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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Celebrates Milestones, Arrives at Solander Suburb

A.J.S. Rayl • August 05, 2013

The Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission Opportunity celebrated the 10th anniversary of its launch on July 7, 2003, and then went on to complete the last leg of its 2 km trek from Cape York to Solander Point. But just before the robot field geologist pulled onto the actual base of the ridge where it will spend its sixth Martian winter, Mars lured the team off the path with some of the weirdest Martian rocks the scientists have seen yet.

TODAY at 4pm PDT: Google+ Hangout, Celebrate Curiosity's First Year on Mars with Deputy Scientist Ashwin Vasavada

Casey Dreier • August 05, 2013

It was just one year ago that Curiosity had her dramatic landing on the surface of Mars. Emily Lakdawalla and I will interview the Deputy Project Scientist of the Curiosity mission, Ashwin Vasavada, about the successes of the past year and the what to look forward to in the next

Keeping up with Curiosity, almost a year after landing

Emily Lakdawalla • August 01, 2013

It seems like my attention wandered for just a moment, and all of a sudden Curiosity is really on the road. She's racked up drive after drive, methodically eating up the terrain between here and her goal: the ancient rocks at the foot of Mount Sharp.

Happy 32! Happy New Mars Year!

Emily Lakdawalla • July 31, 2013

They're too far apart to have a party, but today Curiosity and Opportunity could have rung in the New Mars Year. Today Mars reached a solar longitude of zero degrees and the Sun crossed Mars' equator, heralding the arrival of spring in the northern hemisphere and autumn in the southern hemisphere.

Terra Cognita

Bill Dunford • July 29, 2013

Pushing back the frontier, and filling in the blank spaces on the map.

The Mars 2020 Rover In-Depth

Van Kane • July 27, 2013

We now know the science goals for NASA’s next major Mars mission. The new rover will further the astrobiological search begun by the Curiosity rover and store samples for eventual return to the Earth, providing a stepping stone to the next stage of Martian exploration.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 3378 - July 25, 2013

Larry Crumpler • July 26, 2013

We are now only about 180 meters from the new mountain, Solander Point. We slowed down this week so that we could check out the rocks here where there is a strange hydration signature from orbital remote sensing.

Planetary Geomorphology Image of the Month: Water tracks on Earth and Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • July 18, 2013

The International Association of Geomorphologists' "planetary geomorphology image of the month," contributed by Joe Levy, features water tracks on Earth and compares them to recurring slope lineae on Mars.

A new HiRISE view of Opportunity (sol 3361)

Emily Lakdawalla • July 17, 2013

The HiRISE camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has snapped a lovely color photo of the rim of Endeavour crater, catching Opportunity midway between Nobby's Head and Solander Point.

Dunes on Tatooine

Ralph Lorenz • July 17, 2013

The fictional world Tatooine, scene of action in the Star Wars movies, is named after a town in Tunisia, where parts of the movies were filmed. The desert backdrops against which the movies were filmed are real terrestrial landscapes, which prove to be perhaps unexpectedly dynamic.

Programmable Mars Watch for $50

Ara Kourchians • July 11, 2013

Time is kept differently on Mars. This is because Mars itself rotates a little slower than Earth. This proves to be a pain when it comes to timekeeping.

Mars 2020 Science Announcement Live-blog

Casey Dreier • July 09, 2013

Follow along as NASA reacts to the recommendations of the science definition team for the next Mars rover.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 3355 - July 2, 2013

Larry Crumpler • July 08, 2013

By Sol 3325 Opportunity has driven up onto the next "island" of rock, "Sutherland Point" and "Nobbys Head." On this sol Opportunity is only about 700 m from the goal, the mountains to the south.

The Ice Pits of Mars

Bill Dunford • July 07, 2013

The south polar cap of Mars is riddled with strange landscapes.

Mars Exploration Rovers Mission Update: Opportunity Continues Sprint to Solander Point

A.J.S. Rayl • July 04, 2013

The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission celebrated its 10th anniversary of leaving Earth in June, as Opportunity continued the sprint to its next winter haven at Endeavour Crater.

Stationkeeping in Mars orbit

Emily Lakdawalla • June 27, 2013

It had never occurred to me to think about geostationary satellites in Mars orbit before reading a new paper by Juan Silva and Pilar Romero. The paper shows that it takes a lot more work to maintain a stationary orbit at an arbitrary longitude at Mars than it does at Earth.

If we started today, how long would it take to get to Mars? With this budget, never.

Casey Dreier • June 19, 2013

The House of Representatives held a hearing today to discuss their proposed NASA authorization bill, which would fund Planetary Science, cut Earth Science, forbid asteroid retrieval, and command NASA to pursue a path to Mars via the Moon.

Enormously detailed photo of Kasei Valles from Mars Express

Emily Lakdawalla • June 19, 2013

ESA celebrated the tenth anniversary of Mars Express' launch with a several-day science meeting during which they issued lots of press releases and numerous spectacular photos. My favorite of them all is this enormous image of Kasei Valles on Mars.

Exploring Ten Years' Worth of Mars Express Data

Bill Dunford • June 13, 2013

Mars Express has been in flight for a decade, more than enough time to send home some amazing finds.

Pretty pictures: Curiosity working late

Emily Lakdawalla • June 07, 2013

Just some cool photos of Curiosity lighting up the Cumberland drill hole after sunset for a little nighttime science work.

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