Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

  • Study of Martian canyons yields clues about possible water

    Jim SharkeyJuly 12th, 2016

    Scientists studying seasonally recurring dark streaks on Martian slopes that may be indicators of water on the surface of Mars have published their findings on Thursday, July 7, in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. The study investigated thousands of these dark streaks in the Valles Marineris canyon network near the Red Planet's equator.

  • NASA’s MRO spacecraft finds record of Martian ice age in polar cap

    Jim SharkeyJune 1st, 2016

    Scientists using radar data from NASA's MRO have found evidence of the most recent Martian ice age recorded in the Red Planet's north polar ice cap. The new findings agree with previous climate models that indicate a glacial period ended about 400,000 years ago, as well as predictions about how much ice would have accumulated at the poles since then.

  • Industry input sought for next NASA Mars orbiter

    Laurel KornfeldApril 29th, 2016

    NASA is seeking ideas for a high-tech, state-of-the-art Mars orbiter, which is scheduled to be launched in the early 2020s. This is one of many steps in the agency's long-term goal of putting human astronauts on the Red Planet sometime in the 2030s.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter marks ten years of discovery

    Joe LatrellMarch 10th, 2016

    Since its arrival on March 10, 2006, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has collected more data than any other orbiter to study Mars. According to the NASA facts files for Mars, there are currently seven active missions on the fourth planet from the Sun. Of those seven, the MRO returns more data in one week than the other six probes combined.

  • NASA spacecraft detects impact glass on surface of Mars

    NASAJune 11th, 2015

    NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO ) has detected deposits of glass within impact craters on Mars. Though formed in the searing heat of a violent impact, such deposits might provide a delicate window into the possibility of past life on the Red Planet. 

  • Fresh crater near Sirenum Fossae region of Mars

    NASAJune 7th, 2015

    The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter acquired this closeup image of a “fresh” (on a geological scale, though quite old on a human scale) impact crater in the Sirenum Fossae region of Mars on March 30, 2015.

  • Leaving your mark: NASA’s Curiosity rover makes lasting impression

    Jason RhianMarch 29th, 2015

    Trails left by NASA’s fleet of rovers, with the assistance of the Martian winds and dust devils that scour the rust-colored plains of the Red Planet, usually fade with time. When the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity touched down on the surface of Mars, it did so via the innovative “Sky Crane” system – a jetpack […]

  • Nobody knows what these mysterious plumes are on Mars

    Universe TodayFebruary 17th, 2015

    In March 2012, amateur astronomers began observing unusual clouds or plumes along the western limb of the red planet Mars. The plumes, in the southern hemisphere rose to over 124 miles (200 kilometers) in altitude persisting for several days and then reappeared weeks later. A group of astronomers from Spain, the Netherlands, France, UK and […]

  • Beagle 2 UPDATE: ‘Lost’ 2003 Mars lander found by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

    SpaceFlight InsiderJanuary 16th, 2015

    In 2003, the United Kingdom constructed the Beagle 2 Mars Lander, which was scheduled to touchdown on the red planet on Dec. 25 of that year. Ground crews lost contact with the lander on Dec. 19, and Beagle 2 was officially declared “lost” in Jan. 2004. No evidence of the lander or any data from […]

  • NASA’s fleet of Mars orbiters capture detailed views of comet nucleus

    SpaceFlight InsiderOctober 24th, 2014

    NASA’s fleet of Martian orbiters were poised at the ready, turning their cameras to the skies in hopes of catching a glimpse of comet Siding Spring on Oct. 19. In this historic flyby, Siding Spring made the closest pass of any known comet to the Red Planet. Scientists took advantage of this opportunity and collected […]

  • Opportunity goes the distance

    SpaceFlight InsiderAugust 3rd, 2014

    Our the past forty years, humans have landed multiple spacecrafts on the Moon and Mars in the name of science and exploration. These vehicles, more commonly referred to as rovers, spend their “lives” collecting and analyzing data to learn more about the world they landed on. Back in 2004, NASA landed a set of twin […]

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: A first look at Mars

    Heather SmithJuly 14th, 2014

    Between 1962 and 1973, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory built ten spacecrafts to explore Mercury, Venus, and Mars. One of the great successes of the early American space program, Mariner 4’s 21 images were the first taken of another planet from space. The spacecraft continued to send images of the Martian surface through October of that year. […]

  • MRO finds new evidence for dry ice formation of gullies on Mars

    Paul Scott AndersonJuly 11th, 2014

    Some of the most interesting features on the surface of Mars are its gullies, often found on crater walls or other slopes, first seen from orbit back in 2000. They resemble gullies on Earth created by water, but the origin of located on Mars have become the subject of much debate. These gullies appear to […]

  • New meteor-impact crater on Mars is largest ever found

    Paul Scott AndersonMay 27th, 2014

    Newly-formed, fresh meteor craters have been found on the planet Mars before, but a new one seen by the cameras on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is the largest ever seen so far.

  • Through spacecraft and observatories – wild new solar system comes into focus

    David DarlingMarch 31st, 2014

    A ring around an asteroid, a new dwarf planet, a fresh gully on Mars, and preparations to land on a comet – it’s all happening in the solar system at the moment. The last week or two has brought a slew of new discoveries and the promise of many more to come in the very […]