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Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.

Our New Map of Every Mars Landing Attempt, Ever

The Planetary Society has a new improved guide to all the places we've landed—or crashed—on Mars, plus planned locations for the upcoming Perseverance, Tianwen-1, and Rosalind Franklin rover missions.

InSight Update: A Couple More Tiny Quakes and Heat Probe Progress

InSight has detected a couple more small Marsquakes, and the team has lifted the housing of the heat probe off the ground, exposing the top of the mole in a surprisingly wide hole.

InSight Detects Some Very Small Marsquakes

InSight has finally detected its first Marsquakes, but so far, none have been large enough to produce good science. Still, it’s great news that the seismometer is producing sensible data.

InSight Update, Sol 92: The Mole Did Hit a Rock

The HP3 mole started hammering itself today, and almost immediately (after just 5 minutes) appears to have encountered a rock. No matter; they'll try again Saturday.

InSight update, sols 43-83: Instrument placement complete

InSight has placed its second science instrument on the ground and set it free. Now it's time to bury the heat probe in the soil.

Touchdown for InSight's Heat Probe

InSight has gone two for two, placing the second of its instruments gently on the Martian ground.

So long, MarCO, and thanks for the radio transmissions

NASA says it does not expect to receive any more transmissions from the MarCO CubeSats that accompanied Insight to Mars last year.

InSight Milestone: Wind and Thermal Shield Placed Sol 66

InSight mission has successfully placed the wind and thermal shield over the seismometer. The seismometer will now be shielded from winds and kept warm over the cold Martian nights, so the quality of its data should dramatically increase.

InSight Update, sols 25-42: Seismometer sensors working!

Engineers have leveled the seismometer and made progress on adjusting the position of the tether so that it doesn't interfere for the experiment. Most significantly for the mission, they have balanced the Very Broad Band sensors -- 3 of SEIS’ 6 seismic sensors -- and confirmed that they are generating good data.

InSight update, sols 1-24: Operations begin, first instrument deployed

It’s been a busy first three weeks on the InSight mission, and they’ve already achieved a major milestone: placing the seismometer on the ground. They've also gathered a self-portrait and 360-degree panorama.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Spots InSight Hardware on Mars

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has finally spotted the InSight lander, its parachute, and its heat shield resting on the Martian surface. The images confirm the location of InSight's landing site, a little to the north and west of the center of the landing ellipse. The lander is located at 4.499897° N, 135.616000° E.

After the Success of InSight, It’s Time for NASA to Commit to Mars Sample Return

In the brief period of public and political goodwill generated by NASA's latest success at the Red Planet, now is the time to secure a commitment for the next steps at Mars: sample return.

New Cameras on Mars!

There was jubilation when InSight landed, but I'm just as happy to be writing about a distinct InSight event: The flow of raw images sent from Mars, straight to the Web, has begun.

InSight has landed (UPDATED)

InSight touched down on Mars today, bringing NASA's total of successful Mars landers to 8 and total number of active NASA Mars missions to 6.

This Thanksgiving, avoid the politics and talk space instead

If you're expecting to gather with extended family on Thanksgiving, avoid the politics. Here are some conversation starters to use at the dinner table that everyone can engage in.

What to Expect When InSight Lands on Mars

If all goes well, anxious space fans on Earth will learn of a successful InSight landing on Mars on Monday, 26 November 2018, at 19:53 UTC. Here's a preview of all the landing day events.

How LightSail and a NASA study helped pave the way for Mars-bound CubeSats

Two NASA CubeSats are approaching Mars — an impressive accomplishment for a concept many people regarded with derision just 15 years ago.

Curiosity update, sols 2093-2162: Three tries to successful drill atop Vera Rubin Ridge

Heedless of the (now-dissipating) dust storm, Curiosity has achieved its first successful drill into rocks that form the Vera Rubin ridge, and is hopefully on the way to a second. It took three attempts for Curiosity to find a soft enough spot, with Voyageurs and Ailsa Craig being too tough, but Stoer proved obligingly soft on sol 2136.

Go Atlas, go Centaur, go InSight!

NASA’s next Mars mission launched successfully from Vandenberg Air Force Base today!

MarCO: CubeSats to Mars!

MarCO or Mars Cube One is an experimental mission that is sending two tiny spacecraft along with InSight to Mars. If successful, they will relay real-time telemetry from InSight to Earth during the landing.

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