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.
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.
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.
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.