars ambitions

    Curt GodwinOctober 20th, 2017

    Less than a month after Elon Musk revealed SpaceX's updated Mars mission architecture at the 2017 International Astronautical Congress, the billionaire CEO made himself available to the public to answer further questions about the company's ambitious undertaking. In a surprise tweet on Oct. 14, 2017, the SpaceX founder gave short notice to taking part in an "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) on the popular website, Reddit.

  • NASA offers another chance to send your name to Mars with Insight mission

    Jim SharkeyOctober 8th, 2017

    When NASA's InSight lander reaches Mars in November 2018, it will carry with it hundreds of thousands of names from members of the public. In 2015, nearly 827,000 people signed up to add their names to a silicon microchip onboard the robotic spacecraft. NASA is now adding another microchip, giving the public a second chance to send their names to Mars. 

  • Roscosmos envisions Russian rockets launching international missions to Moon, Mars

    Tomasz NowakowskiOctober 7th, 2017

    Russia has high expectations for its future super-heavy-lift launch vehicle. Roscosmos chief Igor Komarov has recently laid out his hopes for the new rocket, underlining that he is longing to see interplanetary missions being launched by this heavy booster.

  • Solar storm sparks global aurora, doubles radiation levels on Mars

    Ocean McIntyreOctober 4th, 2017

    An unexpectedly strong solar storm proved once again that the Sun, our closest star, is a remarkably powerful orb that exerts a huge influence over the bodies within the Solar System.

  • United Arab Emirates to build ‘Mars Science City’

    Paul KnightlyOctober 1st, 2017

    A new project to build a Mars Science City in the United Arab Emirates was unveiled during annual government meetings on Sept. 26, 2017, in Abu Dhabi. The ambitious $136 million (AED 500 million) project was launched by Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The goal is to inspire youth to pursue careers in science and engineering as the UAE continues to position itself as an emerging player in space exploration.

  • Elon Musk hopes to make SpaceX’s Falcon, Dragon fleet obsolete with Mars rocket

    Derek RichardsonSeptember 29th, 2017

    Just a year after unveiling a design for a mega-booster four times the size of the Saturn V, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk presented an updated version of the Mars rocket his company hopes will enable colonization of the Red Planet. The Sept. 29, 2017, presentation occurred during the 68th International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia.

  • 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.

  • Highlights from 20th Annual International Mars Society Convention

    Paul KnightlySeptember 15th, 2017

    IRVINE, Calif. — The 20th Annual International Mars Society Convention happened at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), during September 7–10, 2017. A variety of presentations were made by keynote speakers regarding various aspects of the exploration of Mars.

  • NASA’s InSight lander to study interior of Mars

    Jim SharkeyAugust 30th, 2017

    NASA's next robotic mission to Mars, a lander called InSight, is on schedule to launch next May from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. InSight will be the first interplanetary mission launched from the West Coast of the United States. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is currently testing and assembling the spacecraft in a cleanroom facility near Denver, Colorado. 

  • Mars 160: Crew returns to ‘Earth’

    Paul KnightlyAugust 21st, 2017

    The Mars Society's Mars 160 mission simulation has concluded and the six members of the international crew have started making their way home to “Earth”. The simulation in the Canadian high Arctic ended on Aug. 14, 2017, and the crew was flown out from the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) on Aug. 16.

  • 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.