Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
As Earthlings slept last night, Spirit completed the first part of a three-part maneuver that will take her down the ramp and onto the Martian surface early Thursday morning Earth time.
As Spirit slept soundly after another near-perfect day of picture taking, science gathering, and data relays from Mars, NASA released the first color 360-degree panorama postcard it sent home.
Spirit is up -- standing at full height on all six wheels -- and is ready to roll off the lander heading west by northwest, probably sometime early Thursday morning Earth time, according to the latest plan.
Spirit continues to return
If a Hollywood screenwriter had crafted the scenes for the last few days of the Spirit Mission Team at JPL as they really happened -- success after success, triumphant image after triumph he or she would be out of a job.
With additional data due later today and early tomorrow morning, the mission team is hoping to receive and piece together the first color picture perfect panoramic postcard -- from the PanCam, a high resolution stereo vision camera -- for the briefing tomorrow.
Spirit -- NASA's first Mars Exploration Rover -- survived the 'six minutes of terror' entering and descending through the atmosphere to land safely -- and upright -- in Gusev Crater on the Red Planet. Just two hours after the confirmation signal of the landing, the first engineering data and images began streaming into the MER Mission Control at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where Spirit and her twin, Opportunity were built.
Spirit spent a quiet, cold night in Gusev Crater, and woke up to return streams of new data, including more black and white 'postcards' from Mars.
Spirit – the first of NASA's two robot geologists en route to the red Planet -- is “in “excellent” health, NASA and JPL scientists reported at a news briefing at JPL this afternoon, and the countdown to touch down on the Red Planet has begun.
New observations reported this week in the journal Nature have cast doubt on the theory that thick deposits of ground ice lie conveniently close to the surface in permanently shadowed crater floors at the lunar poles.
Recent radar observations of Saturn’s moon Titan have produced the first direct evidence that the second largest moon in the solar system may be hiding pools of liquid hydrocarbons underneath its smoggy atmosphere.
[email protected] and BOINC are gradually converging, and the benefits for both are substantial. While [email protected] enjoys the increased flexibility of the BOINC platform, it brings to BOINC something of inestimable value to a distributed computing project: millions of [email protected] users, willing to use their computers' processing power for the advancement of scientific research.
[email protected] chief scientist Dan Werthimer and his team went back to Arecibo to reobserve the most promising candidate signals detected by the project so far. Unlike most of the year, when [email protected] piggy-backs on the regular operations of the telescope, this time the Werthimer's crew had the full use of the resources of the giant dish.
Spirit has successfully launched to Mars, and I was there with members of the science team to witness it.
Scientists working on the European Space Agency's (ESA's) Mars Express detailed the mission's ambitious plan to study Mars from the top of its atmosphere to several kilometers beneath its surface, at a press conference in London, England last week.
After getting bumped off the telescope last week to make way for Solar flare observations, [email protected] Chief Scientist Dan Werthimer and his crew will spend 14 hours today observing the locations of [email protected]'s most promising candidate signals, as well as a few other interesting locations.
[email protected]'s plans to reobserve its most promising candidate signals were interrupted today by the unexpected intervention of a Solar flare.
[email protected] scientists will have to wait for several weeks for the full analysis of the data collected during the reobservations. But even while the observations are going on at Arecibo, they will already have a good idea if they have found something significant.