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Blog Archive

 

A week in the solar system

Jason Davis • November 10, 2016

A roundup of pretty pictures and news from our robotic ambassadors around the solar system, from November 4 through 8.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Scales Spirit Mound, Takes Shot at Schiaparelli

A.J.S. Rayl • November 05, 2016

Opportunity spent the month of October on Spirit Mound studying the rich yet familiar geology at the first science stop on its 10th extended mission – pausing only to take a shot at freeze-framing part of the descent of Europe’s Schiaparelli lander.

Capturing Martian Weather in Motion

Justin Cowart • November 04, 2016

Still images of Mars often give a false impression that Mars is a dead planet—but time-lapse imaging from the European Mars Express spacecraft reveals the planet as it really is.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 4535 - October 26, 2016

Larry Crumpler • November 02, 2016

Opportunity is currently finishing up observations of its first outcrop target of its 10th extended mission plan.

Schiaparelli crash site imaged by HiRISE

Emily Lakdawalla • October 27, 2016

Following up the detection of the Schiaparelli crash site by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter CTX, the higher-resolution HiRISE camera has now definitively identified the locations of lander impact site, parachute with backshell, and heat shield impact site on the Martian surface.

Likely Schiaparelli crash site imaged by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Emily Lakdawalla • October 21, 2016

Just a day after the arrival of ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter and its lander Schiaparelli, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has taken a photo of the landing site with its Context Camera, and things do not look good.

Brief update: Opportunity's attempt to image Schiaparelli unsuccessful

Emily Lakdawalla • October 19, 2016

Today, the Opportunity rover attempted a difficult, never-before-possible feat: to shoot a photo of an arriving Mars lander from the Martian surface. Unfortunately, that attempt seems not to have succeeded. Opportunity has now returned the images from the observation attempt, but Schiaparelli is not visible.

ExoMars: Long day’s journey into uncertainty

Ruth McAvinia • October 19, 2016

Trace Gas Orbit is successfully in orbit at Mars, but the fate of the Schiaparelli lander is uncertain.

ExoMars update: Timeline for separation and orbit insertion

Emily Lakdawalla • October 14, 2016

Schiaparelli is GO for landing, and ExoMars TGO is GO for orbit insertion! When to expect ExoMars events: Schiaparelli separation, final trajectory maneuvers, landing events, orbit insertion, and press briefings.

Curiosity Update, sols 1428-1488: Through the Murray Buttes, drilling at Quela, and beyond

Emily Lakdawalla • October 13, 2016

In the two months since my last Curiosity update, the rover has traversed the scenic Murray Buttes, drilled at Quela, and driven another 300 meters southward.

Fun with a new image data set: Mars Orbiter Mission's Mars Colour Camera

Emily Lakdawalla • October 06, 2016

It's always a delight to sink my teeth into a new data set, and I have spent this week playing with one I've been anticipating for a long time: ISRO's Mars Orbiter's Mars Colour Camera, or MCC. MCC is unique among current Mars cameras in its ability to get color, print-quality, wide-angle, regional views of Mars.

MOM's Second Anniversary at Mars

Sandhya Ramesh • October 05, 2016

On Mars Orbiter Mission’s second anniversary of Mars arrival, ISRO has (finally!) made available to the public data from its first year in orbit.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Exits Marathon Valley then Rocks Spirit Mound

A.J.S. Rayl • October 04, 2016

It was another September to remember for Opportunity as she cruised through the Lewis and Clark Gap and out of Marathon Valley, then hiked downslope, leading the first overland expedition of the Red Planet to Spirit Mound, a new site deep in Endeavour Crater’s rim.

SpaceX and the Blank Slate

Casey Dreier • September 28, 2016

SpaceX's plans to colonize Mars differ considerably from NASA's Journey to Mars ambitions. But direct comparison is difficult. SpaceX is able to wipe the slate clean and start fresh with a bold new approach to humans in space. NASA has no such luxury, and must use existing pieces and people to make their goals a reality.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 4482 - September 2, 2016

Larry Crumpler • September 09, 2016

Opportunity is about to leave Marathon Valley for good and head south into the next valley, marking the beginning of the current extended mission plan.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Gets in the Groove, Wraps Science Marathon Valley

A.J.S. Rayl • September 05, 2016

Opportunity got in the groove at Endeavour Crater in August finishing the last of her science assignments in Marathon Valley.

How big is that butte?

Emily Lakdawalla • August 23, 2016

Whenever I share images from Curiosity, among the most common questions I’m asked is “what is the scale of this image?” With help from imaging enthusiast Seán Doran, I can answer that question for some of the Murray buttes.

Gullies on Mars: Wet or Dry (Ice)?

Tanya Harrison • August 17, 2016

Martian gullies were in the spotlight last week thanks to a NASA press release stating they were "likely not formed by liquid water" based on spectral results. But how does this stack up against their morphology?

Curiosity update, sols 1373-1427: Driving up to Murray buttes, drilling at Marimba

Emily Lakdawalla • August 11, 2016

Curiosity has now covered most of the flat ground that lay between the Naukluft plateau and the Murray buttes. The mission took only 11 days to complete drilling work at Marimba, despite a recurrence of a problematic short in the drill. The rover is ready to drive in among the buttes, shooting spectacular photos along the way.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Nears End of Marathon Valley Tour, Team Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Viking

A.J.S. Rayl • August 03, 2016

Despite the intensifying rancor and ugliness of the U.S. Presidential campaigns on Earth, as the spring Sun shined down on Meridiani Planum in July, all was right with the world at Endeavour Crater.

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