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Blog Archive

 

Curiosity update, sols 488-520: Steady driving while watching the wheels

Ken Herkenhoff • January 22, 2014

In the last month, Curiosity put 222 meters on the odometer in 12 short drives, while regularly assessing the wheels for damage. The rover performed touch-and-go analyses of rocks including Oneida and Kodak, and also took some ChemCam RMI mosaics of rocks near the base of Mount Sharp.

New Views of Martian Weather

Bill Dunford • January 20, 2014

The latest postcards from Mars Express feature cloudy skies.

Winter 2013 Issue of The Planetary Report Now Available Online

Donna Stevens • January 16, 2014

The Winter 2013 issue of The Planetary Report is finally on press and will be mailing soon. However, the electronic version is available online for members to start reading now!

Dry Ice Snowfall at the Poles of Mars

Paul Hayne • January 16, 2014

Paul Hayne takes a look at the mysterious polar caps of Mars, and what it would be like to ski there.

Book Review: This Is Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • January 14, 2014

This is Mars is a stunning book that treats the HiRISE camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as an art photographer, exploring the variety of shapes and patterns created by wind, water, impacts, and gravity on the Martian surface.

Blast from the past: Spirit sunrise panorama at Troy

Emily Lakdawalla • January 14, 2014

In honor of the 10th anniversary of Spirit's landing on Mars, here is a new view from near the end of that mission.

Through a Glass, Darkly

Bill Dunford • January 13, 2014

When sent from deep space, even imperfect images can inform and amaze.

Polar vortices across the solar system

Emily Lakdawalla • January 09, 2014

Earth's polar vortex has been in the American news all week. But we're not the only planet that has one; basically every world that has an atmosphere has a polar vortex. Here are lots of pretty pictures and animations of polar vortices.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Mission Nears 10-Year Milestone, Oppy Roves On, We Look Back on 2013

A.J.S. Rayl • January 07, 2014

Opportunity wrapped a landmark year in December, sending home more evidence of ancient habitable environments at Endeavour Crater as the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission geared up to celebrate an historic milestone – the completion of 10 years of surface operations on the Red Planet.

Looking back at 10 years of imaging by the Mars Exploration Rovers (Video)

Emily Lakdawalla • January 03, 2014

As part of the Planetary Society's celebration of the Mars Exploration Rovers' ten years on Mars, Jim Bell and I got together to look back at and tell stories about some of the great images they took.

Planetary Radio: Ten Years A Roving: The Mars Exploration Rovers

Mat Kaplan • December 24, 2013

This week's show looks back over ten years of exploration by Spirit and Opportunity. Writer A.J.S. Rayl recounts the challenges encountered early in the mission, and how an outstanding team triumphed.

Habitability, Taphonomy, and Curiosity's Hunt for Organic Carbon

John Grotzinger • December 21, 2013

Lots of people ask questions about how the Curiosity mission, and future missions, will forge ahead to begin with looking for evidence of past life on Mars. There is nothing simple or straightforward about looking for life.

Curiosity update, sols 465-487: Wheel inspection, software upgrade, Cumberland dump

Ken Herkenhoff • December 19, 2013

Curiosity activities over sols 465 to 487 included monitoring the condition of the wheels; a flight software upgrade; and dumping the Cumberland drill sample. Curiosity put approximately 200 meters on the odometer during this period.

An Updated Mars Exploration Family Portrait

Jason Davis • December 18, 2013

The Mars Exploration Family Portrait shows every dedicated spacecraft mission to Mars, and now includes India's Mars Orbiter Mission and NASA's MAVEN.

A Tale of Two Posters: Sediment on Mars and Searching Jupiter's Rings

Mark Hilverda • December 12, 2013

A close look at two international planetary science poster presentations from the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting featuring sediment experiments to better understand Martian geomorphology and Juno's plans for exploring Jupiter's ring system.

Curiosity results at AGU: Gale crater rocks are old, but have been exposed recently

Emily Lakdawalla • December 09, 2013

In a Martian first, the Curiosity science team has measured the age of a Martian rock, in two totally different ways. They presented the result at the 2013 meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

The Mists of Mars

Bill Dunford • December 09, 2013

Two grand canyons fill with fog, one on Earth and one on Mars.

Mars' chemical history: Phyllosian, Theiikian, Siderikian, oh my

Emily Lakdawalla • December 05, 2013

I'm returning to the deep dive into the literature that began with articles about lunar basins and then explored the geologic time scales of Earth, Moon, and Mars. Now it's time to catch up to the last decade of Mars research and learn what "phyllosian", "theiikian", and "siderikian" eras are.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Ascends Murray Ridge into Clay Mineral Grounds

A.J.S. Rayl • December 03, 2013

Although winter took hold at Endeavour Crater in November, Opportunity pressed on, climbing up Murray Ridge and driving into a clay mineral hunting ground as the Mars Exploration Rovers mission cruised another month closer to celebrating its 10th Earth year of surface operations with myriad events throughout January 2014.

The Mariner Mars Globe

Don Davis • November 29, 2013

In 1971 I was being trained to work with the airbrush by the map artists at the U.S. Geological Survey's Branch of Astrogeologic Studies in Flagstaff. However, the project I ended up spending about a quarter of a man-year on was a hand-painted map globe of Mars.

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