Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Mars

  • NASA’s MAVEN mission providing insights into life on distant worlds

    Jason RhianDecember 31st, 2017

    Mars. Long a destination dreamed of by the public in general and space enthusiasts in particular, is providing insights about the length of time that other planets can support life. How long would a planet like Mars, orbiting a distant red dwarf star be habitable? One of NASA's Scout Program missions is helping to develop an answer.

  • Trump policy directive makes Moon NASA’s official goal for human exploration

    Bart LeahyDecember 12th, 2017

    In a brief but pointed Dec. 11, 2017, ceremony at the White House, President Donald Trump signed Space Policy Directive 1, which officially directs NASA to send astronauts back to the Moon as a precursor effort to exploring Mars.

  • NASA Glenn reinventing the wheel to aid future Mars rovers

    Michael ColeDecember 8th, 2017

    GLENN RESEARCH CENTER, Ohio — One of the most important high-tech components of future Mars rovers may be, of all things, its wheels.

  • Study: Exploration of Special Regions needed to find alien life on Mars

    Tomasz NowakowskiNovember 28th, 2017

    An international team of researchers has conducted a study endorsing the exploration of the so-called Special Regions on Mars. They call for the relaxation of the planetary protection policy in order to allow sending robotic explorers to the restricted areas that could potentially host microbial life.

  • NASA, Department of Energy testing ‘Kilopower’ space nuclear reactor

    Collin SkocikNovember 26th, 2017

    In preparing for possible missions to the Red Planet in the near future, NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) has been given the go-ahead to test a small nuclear reactor that could one day run equipment on the Martian surface.

  • NASA’s InSight lander completes thermal vacuum testing

    Derek RichardsonNovember 25th, 2017

    The next robotic mission to Mars, NASA's InSight lander, has undergone a thermal vacuum (TVAC) test to ensure it can survive the six-month journey to the Red Planet. The spacecraft is set to launch in May 2018.

  • Research suggests limited role for water in Mars recurring slope lineae

    Paul KnightlyNovember 25th, 2017

    Water may play a less significant role than previously thought in recurring slope lineae on Mars according to a paper published in Nature Geoscience on Nov. 20. Recurring slope lineae, or RSL, are dark seasonal slope streaks that occur on slope faces in some regions of Mars.

  • NASA chooses instrument for international mission to Martian moons

    Christopher PaulNovember 20th, 2017

    NASA has selected a payload to fly on the Japanese mission to the moons of Mars. The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) plans to launch its MMX mission to the Martian moons in 2024 and has invited NASA to participate by flying an instrument aboard the probe.

  • 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.