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ExoMars sights Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • June 16, 2016

Today ESA released ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter's first photo of Mars, taken from a distance of 41 million kilometers. It's no more detail than you can get through a pair of a binoculars, just a little taste of what's to come.

Curiosity update, sols 1311-1369: Drilling at Lubango, Okoruso, and Oudam, and a turn to the south

Emily Lakdawalla • June 15, 2016

Curiosity is at a turning point in its mission to Mount Sharp, both literally and figuratively. Having drilled at three sample sites in 7 weeks, the rover took a left turn, changing its trajectory from a generally westward driving path to a southward one. It is now poised to cross the Bagnold dune field at Murray buttes.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Scuffs Up Signs of Past Water at Marathon Valley

A.J.S. Rayl • June 06, 2016

Opportunity spent the first half of May digging into an outcrop, taking dozens of panoramic images from her site on the south wall of Marathon Valley at Endeavour Crater’s western rim, and basking in the Martian spring weather.

Three bright planets: Portraits from the Pyrenees

Emily Lakdawalla • May 26, 2016

It's a great time to go outdoors and look at planets. I have three glorious planetary portraits to share today, sent to me by amateur astronomer Jean-Luc Dauvergne.

Lockheed Proposes to have Humans Orbiting Mars by 2028

Casey Dreier • May 19, 2016

Lockheed Martin proposed a system to send humans to orbit Mars in the year 2028—a concept that shares many core values with The Planetary Society's report, Humans Orbiting Mars, we released last year.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 4365 - May 5, 2016

Larry Crumpler • May 13, 2016

Opportunity arrived at its current location on sol 4345 to begin investigation of an outcrop on the crest of a ridge near the west end of Marathon Valley.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Sleuths New Site for Smectites

A.J.S. Rayl • May 10, 2016

Opportunity and the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) team pressed on through the Martian winter and spent April sleuthing for clay minerals at the mission’s new site on the southern wall of Marathon Valley.

The Giant Volcanoes of Mars

Justin Cowart • May 04, 2016

Justin Cowart shares some spectacular images showcasing Mars' volcanoes from Mars Express.

Future High-Resolution Imaging of Mars: Super-Res to the Rescue?

Alfred McEwen • April 29, 2016

HiRISE Principal Investigator Alfred McEwen explains an imaging technique known as Super-Resolution Restoration (SRR), and how it could come in handy for high-resolution imaging of the Red Planet.

What NASA Can Learn from SpaceX

Casey Dreier • April 28, 2016

SpaceX's announcement that it will send Dragon capsules to Mars demonstrates the advantage of having a clear plan to explore the red planet. NASA should take note.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 4333 - April 1, 2016

Larry Crumpler • April 26, 2016

Opportunity has climbed west and up Marathon Valley in one of the final campaigns before moving on and beginning the summer field activities to the south southward.

Quick Curiosity update, sol 1320: "Lubango," the 10th drill site on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • April 25, 2016

Curiosity has drilled into Mars for the 10th time at a site named Lubango, on sol 1320 (April 23, 2016). Lubango is in a bright-toned halo around a crack in the Stimson sandstone unit on the western edge of the Naukluft Plateau.

Moonset over Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • April 21, 2016

Enjoy this serene image of a moonset on another world, captured by Curiosity's Mastcam in April 2014 and processed here by Justin Cowart.

Atmospheric Waves Awareness: An Explainer

Anna Scott • April 20, 2016

There are two types of atmospheric waves that are critically important on Earth and other planets: gravity waves and planetary waves.

A new angle on Mars for Mars Odyssey

Emily Lakdawalla • April 19, 2016

Mars Odyssey has been in space for 15 years. It flies in a special "sun-synchronous" orbit, crossing the equator at roughly the same local time every day. Over time, the Odyssey mission has changed what that local time of day is, and I just realized something cool about how those changes show up in the geometry of its images.

Curiosity update, sols 1250-1310: Across the Naukluft Plateau

Emily Lakdawalla • April 13, 2016

Curiosity has driven onward from Namib dune across a highstanding unit of rock called the Naukluft Plateau. Despite some frustrating sols lost to a short circuit in the RTG and DSN troubles, the rover has made progress, and performed lots of 3D imaging of weirdly wind-eroded rocks.

LPSC 2016: Martian Geomorphology

Tanya Harrison • April 04, 2016

Scientists showcased a wide range of features and processes on Mars' surface at last week's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Soldiers through Martian March Madness

A.J.S. Rayl • April 04, 2016

As March Madness on Earth sent sports fans into their annual kinetic frenzy watching more than 60 American teams battle it out for college basketball’s grandest title, Opportunity was experiencing her own Martian brand of March Madness.

A Sunset on Mars: Crafting a scene from archival data

Justin Cowart • March 08, 2016

Ever wanted to stand on Mars and watch a sunset? Unfortunately for many of us, it will never be something that we get to experience in person. But thanks to our robotic emissaries on Mars, and some careful processing of images from NASA's Planetary Data System, we can get a sense of what it’s like.

Mars Express VMC is back online

Emily Lakdawalla • March 04, 2016

Mars Express' Visual Monitoring Camera is taking photos again! The camera was turned on for the first time in six months on Leap Day to take some lovely photos of Mars.

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