Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Mars

  • Visitors ‘dare mighty things’ at Explore JPL event

    Jerome StrachMay 22nd, 2017

    PASADENA, Calif. — On a 177-acre campus built into a mountainside, engineers and flight controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) offered their time to provide an experience for the public. For many, the Explore JPL event, which occurred on May 20–21, 2017, was a rare opportunity to visit the facilities that build and control spacecraft like Cassini, Voyagers 1 and 2, and the Curiosity Mars rover.

  • 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.

  • MAVEN avoids crashing into Mars’ moon Phobos

    Derek RichardsonMarch 3rd, 2017

    NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, or MAVEN, spacecraft just avoided colliding with Phobos, one of Mars’ two moons. An avoidance maneuver was performed on Feb. 28, 2017, to safely alter the trajectory of the orbiter.

  • Potential Landing Sites for Mars 2020 Narrowed Down to Three

    Paul KnightlyFebruary 16th, 2017

    The number of potential landing sites for the Mars 2020 rover has been narrowed down to three, from a list of eight, following a conference of scientists last week. The top three landing sites that were selected were in Northeast Syrtis Major, Jezero Crater, and the Columbia Hills in Gusev Crater.

  • 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?

  • Audit of NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission warns of potential delays

    Jim SharkeyFebruary 7th, 2017

    In a report issued on Jan. 30, 2017, NASA's Office of Inspector General (OIG) voiced concerns about issues that could delay the planned July 2020 launch of the space agency's next Mars rover. An optimal 20-day window for a journey from Earth to Mars occurs once every 26 months. Missing the 2020 launch date would result in increased costs while waiting for the next launch opportunity.

  • Ridges on Mars have variety of origins

    Laurel KornfeldJanuary 27th, 2017

    Ridges of various sizes have been located in many regions of the Martian surface, and scientists surmise that they originated in a variety of processes and events.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Opportunity rover marks 13 years on Mars

    Curt GodwinJanuary 25th, 2017

    NASA's Mars rover "Opportunity" might never be classified as speedy, averaging only slightly more than 2 miles (3.36 km) per year since its landing on Jan. 25, 2004. Nevertheless, what the stalwart explorer lacks in range is more than made up with its longevity. The rover has been in active operation on the Red Planet for 13 years, far exceeding the original planned mission of 90 sols (∼92 Earth days).

  • 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.

  • Visions of the road to Mars

    Jason RhianJanuary 15th, 2017

    No planet is more steeped in lore, legend, and romance than Mars. For SpaceFlight Insider's illustrator James Vaughan, the Red Planet is a subject matter well suited for his unique style of photo-illustration. He spoke with us about how interest in Mars is increasing and how his work is racing to keep up.