Posts tagged Mars
The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera carried by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has spotted a strange geological feature that, for now, defies an obvious explanation. Found at the southern edge of Acidalia Planitia, small pits with raised edges appear to hug a long ridge. So far, mission scientists have ruled out impact craters and wind as formation processes, but have pegged the most likely cause to be glacial in nature.
NASA has stopped sending commands to Mars rover Curiosity and will soon follow suit for rover Opportunity, Odyssey and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). But don’t worry, government cutbacks haven’t severed interplanetary communications, you can blame the sun. Read more.
Apart from being a minor curiosity and a lovely reminder that we have satellites capable of observing temporal weather events on another planet, these flapping events may help explain why the Viking landers’ parachutes still remain visible from orbit since their landing in 1976 — windy events dust-off the bright parachute material. Also, the motion of a large piece of fabric on the surface of Mars provides a direct view of the weather conditions on the ground, much like a windsock on an airfield provides pilots with general information about wind direction and speed.
...the aftermath of a cometary collision would be a scientific smorgasbord. If we ever needed to be “pushed” to send a manned mission to the surface of Mars, I can think of no better time than in the years after a massive comet strike.
The first analysis of powder drilled out from the inside of water-soaked rock shows Mars was a suitable place for microbial life to evolve, scientists with NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity mission said Tuesday.
The ingredients may be there… but was life? Read more
Relatively recently, water blasted out from an underground aquifer on Mars, carving out deep flood channels in the surface that were later buried by lava flows, radar images complied from an orbiting NASA probe shows.
In a nutshell, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has used radar to look inside Mars’ crust, under a layer of ancient lava, exposing a valley that was formed by a huge surge of water! If that’s not crazycool, I don’t know what is.
In the wake of the wildly successful landing of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover on Aug. 6, 2012, it may come as no surprise that the American public are currently feeling rather enthusiastic about exploring Mars. This sentiment has now been bolstered by a recent poll carried out for the non-profit corporation Explore Mars by the global communications company Phillips & Company. After surveying 1,101 people, 71 percent of the participants said they feel confident the U.S. will land a human on Mars within the next two decades. Read more.
In a first, the Mars rover Curiosity has penetrated a rock on the Red Planet and collected a sample from its interior, the US space agency announced Saturday. Using a drill at the end of its robotic arm, Curiosity bore a hole 0.6 inches (1.6 centimeters) wide and 2.5 inches (6.4 centimeters) deep into the rock, generating powder for evaluation, NASA said in a statement. Read more.