Mars News

Mars Orbiter Preparing for Mars InSight Lander’s 2016 Arrival

July 28, 2015

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Mars Orbiter Preparing for Mars Lander Arrival

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is preparing for the arrival of NASA’s InSight Lander, which will occur on 2016. A planned 77-second firing of six intermediate-size thrusters on July 29 will adjust the orbit timing of the veteran spacecraft so it will be in position to receive radio transmissions from InSight as the newcomer descends through […]

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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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Fluid Shifts Investigation to Help Advance Journey to Mars

July 21, 2015

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Fluid Shifts Investigation Advances Journey to Mars

A research partnership between NASA’s Human Research Program and the Russian Space Agency is helping to prepare us for the journey to Mars. NASA and the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) are studying the effects of how fluids shift to the upper body in space and how this adaptation to space flight affects changes in vision. […]

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Could The Prandtl-m Become the First Mars Airplane?

June 30, 2015

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Could This Be the First Mars Airplane

Later this year NASA researchers will test prototype aircraft aerodynamics that could lead to the first aircraft on Mars. When an aircraft makes its first flight on Mars in the 2020s, a NASA Armstrong innovation may have made it possible. A prototype of the Preliminary Research Aerodynamic Design to Land on Mars, or Prandtl-m, which […]

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Study Reveals Ancient Climate of Mars Was Cold and Icy

June 16, 2015

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Early Climate of Mars Was Cold and Icy

Using a three-dimensional atmospheric circulation model to compare a water cycle on Mars under different scenarios 3 to 4 billion years ago, researchers at Harvard believe Mars was cold and icy billions of years ago – not warm, wet and Earth-like. Cambridge, Massachusetts – June 16, 2015 – The high seas of Mars may never […]

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Scientists Discover Evidence of Methane in Martian Meteorites

June 16, 2015

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Scientists Discover Methane in Mars Meteorites

A newly published study details the discovery of methane in Martian meteorites, a possible clue in the search for life on the Red Planet. The researchers examined samples from six meteorites of volcanic rock that originated on Mars. The meteorites contain gases in the same proportion and with the same isotopic composition as the Martian […]

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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Detects Impact Glass on Mars

June 9, 2015

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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Detects Impact Glass on Surface of Mars

Newly detected deposits of glass within impact craters on Mars could provide details into the possibility of past life on the Red Planet. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has detected deposits of glass within impact craters on Mars. Though formed in the searing heat of a violent impact, such deposits might provide a delicate window […]

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New HiRISE Image of a “Fresh” Crater Near Sirenum Fossae

June 5, 2015

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A Fresh Crater Near Sirenum Fossae

This new image from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a 1-kilometer wide impact crater in the Sirenum Fossae region of Mars. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter acquired this closeup image of a “fresh” (on a geological scale, though quite old on a human scale) impact crater in […]

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Researchers Predicted Blue, Red and Green Aurorae at Mars

May 29, 2015

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Blue Aurorae Visible in Martian Sky

Astronomers believe glowing aurorae of blue, with red and green hues would be visible to astronauts walking on Mars. For the first time, an international team of scientists from NASA, the Institute of Planetology and Astrophysics of Grenoble (IPAG), the European Space Agency and Aalto University in Finland, have predicted that colorful, glowing aurorae can […]

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NIAC Program Working on Ideas for an Ecosystem on Mars

May 7, 2015

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Planting an Ecosystem on Mars

The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Program is funding cutting-edge work that is testing the viability of using ecosystem-building pioneer organisms to churn out oxygen by using Martian regolith. Taming the brutal environment of Mars for future human explorers to survive and thrive there may demand a touch of “ecopoiesis” – the creation of an ecosystem […]

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Scientists Find Evidence of Briny Water at Gale Crater

May 5, 2015

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Transient Liquid Water at Gale Crater

Data from NASA’s Curiosity rover reveals transient liquid water and water activity at Gale Crater on Mars. Fayatteville, Arkansas – Data collected on Mars by NASA’s Curiosity rover and analyzed by University of Arkansas researchers indicate that water, in the form of brine, may exist under certain conditions on the planet’s surface. The finding, published […]

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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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NASA’s MAVEN Spacecraft Completes 1,000th Orbit around Mars

April 9, 2015

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MAVEN Completes 1,000th Orbit around Mars

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft completed 1,000 orbits around the Red Planet on April 6, four-and-a-half months into its one-year primary mission. MAVEN is in its science mapping orbit and has been taking data since the start of its primary mission on Nov. 16, 2014. The furthest point in the spacecraft’s elliptical […]

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Satellite Observations Reveal Glaciers of Frozen Water on Mars

April 8, 2015

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Mars Has Glacier Belts Consisting of Frozen Water

Using satellite data, scientists at the Niels Bohr Institute have observed the shape of glaciers just below the surface of Mars. New studies have now calculated the size of the glaciers and thus the amount of water in the glaciers. It is the equivalent of all of Mars being covered by more than one meter […]

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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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A Geologic History of an Ancient Martian Lake System in Jezero Crater

March 26, 2015

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Ancient Martian Lake System Records Two Water-Related Events

Using NASA data, researchers from Brown University created a geologic history of flowing water on the surface of Mars. Providence, Rhode Island (Brown University) — Researchers from Brown University have completed a new analysis of an ancient Martian lake system in Jezero Crater, near the planet’s equator. The study finds that the onslaught of water […]

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NASA Announces Progress on Asteroid Redirect Mission & Future Expeditions to Deep Space

March 26, 2015

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NASA Announces Next Steps on Journey to Mars and Progress on Asteroid Initiative

In a new press release, NASA details its Asteroid Redirect Mission and reveals that it has increased the detection of near-Earth asteroids by 65 percent since launching its asteroid initiative three years ago. For ARM, a robotic spacecraft will capture a boulder from the surface of a near-Earth asteroid and move it into a stable […]

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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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