Tonight, a four-person crew will seal themselves inside a three-story habitat at NASA's Johnson Space Center, kicking off a simulated 45-day mission to an asteroid. One crewmember shares his thoughts before entering.
Martian gullies were in the spotlight last week thanks to a NASA press release stating they were "likely not formed by liquid water" based on spectral results. But how does this stack up against their morphology?
The Planetary Deep Drill is being tested in a California gypsum mine. Several Planetary Society staff took a road trip to visit the ongoing Honeybee Robotics test of this prototype robotic drill that could one day drill hundreds of meters into planetary ices.
The fictional world Tatooine, scene of action in the Star Wars movies, is named after a town in Tunisia, where parts of the movies were filmed. The desert backdrops against which the movies were filmed are real terrestrial landscapes, which prove to be perhaps unexpectedly dynamic.
With Mars at opposition once again, astronomers around the world will soon be looking up for our best telescopic views of the Red Planet. But next weekend, I and a group of scientists will be turning our gaze downward for views of that alien planet.
Evaporites form on planetary surfaces when dissolved chemical solids precipitate out of saturated solution as their liquid solvent evaporates and, until recently, were known to exist only on Earth and Mars. This article from the IAG Planetary Geomorphology Working Group describes the third planetary instance of evaporite, discovered on Saturn's moon Titan.
Well folks, I'm headed off to Big Sky Country tomorrow (aka Montana)! I'll start the week at the MSL camera team meeting, where I will get all sorts of cool news about the MastCam, MAHLI and MARDI cameras which I will not be able to share with you.