Curiosity Mars Aug25 sandstonesFEA

Curiosity Rover Sends A Moving Panorama

Look around and get the lay of the land. Mars land. Eroded mesas and buttes reminiscent of the U.S. Southwest shape part of the horizon in the latest 360° color panorama from NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. The rover used its Mast Camera (Mastcam) to capture more than 130 images on Aug. 5, 2016 during the…
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Hubble photographs Mars on May 12. Credit: NASA/ESA

Mars Is Close, Bright And Awesome

This is it. What we’ve all been waiting for. Mars and Earth will pair up on the same side of the sun Sunday (May 22), putting the two planets closer to one another than anytime in the past 10 years. The special event is called an opposition because Mars lies directly opposite the sun in the…
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Mars on March 27 shows lots of hazes and clouds. Credit: Damian Peach

What’s The Weather Like On Mars? Ask Curiosity

Two full Mars years have passed since the Curiosity rover was delivered via sky crane to the surface of Gale Crater in August 2012. Wait a sec. That’s four years, right? Yes, four Earth years but only two if you’re a Martian. Since Mars orbits beyond Earth, it revolves more slowly around the sun, taking 687 days or nearly…
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A view from the "Kimberley" formation on Mars taken by NASA's Curiosity rover. The strata in the foreground dip towards the base of Mount Sharp, indicating flow of water toward a basin that existed before the larger bulk of the mountain formed.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Mars: Once Upon A Day At The Beach

I live in a tourist town. A favorite pastime of visitors is to head down to the pebble beach along Lake Superior and skip rocks on the water. The flatter they are, the better they skip. Each pebble’s rounded contours are visible evidence of the erosive power of the lake before them. Years and years…
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converted PNM file

NASA’s ‘Flying Saucer’ For Mars Landings Gets Put To The Test

Sometime before 2:30 p.m. CDT tomorrow, NASA will test a new way of landing heavy equipment on Mars using a ‘flying saucer’ design. It’s called the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD), and it’s designed to inflate into a large disk dragging a parachute behind it. Whenever we launch a Mars landing mission, reaching the surface safely is critical. All…
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