Scars On Mars Fade … Sometimes / Comet-cluster Mashup

Curiosity descent and heat shield impact. Best heat shield images are at the end. It’s only been a couple years, but the blast marks left by the descent stage that delivered the Curiosity rover to Mars as well as it heat shield that protected it have changed markedly in appearance. But not exactly the way…
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Mars Opportunity Rover Falters, May Be On The Chopping Block

If you have a digital camera you’re familiar with reformatting your memory card after you’ve filled it up and downloaded your images. Reformatting clears the card and allows you to write to it again. But after maybe a hundred of these digital lobotomies a card will often begin to malfunction. Now unreliable, it can’t be…
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Spectacular Meteor Storm Lights Up Mars During Recent Comet Flyby

Oh, to have stood under the Martian sky on October 19th! As Comet Siding Spring passed just 87,000 miles (140,000 km) from the planet that night, dust in its tail slammed into the Martian atmosphere at 126,000 mph, burning up in storm of meteoric madness. “Thousands per hour fell,” said Nick Schneider,¬†instrument lead for NASA’s…
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Earth And Moon Captured Together In Amazing New Photo

A friend alerted me to this wonderful photo of Earth and Moon in the same single image taken by China’s Chang’e 5 lunar test vehicle. The spacecraft is conducting an 8-day mission to the Moon and back to refine the technology needed for a planned sample return mission in 2017.¬†Launched on October 23, this is…
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What’s That Musket Ball Doing On Mars?

It looks ever so much like an early 18th century musket ball, but the chances of soldiers traipsing around Mars a couple hundred years ago seems unlikely. Even if it’s the god of war. NASA’s Curiosity rover snapped this photo during a routine round of landscape imaging on September 11th. There’s nothing like seeing a…
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