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Posts tagged msl

Rough Roving: Curiosity’s Wheel Damage ‘Accelerated’

In May, Discovery News reported the dramatic signs of wear and tear on Mars rover Curiosity’s wheels. The aircraft-grade aluminum material appeared scratched, dented, even punctured. At the time, lead rover driver Matt Heverly said that the damage was to be expected. “The ‘skin’ of the wheel is only 0.75mm thick and we expect dents, dings, and even a few holes due to the wheels interacting with the rocks,” he said via email. Despite the assurances that the holes were just a part of Curiosity’s mission, there seems to be increasing concern for the wheels’ worsening condition after the one-ton robot rolled over some craggy terrain. Read more

This Scoop of Mars Soil is Two Percent Water

Yesterday was a BIG day for Mars exploration — the first scoop of Mars soil analyzed by NASA’s Mars Science Lab in October is 2% water by weight. This is groundbreaking as this will be a valuable resource for future colonists and could have ramifications for the continuing search of microbial life on Mars. Find out more

Year One: Mars Rover Curiosity’s Key Discoveries

Can you believe it’s been a year since Curiosity landed on Mars? Although its mission has only just begun, let’s take a quick look at some of the cool science the Mars Science Laboratory has been doing in the Mars dirt for the past 12 months.

NASA’s Next Mars Rover to Search for Past Life

NASA’s follow-on Mars rover should not only look for signs of past life, but also prepare samples for an eventual return to Earth, a science advisory team said Tuesday. Read more

Rough Roving: Curiosity’s Wheels Show Damage

Recent photos from Curiosity show dents, scratches and suspect punctures in the wheels’ aluminum skin. Is it a serious problem? Discovery News finds out from Curiosity’s lead rover driver Matt Heverly.

Curiosity’s Parachute Flaps in the Martian Wind

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.

Mars Was a Suitable Environment for Life

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

Mars Rover Dishes Up First Bite of Rock Powder

And it tastes like chicken, apparently.

Curiosity goes to Mars for a little privacy and what did she get? A goddamn orbiting paparazzi!

Orbiting Mars Robot Spies On Curiosity’s Tracks

Mars Through Curiosity’s Powerful MAHLI Camera

…since the true clarity of MAHLI has been unleashed, we’ve been treated to some of the most high-resolution views of the rover, Martian landscape and, most importantly, we’ve seen exactly what MAHLI was designed to do: Look closely at Mars rocks and dirt, assembling geological evidence of potential past habitability of Mars. Open gallery…

BREAKING: NASA Plans ‘Curiosity Twin’ Rover Mission in 2020: The new rover will be a virtual duplicate of Curiosity, a car-sized, nuclear-powered rover that landed on Mars on Aug. 6 to look for habitats that could have supported — or perhaps still supports — microbial life. Using spare equipment and the same designs should allow NASA to shave about $1 billion off the cost of the two-year, $2.5 billion Curiosity mission.

(Billions or Martian microbes just screamed out in chorus: “crap.”)

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