Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Mars Science Laboratory

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: A voyage driven by Curiosity

    Jason RhianAugust 6th, 2015

    NASA's MSL rover, touched down three years ago on this date, August 6, 2012. Just getting the one-ton rover onto the surface of the Red Planet required a new way of landing the robotic geologist on the flash-frozen world. NASA found a way through this and other hurdles and has spent the last three years exploring Mars' Gale Crater.

  • Curiosity detects possible liquid brine in Martian soil

    SpaceFlight InsiderApril 20th, 2015

    Mars, our second closest planetary neighbor, is a cold and desolate place. Extreme conditions make it near impossible to support liquid water on the planet’s surface, but thanks to recent weather and soil data collected by NASA’s Curiosity rover, scientists have their first indirect evidence of the presence of a thin briny film near the […]

  • NASA’s Curiosity rover measures xenon for a glimpse into Mars’ turbulent past

    Josh TallisApril 8th, 2015

    Biologists, climatologists, geologists, and a host of other scientists have developed a dizzying array of tools and markers for unraveling the mysteries of what Earth was like in its early development. One such mechanism in which all of these communities come together is dendrochronology – or counting tree rings. Such a simple marker acts as a […]

  • 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 […]

  • UPDATE: Curiosity to resume use of robotic arm in a few days

    Jim SharkeyMarch 8th, 2015

    Managers of NASA’s Curiosity rover mission plan to resume the use of its robotic arm later this week while continuing to analyze what appears to be an intermittent short in the rover’s drill. On Feb. 27, Curiosity’s fault protection systems halted the transfer of sample rock powder from one device on the rover’s robotic arm […]

  • Curiosity rover stops for testing after short circuit

    Jim SharkeyMarch 5th, 2015

    NASA’s Curiosity rover has stopped driving and science operations for several days so that engineers can analyze a possible short circuit. On Feb. 27, Curiosity’s fault protection systems halted the transfer of material from one device on the rover’s robotic arm to another.

  • “Curiosity” gets a new project scientist

    Joe LatrellJanuary 8th, 2015

    At the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) announced there would be a changing of the guard in its Mars exploration department. Everyone’s favorite Martian explorer, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) or Curiosity Rover, now has a new project scientist — Ashwin Vasavada.

  • Curiosity rover finds evidence of ancient lake inside Gale Crater

    Jim SharkeyDecember 9th, 2014

    Recent observations by NASA’s Curiosity Mars Science Laboratory rover indicate that Mount Sharp, a layered mountain that sits inside Gale Crater, may have been formed by sediments deposited in a large lake bed over millions of years. These findings are evidence that ancient Mars may have had a climate the could have produced long-lasting lakes […]

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Curiosity three years later

    Heather SmithNovember 26th, 2014

    Three years ago today on Nov. 26, 2011, an Atlas V 541 (AV-028) rocket launched at 10:02 a.m. EST (1501 a.m. GMT) from Space Launch Complex 41 (SLC-41) located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Aboard the evolved expendable launch vehicle (EELV) sent aloft under the guidance of United Launch Alliance (ULA ), was the Mars […]

  • Curiosity takes a second look at rocks near Mount Sharp

    Jim SharkeyNovember 21st, 2014

    After completing a reconnaissance drive around the first outcrop it encountered at the base of Mount Sharp, The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover has started a second pass to examine selected rocks more closely. Exposed layers on the lower portion of the geological feature that juts up from the center of Gale Crater may hold evidence of […]

  • Curiosity rover receives mixed reviews in NASA commission

    Josh TallisSeptember 8th, 2014

    The Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity rover received mixed reviews in a report issued by NASA’s Planetary Senior Review panel earlier this month. While the commission generally recommended the rover’s first mission extension (EM1), a number of concerns were raised ranging from the vehicle’s science objectives to the attitude of the team operating it.

  • JPL’s Erickson details Curiosity wheel issues and solutions

    Jason RhianAugust 20th, 2014

    NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL ) has noted some issues with its Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity’s wheels since the one-ton robotic explorer landed on the surface of the Red Planet in August of 2012. To gain a better understanding as to the severity of the damage as well as the potential impact to the rover’s current, extended, […]

  • 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. […]

  • Curiosity completes one Martian year of science

    SpaceFlight InsiderJuly 7th, 2014

    Over the past four decades, humans have landed several different vehicles on Mars in the name of science and exploration. The landers, more commonly referred to as rovers, have spent their time collecting and analyzing soil samples, environmental and atmospheric conditions in order to determine if there was ever life on the red planet. The […]

  • NASA’s LDSD successfully completes first test flight despite parachute failure

    James TuttenJune 28th, 2014

    The first major flight test for NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) occurred today, Saturday, June 28 from the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii. Though there were technical issues with a malfunctioning parachute, the test’s primary components were successfully deployed.