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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Sets Historic Distance Record and Roves On

A.J.S. Rayl • August 08, 2014

It's official: Opportunity has traveled farther and lived longer than any other vehicle on another planet, driving to a place in history with an out-of-this-world distinction no one even imagined when the robot field geologist left Earth 11 years ago.

Comet Siding Spring: Risk Assessment

Karl Battams • August 07, 2014

On October 19, 2014, Comet Siding Spring is going to have an extremely close encounter with the planet Mars. The bottom line: it seems most likely that our Martian spacecraft will be absolutely fine.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 3737 – July 30, 2014

Larry Crumpler • August 04, 2014

Larry Crumpler updates us on the Opportunity rover, which now holds the distance record for a rover on another planet and is about to climb up its highest crater rim segment yet.

[Updated]: NASA Selects 7 Science Instruments for its Next Mars Rover

Casey Dreier • July 31, 2014

Seven science instruments will help the Mars 2020 rover identify biosignatures and understand the history of the rocks it encounters on the surface of the red planet.

Planetary Society Selected as Mars 2020 Camera Partner

Bruce Betts • July 31, 2014

The Planetary Society has been selected as an education outreach partner on the just-selected NASA Mars 2020 Mastcam-Z instrument, led by Jim Bell, Planetary Society Board president and Arizona State University professor.

NASA Announces the Suite of Science Instruments on its Next Mars Rover Today

Casey Dreier • July 31, 2014

Today marks the unveiling of the suite of science instruments that will travel to Mars to look for signs of past life and help determine samples to store for possible return to Earth. The next rover mission will launch in 2020.

8th Mars Report: Martian habitability

Valerie Fox • July 30, 2014

Valerie Fox reports from the 8th International Conference on Mars on the habitability of the Red Planet.

8th Mars Report: Was Ancient Mars Warm and Wet or Cold and Icy?

Abigail Fraeman • July 29, 2014

One of the hot topics of the 8th International Conference on Mars was the nature of Mars' ancient past. Abigail Fraeman reports on our updated view of whether Mars was ever warm and wet.

Curiosity update, sols 671-696: Out of the landing ellipse, into ripples and pointy rocks

Emily Lakdawalla • July 24, 2014

For the last four weeks, the name of the game for Curiosity has been driving. But these weeks of driving have been more challenging than they used to be.

One Day on Mars

Bill Dunford • July 21, 2014

A single day's observations take us from orbital overviews all the way down to ground truth.

Mars and Europa: Contrasts in Mission Planning

Van Kane • July 19, 2014

Several announcements for proposed missions to Mars and on the planning for a NASA return to Europa that highlight the contrasts in planning missions for these two high priority destinations.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Nears End of Murray Ridge, Pillinger Point Christened

A.J.S. Rayl • July 03, 2014

Opportunity got off to a bumpy start in June, but the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission pressed on, continuing the exploration of Murray Ridge at the western rim of Endeavour Crater.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 3705 – June 27, 2014

Larry Crumpler • June 30, 2014

Opportunity has left the winter haven and is still driving south along the rim of Endeavour crater, currently exploring an outcrop a few meters from crater rim.

Curiosity update: One Mars Year! Sols 662-670

Emily Lakdawalla • June 25, 2014

On Monday JPL put out a press release marking one year since Curiosity landed -- one Mars year, that is! There was a new version of the Kimberley self-portrait, and a video update on wheel wear testing. While we've been celebrating on Earth, Curiosity has been driving, driving, driving, on a new "safe transit route" taking her southward toward the black sand dunes ringing Mount Sharp.

Curiosity update, sols 645-661: Driving, driving, driving

Emily Lakdawalla • June 16, 2014

Curiosity has been busy. The rover has traveled more than half a kilometer since my last update, making steady progress beyond the Kimberley toward Murray Buttes. There hasn't been much time for science, but they sneaked in an observation of a Mercury transit across the sun, and a neat MARDI video of the rover driving.

A Checkup on Future Mars Missions

Van Kane • June 09, 2014

NASA’s Mars Exploration Analysis Group (MEPAG) recently reviewed plans by Europe, the Japanese, and NASA for future Mars exploration. The prognosis is for another exciting decade of Mars exploration.

How CRISM picks the pixels that guide Opportunity's travels

Emily Lakdawalla • June 05, 2014

How scientists are working with CRISM, an aging but still exceptional spectrometer on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, to find the rocks where Opportunity's work will tell the story of ancient water on Mars.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Hunts Ancient Clays along Murray Ridge

A.J.S. Rayl • June 05, 2014

At the western rim of Endeavour Crater, Opportunity spent the month of May exploring a new clayground along Murray Ridge and the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission trundled into the 125th month of what was originally to be a short, 3-month tour.

Tracks in the Wilderness

Bill Dunford • June 03, 2014

Pioneer trails extend all the way to Mars.

Curiosity update, sols 631-644: On the road again

Emily Lakdawalla • May 30, 2014

The last couple of weeks have seen Curiosity return to the business of making steady headway toward Murray Buttes and, beyond them, Mount Sharp. Eight of the last 14 sols have seen drives ranging in length from 30 to 104 meters, racking up a total of more than half a kilometer. They are now occasionally working a shortened planning timeline that allows them to squeeze more drive sols into Curiosity's schedule.

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