Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Mars

  • 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.

  • Martian polar ice caps revealed in 3-D

    Paul KnightlyJanuary 10th, 2017

    Three-dimensional subsurface images are revealing unprecedented new insights into the structure of the Martian polar ice caps. The 3-D images were produced by data from the Shallow Radar (SHARAD) on board NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) over the course of more than 2,000 orbital passes over each Martian pole.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Mars Exploration Rover Spirit remembered 13 years after landing

    Curt GodwinJanuary 4th, 2017

    The landing of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit in January 2004 marked the beginning 13 years of continuous robotic operations on the surface of the Red Planet. In that time, multiple spacecraft, including Spirit, have beamed back textbook-rewriting information about past water activity on the red world.

  • Mars Odyssey recovering after entering safe mode

    Paul KnightlyDecember 30th, 2016

    The Mars Odyssey orbiter placed itself into a precautionary safe mode on December 26 while remaining in communication with Earth. This is not the first time that the long-serving spacecraft has encountered this issue.

  • NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is driving again, drill is still out of action

    Jim SharkeyDecember 24th, 2016

    NASA's "Curiosity" Mars rover drove, on Dec. 18, for about 10 meters from the spot where it had been stopped by ground engineers in order to determine the cause of its faulty drill.

  • Curiosity rover detects boron, more evidence of past habitability on Mars

    Jim SharkeyDecember 15th, 2016

    As NASA's "Curiosity" Mars rover climbs the slopes of Mount Sharp, the layered mountain at the center of Gale crater, it is finding patterns of change in rock composition in the mountain's higher, younger layers. The rover has also detected the chemical element Boron for the first time on the surface of Mars.

  • United Arab Emirates Mars mission collaborates with NASA

    Paul KnightlyDecember 12th, 2016

    The "Hope" Mars mission under development by the United Arab Emirates has continued to make progress in recent weeks with the announcement that NASA will be collaborating with the UAE Space Agency, as first reported by Gulf News on November 26, 2016.

  • NASA Glenn developing new instruments to search for life on Mars

    Michael ColeDecember 11th, 2016

    A new suite of instruments is currently under development through a joint effort between the NASA Glenn Research Center and the University of Michigan. It is called MAHRS; as its name suggests, the instruments are designed to investigate areas where water is present – in this case, the wet brine environments in the shallow subsurface of Mars.

  • Curiosity rover team troubleshoots drill problem

    Jim SharkeyDecember 10th, 2016

    NASA's Curiosity rover is currently studying its surroundings and monitoring the Martian environment, but not driving or using its arm for science, while the rover team investigates an issue with a motor that moves the rover's drill.