Curiosity News

Curiosity Rover Continues to Gather Martian Soil Samples

January 22, 2016

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Rover Curiosity Tastes Scooped, Sieved Sand

NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover continues its campaign to study active sand dune on Mars, scooping and analyzing samples. At its current location for inspecting an active sand dune, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is adding some sample-processing moves not previously used on Mars. Sand from the second and third samples the rover is scooping from “Namib […]

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New Curiosity Image Shows ‘Garden City’ Site on Mount Sharp

November 13, 2015

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New Image of Mount Sharp from NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover

This new image from NASA’s Curiosity Rover shows the the “Garden City” site and surroundings on Mount Sharp. This view from the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover shows a site with a network of prominent mineral veins below a cap rock ridge on lower Mount Sharp. Researchers used the rover in March […]

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Curiosity Reveals Clues About Past Water, Climate, and Habitability on Mars

October 9, 2015

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Scientists Describe Ancient Water Flows and Lakes on Mars

Newly published research from Caltech describes ancient water flows and lakes on Mars, and what this might mean about the ancient climate. We have heard the Mars exploration mantra for more than a decade: follow the water. In a new paper published October 9, 2015, in the journal Science, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team […]

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New Curiosity Rover Image Shows Petrified Sand Dunes

September 12, 2015

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New Image from the Mars Curiosity Rover Reveals Petrified Sand Dunes

A newly released image from NASA’s Curiosity Rover shows petrified sand dunes on the surface of Mars. Some of the dark sandstone in an area being explored by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover shows texture and inclined bedding structures characteristic of deposits that formed as sand dunes, then were cemented into rock. This sandstone outcrop — […]

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Curiosity Rover Reveals Evidence of Ancient Top-of-Atmosphere Loss

September 3, 2015

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Scientists Examine What Happened to Early Mars' Atmosphere

What Happened to the Early Mars’ Atmosphere? A newly published study looks to answer this question and eliminate one possible theory. Scientists may be closer to solving the mystery of how Mars changed from a world with surface water billions of years ago to the arid Red Planet of today. A new analysis of the […]

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NASA’s Curiosity Rover Finishes ‘Marias Pass’ Studies, Headed to Mount Sharp

August 20, 2015

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NASA Mars Rover Moves Onward

The Curiosity Mars rover has finished activities in Marias Pass and is headed onward up Mount Sharp. NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is driving toward the southwest after departing a region where for several weeks it investigated a geological contact zone and rocks that are unexpectedly high in silica and hydrogen content. The hydrogen indicates water […]

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NASA’s Curiosity Rover Discovers Bedrock with High Levels of Silica

July 24, 2015

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Curiosity Rover Discovers Unusual Bedrock on Mars

After almost three years on Mars, NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover continues to amaze. This time Curiosity has discovered a target unlike anything it has studied before – bedrock with surprisingly high levels of silica. Silica is a rock-forming compound containing silicon and oxygen, commonly found on Earth as quartz. This area lies just downhill from […]

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Indirect Evidence of Transient Liquid Water on Mars

April 14, 2015

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Curiosity Weather Data Bolsters Case for Brine

New calculations indicate favorable conditions for small quantities of brine to form during some nights throughout the year on Mars. The possibility for liquid brines on Mars has wider implications for habitability and geological water-related processes. Martian weather and soil conditions that NASA’s Curiosity rover has measured, together with a type of salt found in […]

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HiRISE Images Reveal the Fading Scars of Mars Rover Landing

March 30, 2015

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Scars on Mars from 2012 Rover Landing Fade

A series of observations from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show how dark blast zones from the Curiosity rover have faded inconsistently. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter made the observations on multiple dates from landing to last month. After fading for about two years, the pace of change […]

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Curiosity Finds Evidence of Nitrates on Mars

March 24, 2015

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Curiosity Finds Biologically Useful Nitrogen on Mars

NASA’s Curiosity rover has discovered evidence of nitrates in scooped samples of windblown sand and dust at the “Rocknest” site, providing further evidence that the ingredients needed for life were present on Mars billions of years ago. Nitrogen is essential for all known forms of life, since it is used in the building blocks of […]

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Curiosity Rover Delivers Rock Powder Sample

March 13, 2015

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Rover Delivers Mars Rock Powder Sample

After a temporary delay, the Curiosity Mars rover used its robotic arm to sieve and deliver a rock-powder sample to an onboard instrument. The Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) analytical instrument inside the rover received the sample powder. This sample comes from a rock target called “Telegraph Peak,” the third target drilled during about six months […]

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NASA’s Curiosity Rover Drills at ‘Telegraph Peak’

February 26, 2015

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Curiosity Rover Drills at Telegraph Peak

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover drilled a small hole on February 24 to collect sample powder from inside a rock target called “Telegraph Peak,” which is located within the basal layer of Mount Sharp. The target sits in the upper portion of “Pahrump Hills,” an outcrop the mission has been investigating for five months. The Pahrump […]

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Curiosity Rover Marks 11th Anniversary with Hilltop Panorama

January 23, 2015

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Curiosity Marks 11th Anniversary with Hilltop Image

In celebration of its 11th anniversary on Mars, NASA’s Curiosity rover captured this panorama view from the top of “Cape Tribulation.” A panorama from one of the highest elevations that NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has reached in its 11 years on Mars includes the U.S. flag at the summit. The view is from the […]

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NASA’s Curiosity Rover Discovers Organic Chemistry on Mars

December 17, 2014

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Rover Finds Active Ancient Organic Chemistry on Mars

Using the Tunable Laser Spectrometer instrument in Curiosity’s onboard Sample Analysis at Mars laboratory, astronomers have detected a tenfold spike in the abundance of methane in the Martian atmosphere. NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a […]

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Curiosity Reveals Clues to How Water Helped Shape the Landscape of Mars

December 9, 2014

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How-Water-Helped-Shape-Martian-Landscape

New data from NASA’s Curiosity Rover indicate that Mount Sharp on Mars was built by sediments deposited in a large lake bed over tens of millions of years, suggesting ancient Mars maintained a climate that could have produced long-lasting lakes at many locations on the Red Planet. “If our hypothesis for Mount Sharp holds up, […]

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Martian Rock Provides Clues to Wet History

November 19, 2014

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Textures in Rock Provide Evidence about Wet Environmental Conditions on Ancient Mars

This close-up image of a Martian rock has provided scientists with evidence about wet environmental conditions in the ancient past on Mars. This close-up view of a target rock called “Last Chance” was acquired by the microscopic imager on the arm of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on March 3, 2004, during the 39th Martian […]

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Curiosity Rover Provides First Confirmation of a Mineral Mapped from Orbit

November 5, 2014

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Curiosity Provides First Confirmation of a Mineral Mapped from Orbit

A sample of powdered rock extracted by the Curiosity rover’s drill from the “Confidence Hills” target has provided NASA scientists with the first confirmation of a mineral mapped from orbit. “This connects us with the mineral identifications from orbit, which can now help guide our investigations as we climb the slope and test hypotheses derived […]

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Curiosity Technology Adapted to Detect Gas Leaks from Pipelines

October 3, 2014

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Curiosity Technology Adapted to Detect Gas Leaks

Technology adapted from NASA’s Mars rover program is being used to develop a hand-held device that will help find and fix natural gas leaks from gas pipelines, with the goal of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. In collaboration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced that it […]

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