Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Red Planet

  • Mars 2020 rover makes ‘pit stop’ at JPL

    Jim SharkeyJuly 19th, 2019

    The launch window for NASA's Mars 2020 rover opens in just under a year, and engineers at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have been hard at work assembling the vehicle in the clean room of JPL's Spacecraft Assembly Facility. As one might imagine getting a vehicle prepped for such a massive undertaking - is a group effort.

  • Mars 2020 rover get rock-zapping SuperCam

    Jim SharkeyJuly 4th, 2019

    With its scheduled launch date just over a year away, work on NASA's Mars 2020 rover continues apace. In recent weeks, the rover has received MastCam-Z, its legs and wheels and its main robotic arm. and now one of the "big guns" of its scientific suite has been added to the rover.

  • NASA’s InSight lander flexes arm, ‘listens’ to Martian winds

    Jim SharkeyDecember 12th, 2018

    NASA's Mars InSight lander has been getting to known for its new home at Elysium Planitia and preparing for what it will be doing there. As it turns out, one of those things - is listening.

  • Inside Opportunity: Oppy still silent as dust storm begins to settle

    James RiceSeptember 1st, 2018

    It has been a long 80 days. We last heard from our rover on the slopes of Perseverance Valley back on June 10. However, we are continuing to listen diligently every day during our programmed fault communication windows, as well as through the Deep Space Network Radio Science Receiver. So far however - nothing.

  • Fly the (red) skies: Helicopter to fly on NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission

    Jim SharkeyMay 16th, 2018

    In over five decades of robotic exploration, NASA has sent  orbiters, landers, rovers and even Cubesats to Mars. The space agency announced on Friday, May 11, 2018 that their next robotic mission to the Red Planet will carry a helicopter. The Mars Helicopter, a small autonomous rotorcraft, will travel with NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission, […]

  • NASA’s Opportunity rover still finding surprises on Mars

    Jim SharkeyFebruary 19th, 2018

    NASA's Opportunity Mars rover continues to make surprising discoveries during its fourteenth year exploring the red Planet. Most recently, the rover has observed evidence of possible "rock strips." In recent images from the rover, the texture of the ground looks like a smudged version of distinctive stone strips on some mountain slopes on Earth that are the result of reoccurring cycles of freezing and thawing of wet soil.  

  • Steep Martian slopes reveal structure of underground ice sheets

    Jim SharkeyJanuary 15th, 2018

    Scientists using NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) have located eight sites where thick deposits of ice beneath the Martian surface are exposed in the faces of steep eroding slopes known as scarps. The eight scarps, have slopes as steep as 55 degrees, provide researchers with new information about the internal structure of previously-discovered layered subsurface ice sheets in Mars's middle latitudes.

  • 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.

  • What’s next for ESA’s ExoMars mission?

    Jason RhianNovember 27th, 2016

    ExoMars. The word elicits images of a mission fraught with change, turmoil, and misfortune. Exomars is a mission that has persistently pushed past hurdle after hurdle to make its way to the Red Planet. With the recent loss of the Schiaparelli Lander, that trend does not appear to be changing.

  • 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.

  • NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft nears 60,000th orbit

    Jim SharkeyJune 22nd, 2015

    NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft will reach a major milestone on Tuesday, June 23, when it will make its 60,000th orbit of Mars. The orbiter, which is NASA’s longest-operating spacecraft at the Red Planet, arrived in orbit above the flash-frozen world in 2001. The satellite was named Odyssey in honor of Arthur C. Clarke’s science fiction novel […]

  • 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 […]