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Curiosity Update, sol 57: Digging in at Rocknest

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/04 03:27 CDT | 2 comments

Engineers requested that Curiosity be driven to a "nice sandbox" to play in for the first soil sample, and it appears that a sand drift named Rocknest satisfies that requirement.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Finds Thrill of Newberries on Matijevic Hill
Sols 3060 - 3088

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2012/10/03 01:58 CDT | 1 comments

On reconnaissance of Matijevic Hill, Opportunity has driven right into another Martian mystery, compete with new kinds of “berries," tiny white veins running through two distinctive outcrops of rock, and orbital data indicating that somewhere here clay minerals are hiding, all of which has put the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission back in the science spotlight and made for another September to remember at Meridiani Planum.

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Beautiful rocks ahead at Glenelg, but first, Curiosity must dig in the sand

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/01 05:31 CDT | 4 comments

A beautiful panoramic view of the varied rocks of Glenelg has been transmitted from Curiosity on Mars. But before going any further, it's time to run the first Martian sand through the soil sampling system.

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Curiosity Update, Sol 52: Glenelg Ho!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/28 02:28 CDT

Curiosity has pulled up to the edge of Glenelg, its first destination within Gale crater.

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NASA's New Direction For Mars (Maybe)
Results from the MPPG

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2012/09/26 01:58 CDT

The future of the Mars Exploration Program exists as multiple mission plans straining to exist in the brutal new cost cap from the FY13 budget, pushed far into the future.

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Cosmoquest Science Hour, Wednesday: A virtual field trip to the hills on Curiosity's horizon

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/25 04:50 CDT | 2 comments

I'm hosting this week's Cosmoquest Science Hour, and plan to take viewers on a virtual tour of those mountains on Curiosity's horizon, and show you where Curiosity is likely to go. Join me and Fraser Cain here at 1600 PDT / 2300 UTC Wednesday.

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Pretty picture: rocks underfoot at Curiosity's landing site

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/17 02:54 CDT | 4 comments

An amateur-processed mosaic of some intriguing-looking broken rocks along Curiosity's traverse. They were intriguing enough to photograph with the Mastcam -- but not enough to stop and check them out, as Curiosity has already rolled on.

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What if the Senate had a hearing on Mars and no one came?
Two out of twenty-five Senators bothered to show up to Wednesday's hearing

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2012/09/12 04:47 CDT | 3 comments

Today there was a Senate hearing on the future of Mars exploration, title "From Low-Earth Orbit to Mars" on Sept 12th, 2012, and only 2 out of 25 Senators came.

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Action Alert: Senate hearing on the future of Mars exploration this Wed

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2012/09/11 05:01 CDT | 3 comments

The Senate committee responsible for NASA is meeting this Wed, Sept 12th at 2:00pm EDT to discuss the future of Mars exploration. You can attend this event and show the Senators that the public is paying attention.

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A couple of gems from the archives

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/10 11:07 CDT | 2 comments

We're still working on migrating content from the old to the new website. This week, that means I am looking, one by one, through some great amateur-processed space images.

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MAHLI sees Curiosity's wheels firmly on Martian ground

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/10 12:39 CDT | 3 comments

MAHLI opened its "eye" on sol 33, seeing Mars clearly for the first time. On sol 34, Curiosity used MAHLI to survey the parts that Mastcam can't see, including a view right underneath the rover.

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Hello, beautiful!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/07 11:24 CDT | 3 comments

Curiosity's much-anticipated self-portrait with the MAHLI camera just arrived on Earth, and even though it was shot through the dust cover it is AWESOME.

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Outcrop Ahead for Opportunity!

Posted by Stuart Atkinson on 2012/09/07 01:12 CDT | 1 comments

Oppy is opening an exciting new chapter in her adventure at Cape York. Having driven down to, over and past Whim Creek, she has now explored halfway down Cape York, to a promising fin-like ridge of dark rock.

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Pretty picture: bizarre spherules

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/06 04:25 CDT | 5 comments

A wonderfully strange photo from Opportunity's exploration of Cape York, Endeavour Crater.

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Checking in on Curiosity after sol 30

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/06 03:54 CDT | 4 comments

Curiosity completed the "Intermission" phase on sol 29, and began checking out the robotic arm.

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HiRISE's best view of Curiosity yet

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/31 12:50 CDT | 10 comments

HiRISE's best opportunity to view Curiosity so far came 12 days after landing, when the orbiter passed nearly directly overhead. The photo resolves amazing detail on the huge rover.

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Manned Missions to Mars Aren't Just Sci-Fi

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2012/08/24 06:09 CDT | 9 comments

Space exploration is not just valuable to scientists; it is also popular with the public who pays taxes. And why not? The exploration of Mars is not only a search for signs of alien life. It is an exploration of the human future.

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Explaining the new black-and-white Mastcam and MARDI raw images

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/24 05:05 CDT | 2 comments

If you've been obsessively checking the Curiosity raw images websites for new pictures from Mars, you might have noticed something weird: a bunch of Mastcam images and a few from MARDI that are black-and-white instead of color, and which have a peculiar checkerboard pattern.

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The definitive version of Curiosity's first color panorama

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/23 06:15 CDT | 8 comments

The top of the mountain has finally been filled in, and Damien Bouic has produced what I think is the definitive version of Curiosity's first color panorama.

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We're going back to Mars in 2016!

Posted by Bill Nye on 2012/08/20 03:57 CDT | 9 comments

Today, NASA announced the newest Discovery-class mission, a Mars lander called InSight. It's not a rover; it's a drill that will go down 5 meters and help us figure out what happens in the core of our neighboring terrestrial planet.

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