Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Mars

  • Martian storm chasers: Spacecraft observe dust storm

    Paul KnightlyJuly 30th, 2018

    A fleet of spacecraft are diligently studying the global dust storm currently encircling Mars. Much as storm chasers would do on Earth, they are collecting valuable data so that scientists can better understand how these storms form and evolve.

  • Inside Opportunity: ‘Oppy’ fights for its life in massive Martian dust storm

    James RiceJuly 1st, 2018

    Our intrepid Opportunity rover is currently in the midst of riding out a massive global dust storm that began May 30. This storm moved south down the well-known Acidalia storm track into Xanthe Terra. A few days later the storm had stretched from eastern Valles Marineris to northern Arabia Terra. It then moved across the equator and south toward Meridiani Planum where Opportunity is located.

  • Record-setting Mars dust storm was overdue

    Paul KnightlyJune 28th, 2018

    As a global dust storm imperils the Opportunity rover and encircles Mars, scientists are getting their best look yet into the rare phenomenon. Data gleaned from this rare atmospheric event could also help provide important clues as NASA develops plans for crewed landings on the surface of the Red Planet.

  • Curiosity snaps photos of thickening haze as Martian dust storm goes global

    Tomasz NowakowskiJune 25th, 2018

    Despite being in the worse dust storm in recent years, NASA's Curiosity rover is sticking it out - and even managed to take a 'selfie' of itself.

  • NASA’s Opportunity rover goes silent as massive dust storm engulfs Mars

    Derek RichardsonJune 13th, 2018

    NASA’s long-lived Opportunity rover is currently weathering a massive dust storm—the largest the solar-powered rover has had to endure in its nearly 15 years of surface operations. The vehicle has been operating in Meridiani Planum since January 2004.

  • Aliens discovered on Mars? Don’t believe the hype

    Laurel KornfeldJune 7th, 2018

    NASA's Mars Curiosity rover, which has been exploring the Red Planet since 2012, has discovered organic molecules in Martian rocks and atmospheric methane levels that change seasonally, according to an announcement and a live discussion the space agency held on Thursday, June 7. Proof of alien life? Not so much.

  • Curiosity’s laboratories resume analysis of Mars surface samples

    Laurel KornfeldJune 6th, 2018

    After more than a year and a half of inactivity, the laboratories on NASA's Mars Curiosity rover are once again analyzing surface samples collected from the Red Planet.

  • Correction maneuver puts NASA’s InSight lander on path to Mars

    Laurel KornfeldMay 24th, 2018

    The first and largest of six planned course correction maneuvers directing NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport (InSight) lander to Mars was successfully completed Tuesday, May 22, 2018.

  • Strained Mars data relay capabilities possible in 2020s

    Paul KnightlyMay 7th, 2018

    As its current fleet of Mars-orbiting spacecraft age with no new NASA orbiter under development, SpaceFlight Insider investigated the options available to maintain data relay capabilities with spacecraft on the surface into the 2020s.

  • GALLERY: NASA’s InSight lander heads to Mars atop ULA Atlas V

    Derek RichardsonMay 6th, 2018

    LOMPOC, Calif. — InSight is on its way to Mars! Using a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, it was the first interplanetary mission to leave Earth from the West Coast of the United States. Flying through a layer of fog, the mission got underway at 4:05 a.m. PDT (7:05 a.m. EDT / 11:05 GMT) May 5, 2018.

  • Marsbound!: NASA InSight lander launches toward Red Planet

    Jim SharkeyMay 5th, 2018

    LOMPOC, Calif. — Initially flying through early-morning fog, a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air force Base's Space Launch Complex 3 to send NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander on a six-month journey to Mars.

  • Twin MarCO CubeSats launching alongside NASA’s InSight Mars mission

    Jim SharkeyApril 28th, 2018

    When the InSight Mars mission launches atop an Atlas V rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, two mini-satellites will be riding on the same rocket. The twin spacecraft, called Mars Cube One (MarCO), are the first NASA CubeSats designed to operate in deep space.

  • NASA’s exploration goals come into focus with updated road map

    Curt GodwinApril 20th, 2018

    Four months after President Trump directed NASA to return to the Moon, the agency has presented a road map to meet the goals outlined in Space Policy Directive-1. The updated plan shifts focus from the previous "Journey to Mars" campaign back to the Moon, and—eventually—to the Red Planet.

  • InSight lander nearly ready for journey to Mars

    Derek RichardsonApril 10th, 2018

    LOMPOC, Calif. — NASA’s InSight Mars lander is less than four weeks away from its planned launch to the Red Planet. The spacecraft is currently undergoing final preparations before leaving Earth atop an Atlas V rocket in early May 2018.

  • Curiosity Mars rover reaches 2,000 sol milestone

    Jim SharkeyMarch 25th, 2018

    NASA's Curiosity Mars rover team celebrated the vehicle's 2,000th Martian day, or sol, on the Red Planet on March 22, 2018.  An image mosaic taken in January shows the rover's next major scientific target, an area with clay-bearing rocks that researchers have studied from orbit.