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Blog Archive

 

Interview with a Mars Explorer

Bill Dunford • April 14, 2014

A conversation with Dr. Sarah Milkovich, HiRISE Investigation Scientist.

Curiosity update: Initial reconnaissance of the Kimberley, sols 585-595

Emily Lakdawalla • April 11, 2014

Curiosity has been busy performing a survey of the Kimberley, walking the length of the outcrop and taking enormous quantities of photos. The team is now ready to go in for a closer look, and maybe even to drill.

Will We Finally Rove Mawrth Vallis?

J. Brian Balta • April 10, 2014

Mawrth Vallis was axed as a landing site for Curiosity, but will we get a chance to explore it with ESA's ExoMars rover?

Look how clean Opportunity is now!

Emily Lakdawalla • April 09, 2014

While climbing Murray Ridge, Opportunity enjoyed a major cleaning event that has left the rover's solar panels more dust-free than they have been in years. The rover captured a pretty panorama of the newly clean deck with its Pancams, and James Sorenson processed the version shown here.

Opposition time for Mars, and several months of dancing with the stars

ESA Mars Express Team • April 08, 2014

The Mars Express team showcases some of the best viewing opportunities of Mars in 2014, including how to spot Comet Siding Spring when it flies past Mars this October.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Powers Up in Cook Haven and in Fans' Minds

A.J.S. Rayl • April 07, 2014

At the Solander Point section of the rim of Endeavour Crater, Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity spent the month of March just off Murray Ridge working on its final targets in Cook Haven and dusting itself in the winds of winter, while MER mission officials on Earth were roving toward what may be the robot's current greatest potential threat – being cut from NASA's planetary science budget.

My Own Corner of Mars

Bill Dunford • April 07, 2014

How I took a high-res photo of an intriguing spot on the Red Planet--and how you can, too.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 3623 – April 3, 2014

Larry Crumpler • April 06, 2014

Larry Crumpler gives an update on Opportunity's current location, next long-term target, and excitingly increasing power levels.

Great new image of Curiosity from HiRISE, just across Dingo Gap

Emily Lakdawalla • April 03, 2014

A Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE image taken on February 10 shows Curiosity having just made deep, dark tracks across the Dingo Gap dune.

Curiosity update, sols 570-583: Arrival at Kimberley and preparation for an arm workout

Emily Lakdawalla • March 28, 2014

Some arm faults caused delays on Curiosity's approach to Kimberley, but the rover is now parked at its north edge, examining the "striated unit" up close with arm-mounted instruments.

Snapshots of Science from the 2014 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

Emily Lakdawalla • March 25, 2014

Vignettes from dozens of LPSC talks: GRAIL and LADEE at the Moon; ice and craters and conglomerates and organics and gullies on Mars; polar deposits and volatile elements on Mercury; tectonics on Enceladus; and more, until my brain was so full I could barely speak.

Curiosity update, sols 563-569: Kimberley ahoy!

Emily Lakdawalla • March 16, 2014

With a series of drives over the last week, Curiosity is now approaching her next science stop at Kimberley. The distinctive knobs of the Kimberley outcrop are visible in photos taken on sol 569.

Intro Astronomy Class 6: Mars (continued) and Asteroids

Bruce Betts • March 14, 2014

Continue exploring Mars and learn about asteroids in this video of class 6 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

[Updated] To Europa!...Slowly. First Impressions of NASA's New Budget Request

Casey Dreier • March 07, 2014

Europa may get a mission...eventually. We give our first take on the 2015 NASA Budget request. How does Planetary Exploration fare? Which projects were cancelled? Will NASA capture an asteroid? And most importantly, what can you do about it?

PlanetVac at the IEEE Aerospace Conference

Bruce Betts • March 07, 2014

PlanetVac project leader Kris Zacny of Honeybee Robotics reports on presenting results of the Planetary Society project PlanetVac that created a prototype planetary dirt sampling system and tested it under Martian pressures.

Intro Astronomy Class 5: Venus (continued) and Mars

Bruce Betts • March 06, 2014

Continue exploring Venus and begin looking at Mars in this video of class 5 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

Curiosity update, sols 549-562: Shooting past Kylie on the road to Kimberley

Emily Lakdawalla • March 06, 2014

In a series of drives, Curiosity flew past the "striated terrain" that outcropped at Kylie, and is now negotiating her way around some rockier territory as she makes her way south toward the enticing outcrops of Kimberley.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Cruises Through Winter Solstice, Into Year 11

A.J.S. Rayl • March 05, 2014

The Mars Exploration Rover mission put its 10th anniversary in the rear view mirror in February and roved on into its 11th year of surface operations at Endeavour Crater.

A new map of Mars from some pretty old data

Emily Lakdawalla • March 04, 2014

The United States Geological Survey recently issued an improved version of the Viking color map of Mars. This 40-year-old data set still provides the prettiest global-scale map of the planet.

Intro Astronomy Class 4: Eclipses, Mercury, Venus-Earth-Mars Atmospheres, Venus

Bruce Betts • February 28, 2014

This video of class 4 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class discusses eclipses, Mercury, Venus, and a comparison of the atmospheres of Venus, Earth, and Mars.

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