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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.

Ten times the solar system reminded us sample collection is hard

Some of the biggest discoveries we make in planetary science rely on the seemingly simple act of picking up and analyzing pieces of other worlds. When things go awry, scientists and engineers can sometimes squeeze amazing science out of a tough situation.

Pretty pictures of terraced craters on Mars

Check out this unusual crater on Mars. It's not a very big one, less than 500 meters in diameter, and yet it has two rings. Most craters on Mars this size are simple bowl shapes. What's going on here?

Phoenix is dead...long live Phoenix!

The latest HiRISE images of the Phoenix polar lander, taken near Mars' northern summer solstice, show why we haven't heard from the spacecraft since it fell silent on November 2, 2008: it appears the solar panels have collapsed.

No signal from Phoenix

After three listening campaigns taking place from January through April, Mars Odyssey has detected no signal from Phoenix.

No, they can't push with the arm to free Spirit

I've gotten this question about once a week since Spirit got stuck, but yesterday, two different readers asked the same question within an hour of each other, so I figured it was time for a blog entry.

HiRISE sees Phoenix in the Martian spring

These Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE images of the defunct Phoenix lander in the early dawn light of northern spring have been out for some time, but no one had accomplished the difficult task of locating the Phoenix hardware in them until this week.

Danes on Mars

I was delighted to receive an email from Morten Bo Madsen, who I knew from the Mars Exploration Rover mission as

More things to see in the amazing HiRISE image of Phoenix' descent

I have posted several times about the amazing photo captured by HiRISE of Phoenix under its parachute as it descended. There have been two common questions I've received about the photo: was there any color data taken, and what more can I tell you about how hard it was to take the photo? I've got answers to both questions for you today.

Yep, it's ice!

The Phoenix mission confirmed it this morning: the disappearing act pulled by those chunks of bright material in the Dodo trench pretty much nails the identification of the bright material as ice, which is great news for the mission. Ice is what Phoenix went all the way to Mars to study; it's what the team has been aiming for all these years.

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