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Mars' chemical history: Phyllosian, Theiikian, Siderikian, oh my

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/12/05 01:08 CST | 4 comments

I'm returning to the deep dive into the literature that began with articles about lunar basins and then explored the geologic time scales of Earth, Moon, and Mars. Now it's time to catch up to the last decade of Mars research and learn what "phyllosian", "theiikian", and "siderikian" eras are.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Ascends Murray Ridge into Clay Mineral Grounds
Sols 3474 - 3502

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2013/12/03 03:13 CST | 1 comment

Although winter took hold at Endeavour Crater in November, Opportunity pressed on, climbing up Murray Ridge and driving into a clay mineral hunting ground as the Mars Exploration Rovers mission cruised another month closer to celebrating its 10th Earth year of surface operations with myriad events throughout January 2014.

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The Mariner Mars Globe

Posted by Don Davis on 2013/11/29 12:04 CST | 3 comments

In 1971 I was being trained to work with the airbrush by the map artists at the U.S. Geological Survey's Branch of Astrogeologic Studies in Flagstaff. However, the project I ended up spending about a quarter of a man-year on was a hand-painted map globe of Mars.

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Curiosity update, sols 453-464: Electrical problem causes delays; rover back to work

Posted by Ken Herkenhoff on 2013/11/25 02:38 CST | 1 comment

An electrical problem frustrated progress on the Curiosity mission this week, but the problem is now understood and the rover back to work.

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Field Report From Mars: Sol 3494 - November 21, 2013

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2013/11/22 05:39 CST | 4 comments

On sol 3485 Opportunity pulled up next to a large outcrop here on the rim of Endeavour crater. The outcrop appears to be impact breccias like those we saw a few sols ago lower down on the ridge. But the texture of the rocks is somewhat different.

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Martian Maps: the North Pole

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/11/20 05:24 CST | 2 comments

The polar plains, charted in unprecedented detail.

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SpaceUp LA and the MAVEN Launch on Planetary Radio

Posted by on 2013/11/15 10:07 CST

Check into the latest Southern California "unconference" for space enthusiasts and professionals, and get ready for live coverage of Monday morning's launch of the Mars orbiter.

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Features at both rover field sites on Mars named for Bruce Murray

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/11/14 11:51 CST

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced today that the geologists on both Mars rover teams -- Opportunity and Curiosity -- have named landmarks at their field sites after the late Bruce Murray.

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Curiosity Update: A stop at Cooperstown and a warm reset, sols 433-451

Posted by Ken Herkenhoff on 2013/11/14 01:56 CST

Having racked up several kilometers in the drive to Mount Sharp, Curiosity paused for a second science stop at an outcrop called "Cooperstown." While there, the rover performed a software upgrade and then lost a few days to a software anomaly. The rover has now resumed normal science operations.

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Cosmos with Cosmos Episode 5: Blues for a Red Planet
Where Mars stubbornly refuses to be what we desire

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/11/12 02:24 CST | 12 comments

Episode 5 focuses on Mars, the planet that has stubbornly refused to conform to the wishes of humanity for hundreds of years, from Lowell to Sagan. Grab your cosmo and join our discussion of 'Blues for a Red Planet.'

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Gets Back to the Past at Winter Site
Sols 3444 - 3473

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2013/11/04 11:05 CST | 1 comment

As fall began to give way to winter at Endeavour Crater, Opportunity cruised deeper into her campsite on the western side of Solander Point in October, heading for a site that may contain clay minerals and the rover's next big discovery, and the Mars Exploration Rovers mission trekked another month closer to its 10th anniversary in January 2014.

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PLANETARY RADIO LIVE: MAVEN Launches for Mars
Live coverage from Pasadena and Cape Canaveral!

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/11/01 04:16 CDT | 2 comments

Host Mat Kaplan will be joined by Bill Nye the Science Guy, Bruce Betts and Emily Lakdawalla for this special live event.

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Field Report From Mars: Sol 3467 - October 24, 2013

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2013/10/28 08:16 CDT | 1 comment

On sol 3451 Opportunity began its climb of Solander Point. This is the highest “mountain” that Opportunity has tried to climb yet.

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Noachian, Hesperian, and Amazonian, oh my! --Mars' Geologic Time Scale

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/10/25 04:32 CDT | 3 comments

The Martian Geologic Time Scale is a lot more complicated than the Moon's.

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Curiosity update: Roving through the shutdown toward Waypoint 2, sols 388-432

Posted by Ken Herkenhoff on 2013/10/23 02:57 CDT | 1 comment

After a brief science stop at Darwin (formerly known as Waypoint 1), Curiosity has driven hundreds of meters toward Mount Sharp. Autumn has come to Curiosity's southern hemisphere location, bringing lower temperatures. That means more power is required to heat rover actuators, leaving less power for science along the drive.

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How I Gave My Preschool Class Mars Fever

Posted by Emily Cotman on 2013/10/18 11:58 CDT | 8 comments

It all started when we read a book called, There's Nothing to Do on Mars, by Chris Gall. And then something wonderful happened.

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DPS 2013: Confusing Curiosity SAM results

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/10/15 03:47 CDT | 6 comments

What did I learn about Curiosity at last week's Division for Planetary Sciences meeting? There were a few talks, most of which concerned soil and atmsospheric chemistry. I can summarize their conclusions with one sentence: More data is needed.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Roves to Solander West, into Winter Campground
Sols 3415 - 3444

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2013/10/07 07:06 CDT

The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission stepped up preparations for the coming Martian winter in September as Opportunity rounded the northern tip of Solander Point and drove into what will be her campground at Endeavour Crater for the next six months or so. It's been nearly a year in the planning. Now, from the rover's first look around, this winter could turn out to be one for the books.

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An Ongoing Odyssey

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/10/07 12:42 CDT | 2 comments

Twelve years on, Mars Odyssey just keeps sending great images.

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Google+ Hangout with ESA about Europe's Mars exploration

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/10/04 09:00 CDT

The European Space Agency invited me to join Mars Express project scientist Olivier Witasse, and spacecraft oeprations manager Michel Denis for a Hangout on Europe's recent and future exploration of Mars and Phobos.

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