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Curiosity update, sols 1073-1107: Driving toward dunes, distracted by haloes

Emily Lakdawalla • September 18, 2015

Since I last checked in with Curiosity, the rover has been steadily driving southward, heading directly toward the Bagnold dune field. They are looking for a place to drill into the Stimson sandstone unit, but have been distracted by intriguing pale haloes around frock fractures. Despite a rough road, the wheels are not showing significant increase in damage.

A Workhorse at Mars

Tanya Harrison • September 11, 2015

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Context Camera (CTX) is almost a silent star at Mars. The latest MRO data release brought the total number of available CTX images to over 70,000, covering well over 90% of the Red Planet at a stunning resolution of 6 meters per pixel.

Pretty Picture: A Sweeping View of the Martian South Pole

Jason Davis • September 10, 2015

The European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft captured a sweeping view of Mars' south pole, along with a region extending northward to Hellas Basin.

IceBreaker: The Search for Life on Mars

Van Kane • September 08, 2015

The IceBreaker mission, proposed to NASA's Discovery program for low-cost missions, would seek out life on the northern plains of Mars.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Digs Marathon Valley Walkabout

A.J.S. Rayl • September 03, 2015

Opportunity drove farther into Marathon Valley in August, dug into what appears to be a water-altered rock, and took a lot of picture postcards in what is turning out to be a distinctively different site from any that the mission has found since the robot field geologist landed in 2004.

Field Report from Mars: Sol 4119 - August 26, 2015

Larry Crumpler • August 26, 2015

Opportunity is moving down into a large valley that cuts through the rim of Endeavour crater, into some interesting scenery.

Roving Mars—In Utah

Bill Dunford • August 19, 2015

Students gather in the desert to answer the University Rover Challenge, pushing the limits of the tech that will drive future Mars exploration.

The story behind Curiosity's self-portraits on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • August 19, 2015

How and why does Curiosity take self-portraits? A look at some of the people and stories behind Curiosity's "selfies" on the occasion of the official release of the sol 1065 belly pan self-portrait at Buckskin, below Marias Pass, Mars.

Curiosity update, sols 1012-1072: Sciencing back and forth below Marias Pass

Emily Lakdawalla • August 14, 2015

Since my last update, Curiosity has driven back and forth repeatedly across a section of rocks below Marias pass. The rover finally drilled at a spot named Buckskin on sol 1060, marking the drill's return to operations after suffering a short on sol 911. Now the rover is driving up into Marias Pass and onto the Washboard or Stimson unit.

New Curiosity Self-Portrait

Damia Bouic • August 11, 2015

Amateur image processor Damia Bouic shares new stunning images from Curiosity—including a "selfie" from a whole new angle.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Enters Marathon Valley, Begins Walkabout

A.J.S. Rayl • August 03, 2015

Nearly seven Earth years after Opportunity set its sites on Endeavour Crater, the rover cruised into Marathon Valley, the once-but-a-dream destination.

Field Report from Mars: Sol 4060 - June 26, 2015

Larry Crumpler • July 29, 2015

Larry Crumpler gives an update on the Opportunity rover's activities in Spirit of St. Louis crater.

Help map Mars' south polar region!

Tanya Harrison • July 24, 2015

The science team of NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter wants your help in mapping out the weird and wonderful features of Mars' south polar region!

A New Way to Prepare Samples of Mars for Return to the Earth

Casey Dreier • July 23, 2015

Mars 2020, NASA’s next and yet-to-be-named Mars rover, will be the first mission to collect and prepare samples of the martian surface for return to Earth. The rover's engineering team has proposed a new sampling caching strategy that differs from previous concepts in some interesting ways.

MarCO: Planetary CubeSats Become Real

Van Kane • July 08, 2015

NASA recently announced the Mars Cube One (MarCO) mission, which will fly two CubeSat spacecraft past Mars as part of its larger InSight Mars mission.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Phones Home after Conjunction Healthy, Ready to Rove

A.J.S. Rayl • July 02, 2015

After three weeks of being in a communications blackout on the other side of the Sun during the Earth-Mars solar conjunction, Opportunity phoned home, reporting that she is healthy and ready to continue her mission.

Field Report from Mars: Sol 4039 - June 4, 2015

Larry Crumpler • June 12, 2015

Larry Crumpler gives an update on the Opportunity rover and plans for its upcoming journey after solar conjunction.

Curiosity update, sols 978-1011: Into Marias Pass; ChemCam back in action; solar conjunction

Emily Lakdawalla • June 10, 2015

It’s been an eventful few weeks for Curiosity on Mars. From sols 981 to 986, Curiosity’s human pilots tried and failed to drive the rover southward; but, retracing their steps to Logan's Run, they quickly found a way up and into a beautiful geological amphitheater named Marias Pass, where they will stay throughout Mars solar conjunction. They also returned ChemCam to normal operations.

Using Cardboard to Tour Mars

Scott Maxwell • June 04, 2015

Former Mars rover driver Scott Maxwell uses Google Cardboard to take a tour of the Red Planet.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Tours Spirit of St. Louis Crater

A.J.S. Rayl • June 03, 2015

Opportunity spent a mostly merry month of May on Mars touring Spirit of St. Louis Crater, stopping at science targets named in honor of Charles Lindbergh and the incredible flight he took 88 years ago.

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