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InSight Update, sols 25-42: Seismometer sensors working!

Emily Lakdawalla • January 09, 2019

Engineers have leveled the seismometer and made progress on adjusting the position of the tether so that it doesn't interfere for the experiment. Most significantly for the mission, they have balanced the Very Broad Band sensors -- 3 of SEIS’ 6 seismic sensors -- and confirmed that they are generating good data.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Still Silent, Team Still Hopeful

A.J.S. Rayl • January 06, 2019

It’s now been more than six and a half months that the longest-lived robot on another planet has been incommunicado.

InSight update, sols 1-24: Operations begin, first instrument deployed

Emily Lakdawalla • December 21, 2018

It’s been a busy first three weeks on the InSight mission, and they’ve already achieved a major milestone: placing the seismometer on the ground. They've also gathered a self-portrait and 360-degree panorama.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Spots InSight Hardware on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • December 13, 2018

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has finally spotted the InSight lander, its parachute, and its heat shield resting on the Martian surface. The images confirm the location of InSight's landing site, a little to the north and west of the center of the landing ellipse. The lander is located at 4.499897° N, 135.616000° E.

Curiosity Update, Sols 2163-2256: Hard Times Atop Vera Rubin Ridge

Emily Lakdawalla • December 11, 2018

Just after a failed drill attempt at Inverness, Curiosity suffered a serious computer problem. The mission has now recovered by switching computers, and has successfully drilled at Highfield. One last drill site in "red Jura" rocks is planned before leaving Vera Rubin ridge behind.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Team Continues Search for Opportunity’s Signal as Windy Season Begins

A.J.S. Rayl • December 02, 2018

The longest-lived Martian explorer remained silent in November, presumably still sleeping at her site halfway down Perseverance Valley, along the western rim of Endeavour Crater.

After the Success of InSight, It’s Time for NASA to Commit to Mars Sample Return

Casey Dreier • November 28, 2018

In the brief period of public and political goodwill generated by NASA's latest success at the Red Planet, now is the time to secure a commitment for the next steps at Mars: sample return.

New Cameras on Mars!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 27, 2018

There was jubilation when InSight landed, but I'm just as happy to be writing about a distinct InSight event: The flow of raw images sent from Mars, straight to the Web, has begun.

InSight has landed (UPDATED)

Emily Lakdawalla • November 26, 2018

InSight touched down on Mars today, bringing NASA's total of successful Mars landers to 8 and total number of active NASA Mars missions to 6.

This Thanksgiving, avoid the politics and talk space instead

Casey Dreier • November 21, 2018

If you're expecting to gather with extended family on Thanksgiving, avoid the politics. Here are some conversation starters to use at the dinner table that everyone can engage in.

Here's where China is looking to land its 2020 Mars rover

Andrew Jones • November 21, 2018

NASA's Mars 2020 rover isn't the only spacecraft heading to Mars in two years.

We're going to Jezero!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 20, 2018

NASA announced this morning the selection of Jezero crater for the landing site of the Mars 2020 mission. Jezero is a 45-kilometer-wide crater that once held a lake, and now holds a spectacular ancient river delta.

What to Expect When InSight Lands on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • November 12, 2018

If all goes well, anxious space fans on Earth will learn of a successful InSight landing on Mars on Monday, 26 November 2018, at 19:53 UTC. Here's a preview of all the landing day events.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: NASA Green-Lights Team to Continue Opportunity Recovery Plan into 2019

A.J.S. Rayl • November 05, 2018

October came and went without a beep from Opportunity, silence that was still no surprise for some, but a little discouraging for other members of the rover team.

MAVEN, in orbit around Mars, snaps anniversary selfie

Jason Davis • October 08, 2018

The spacecraft used its ultraviolet spectrograph imager for the job, and one frame shows Mars in the background.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Team Initiates Plan to Recover Oppy, Orbiter Sends Postcard, Storm Ends

A.J.S. Rayl • October 04, 2018

As the global storm that wrapped the Red Planet in a cloud of dust since late June finally gave up the ghost in September, the sky continued to clear over Endeavour Crater and the Opportunity team initiated the NASA-approved two-step plan to reestablish contact with the rover.

NASA Then & Now

Bruce Betts • October 02, 2018

A collection of before and after slider images showing how views of planets in our solar system have changed over the years since NASA was created.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: NASA Focuses on Recovering Opportunity as Storm Diminishes and Dust Settles

A.J.S. Rayl • September 09, 2018

The dust raising power of the storms that wrapped Mars in a cloud in June and July diminished in August. Meanwhile, on Earth, the Opportunity team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory reviewed recovery plans, conducted additional simulations, and began wrapping the month with newfound reasons to believe Opportunity can emerge from her hibernation.

Curiosity update, sols 2093-2162: Three tries to successful drill atop Vera Rubin Ridge

Emily Lakdawalla • September 06, 2018

Heedless of the (now-dissipating) dust storm, Curiosity has achieved its first successful drill into rocks that form the Vera Rubin ridge, and is hopefully on the way to a second. It took three attempts for Curiosity to find a soft enough spot, with Voyageurs and Ailsa Craig being too tough, but Stoer proved obligingly soft on sol 2136.

False alarm: Here's why people thought Opportunity phoned home last week

Jason Davis • August 21, 2018

It was a signal from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, not Opportunity, that showed up on a Deep Space Network dashboard last week.

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