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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Departs Cape York, Breaks Apollo Record

A.J.S. Rayl • June 05, 2013

It was a merry and mighty month of May for the Mars Exploration Rover mission: Opportunity finished a blockbuster study of Matijevic Hill finding the best evidence yet for an ancient, potentially habitable environment, and then embarked on its first real road trip in two years. The robot field geologist had barely gotten underway on its journey when it surpassed the Apollo 17 lunar rover distance record to become the most traveled NASA vehicle on another planetary body.

Curiosity update, sol 295: "Hitting the road" to Mount Sharp

Emily Lakdawalla • June 05, 2013

There was a Curiosity telephone conference this morning to make an exciting announcement: they're (almost) done at Glenelg and are preparing for the drive south to Mount Sharp. Allow me an editorial comment: finally!

One Ocean World Among Many

Jim Bell • June 03, 2013

I'm absolutely floored when I stop to think that our beautiful blue ocean is only one of perhaps a half dozen or more oceans on other worlds in our solar system, and only one of probably millions (or more) oceans on other Earth-like planets in our galaxy. Oceans abound!

Finding faces and animals on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • May 30, 2013

This week's "lizard" or "rat" on Mars is just the latest of a never-ending stream of so-called discoveries of animate and inanimate objects in images returned from the Red Planet. I challenge you readers to find more such objects in one Curiosity panorama.

The Shores of the Kraken Sea: Great Place Names in the Solar System

Bill Dunford • May 28, 2013

Nothing reflects the romance of deep space exploration more than the evocative names of places on the planets and moons.

Mars Exploration Rovers Special Update: Opportunity's Findings at Endeavour, So Far

A.J.S. Rayl • May 25, 2013

Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity left Cape York on May 14th and embarked on a 2-kilometer journey south along the western rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is heading now to Solander Point, where it will spend the coming Martian winter.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 3317- May 24, 2013

Larry Crumpler • May 24, 2013

Opportunity finally started driving south from its location on the outcrop where it had been since solar conjunction.

Opportunity and Curiosity updates: Rolling and drilling and a little wear on the wheels

Emily Lakdawalla • May 20, 2013

For most of April, while Mars scuttled behind the Sun as seen from Earth, both Mars rovers were pretty inactive. Now that conjunction has ended, both are doing what rovers should be doing: roving and exploring. As of sol 3312 Opportunity had moved more than 300 meters southward toward Solander Point, while on her sol 279 Curiosity drilled at a second site, Cumberland.

Many More Colors than Red: Exploring Mars with Spectroscopy

Bill Dunford • May 20, 2013

Mars gives up its secrets through the unseen colors of its rocks.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 3310- May 17, 2013

Larry Crumpler • May 17, 2013

Opportunity has finally completed the detailed survey of the outcrops on the Cape York segment of the rim of the 22-km diameter Endeavour crater.

Planetary Society Hangout: A Day in the Life of the Opportunity Rover with Emily Dean

Casey Dreier • May 09, 2013

Thursday, May 9th, at noon PDT/3pm EDT/1900h UTC, we are joined by Emily Dean, who works on the camera team for the Opportunity rover on Mars.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Emerges from Solar Conjunction to Wrap-Up Work on Matijevic Hill

A.J.S. Rayl • May 02, 2013

As the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) team waited out solar conjunction, Opportunity spent most of April atop the western rim of Endeavour Crater, conducting a chemical analysis of an ancient waterborne vein on Matijevic Hill. It was by the book until the last week of the month when the robot field geologist suffered an electronic "hiccup" known as a warm re-boot, and went into auto mode, a kind of safe mode when something doesn't go right.

No Place Like Home

Bill Dunford • April 21, 2013

Mars and Earth share a truly striking family resemblance, but there's no mistaking which one is home.

A walk among the mesas of Deuteronilus Mensae

Emily Lakdawalla • April 19, 2013

Enjoy some pretty pictures of some bizarre terrain on Mars: the mesas of Deuteronilus Mensae.

Tides of light and ice: Water and rock made from snowmelt on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • April 17, 2013

A recently published paper proposes that much of the sedimentary rock on Mars formed during rare, brief periods of very slight wetness under melting snow.

Russia's Mars 3 lander maybe found by Russian amateurs

Emily Lakdawalla • April 12, 2013

Виталий Егоров (Vitaliy Egorov) is a Russian space enthusiast who enlisted help of fellow enthusiasts to search for -- and maybe find -- the Russian Mars 3 hardware on the Martian surface. Here he explains how he did it.

Blast from the Past: Spirit's tracks at the "End of the Rainbow"

Emily Lakdawalla • April 09, 2013

Doug Ellison shared this lovely panorama via Twitter over the weekend. It's from the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit, taken back in 2004. The drunken path in the foreground is a visual record of just how exciting it was for Spirit to have finally made it to the Columbia Hills, and to rocks that were not fragments of basalt.

One Day in the Solar System

Bill Dunford • April 08, 2013

Dispatches from five different worlds--all sent by robotic spacecraft on the same day.

More Evidence for a Habitable Mars from EGU 2013

Casey Dreier • April 08, 2013

NASA's Curiosity rover has acquired further evidence that Mars's atmosphere was once dense enough to support liquid water on the surface.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Hunkers Down for Solar Conjunction, Final Science on Matijevic Hill

A.J.S. Rayl • April 02, 2013

As the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission trekked further into its tenth year of exploring the Red Planet, Opportunity spent the month of March finishing up its science investigations on Matijevic Hill.

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