Mars News

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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MAVEN Spacecraft Detects Aurora and Mysterious Dust Cloud around Mars

March 19, 2015

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MAVEN Detects Aurora and Mysterious Dust Cloud around Mars

New research being presented at the 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference details the discovery of an unexplained high-altitude dust cloud and aurora that reaches deep into the Martian atmosphere. NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft has observed two unexpected phenomena in the Martian atmosphere: an unexplained high-altitude dust cloud and aurora that […]

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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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New Isotopic Measurements Reveal Mars Once Had More Water than Earth’s Arctic Ocean

March 6, 2015

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Mars Had More Water than the Arctic Ocean

New measurements by researchers at NASA reveal that an ocean once covered approximately twenty percent of the Martian surface, making Mars is considerably wetter than many previous estimates and raising the odds for the ancient habitability of the Red Planet. A primitive ocean on Mars held more water than Earth’s Arctic Ocean, according to NASA […]

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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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MAVEN Spacecraft Completes First Deep Dip Campaign of Martian Atmosphere

February 19, 2015

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MAVEN Completes First Deep Dip Campaign

NASA’S MAVEN spacecraft has completed its first deep-dip maneuver, gathering measurements closer to the top of the lower atmosphere of Mars. NASA’S Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution has completed the first of five deep-dip maneuvers designed to gather measurements closer to the lower end of the Martian upper atmosphere. “During normal science mapping, we make […]

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An Extremely High Altitude Plume on Mars

February 16, 2015

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Scientists Study a Mysterious Bulge That Rose up from Mars

In a newly published study, scientists from the Planetary Sciences Group of the UPV/EHU-University are studying images of a mysterious bulge that rose up from the surface of Mars. In March 2012 amateur astronomers in different corners of the world gathered images of a plume emerging at dawn on the edge of the disc of […]

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NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Completes 40,000 Mars Orbits

February 10, 2015

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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Completes 40,000 Mars Orbits

Launched in 2005, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has now orbited the Red Planet more than 40,000 times. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter passed a mission milestone of 40,000 orbits on February 7, 2015, in its ninth year of returning information about the atmosphere, surface and subsurface of Mars, from equatorial to polar latitudes. The mission’s potent […]

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Small Helicopter Could Improve the Exploration of Mars

January 23, 2015

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Small Helicopter Could Scout for Future Mars Rovers

Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are working on a small helicopter that could ‘scout’ a trail for future Mars rovers. Getting around on Mars is tricky business. Each NASA rover has delivered a wealth of information about the history and composition of the Red Planet, but a rover’s vision is limited by the view […]

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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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Mars Express Image Shows Chasms and Cliffs on Mars

January 5, 2015

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Mars Express Image of Chasms and Cliffs on Mars

This Mars Express image shows a region of Mars filled with cliffs, trenches, faults, giant plateaus and volcanoes. Although Mars is a very alien planet, some aspects of its geology are surprisingly familiar. The flowing cracks and fault-like lines in this image form part of the Claritas Rupes escarpment, a 950 km-long network of steep […]

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