Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
Persevering through it all
Exploration will always face setbacks, but this week’s Downlink reminds us of the impressive human ability to persevere.
Every Mars landing attempt as of June 2020
Two maps by The Planetary Society show all the places we've landed or crashed on Mars as of June 2020.
A New Understanding
Abigail Fraeman examines how the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, changed our view of Mars.
The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: The Final Report
It’s a fall afternoon at Endeavour Crater. The summer winds finally lost their energy and the dust storm season is over. But there are no more signals coming from Earth. No more comm sessions with the orbiters. Nothing like it used to be.
The Mars Exploration Rovers Update Special Report: NASA Declares Opportunity and MER Mission 'Complete'
At around 8 pm February 12, 2019, Pacific Standard Time (PST), the final commands were transmitted to Opportunity, the Mars Exploration Rover that defied all odds.
The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Makes Tracks on Magical Mystery Tour of Different Rocks
Opportunity continued exploring the south trough of Perseverance in May, still looking for evidence that explains just how this one-of-a-kind valley meandering through Endeavour Crater’s rim formed.
The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Logs 5000th Day, Snaps Selfie, and Roves On
When Opportunity’s 5000th day dawned in February, it was a meaningful milestone for the team, and it led to a personal first for the veteran robot field geologist that has chalked up so many firsts she’s set the standard for Mars rovers.
The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Mission Completes 14 Years of Exploring, Opportunity Roves into Year 15!
In January, Opportunity quietly completed 14 years of surface operations on Mars—the longest-lived robot on another planet.
The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Beats Winter, Wraps 2017, and Heads for 14th Anniversary
With the Martian winter on the run, Opportunity cruised closer to its 14th anniversary of exploring the Red Planet in December as she deliberated a distinctive “fork in the road” deep in Perseverance Valley and wrapped another record year.
Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Ventures Deeper into Perseverance
Along the western rim of Endeavour Crater, Opportunity forged onward in August vicariously taking the Mars Exploration Rovers team – along with a global contingent of mission observers all around Earth – downhill into Perseverance Valley and deeper into a new chapter in this legendary expedition of the Red Planet.
Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Dodges Dust Storms, Makes Tracks to Perseverance Valley
After wrapping the final science investigations on the slopes of Cape Tribulation, Opportunity climbed up and over the rim of Endeavour Crater in March and embarked on the journey south toward its next science target: Perseverance Valley.
Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Wraps 2016, Heads into 2017 Toward 13th Anniversary
As 2016 came to an end and 2017 rang in, Opportunity was working the first leg of the ascent up the rugged western rim of Endeavour Crater on her way to an ancient gully, the next scientific tour de force down the road, and the mission was closing in on its 13th anniversary of surface operations coming up in the New Year.
Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Gets in the Groove, Wraps Science Marathon Valley
Opportunity got in the groove at Endeavour Crater in August finishing the last of her science assignments in Marathon Valley.
Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Turns 12! Embarks on Electric Slide
On January 24th, the veteran Mars Exploration Rover (MER) wrapped the last day of her 12th year of surface operations on Mars, marking an extraordinary, historic achievement for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission.
A Roundup of Dust Devil Research
Planetary scientist Ralph Lorenz briefs us on the current state of our knowledge on dust devils on Earth and Mars.
Why Return to the Columbia Hills?
Where should NASA’s next Mars rover, the Mars 2020 sample caching mission, land? One site under consideration is Spirit's old stomping ground, the Columbia Hills.
Using Cardboard to Tour Mars
Former Mars rover driver Scott Maxwell uses Google Cardboard to take a tour of the Red Planet.
Rover eyes on rock layers on Mars
Digging in to mission image archives yields similar images of layered Martian rocks from very different places.
Seven Mars spacecraft attempted observations of comet Siding Spring. How did they go?
It's been two weeks since comet Siding Spring passed close by Mars, and six of the seven Mars spacecraft have now checked in with quick looks at their images of the encounter. I round up all the results.
Tracks in the Wilderness
Pioneer trails extend all the way to Mars.