November 3rd, 2011

New Mars Rover Prepared For Thanksgiving Launch

The Mars Science Laboratory, a sophisticated rover designed to assess conditions for life on Mars, was moved to its Cape Canaveral, Fla., launch pad on Thursday and hoisted atop an Atlas 5 rocket in preparation for liftoff Thanksgiving weekend.
The $2.5 billion spacecraft, nicknamed Curiosity, is expected to arrive at the Red Planet in August 2012. Its landing site is Gale Crater, a large impact crater with a 3-mile high mountain rising from its floor.

January 18th, 2010

Five Canceled NASA Missions

As with most things in life, NASA missions tend to gain the most attention when they either succeed fantastically or fail utterly.
When Apollo 11 touched down on the lunar surface in 1969, the New York Times ran with the headline “MEN WALK ON MOON.” And when NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory took a nosedive into the Indian Ocean in 2009, newspaper editors and bloggers alike were quick to break out the “FAIL” headlines.

October 13th, 2004

Study: Mars Water Didn’t Last Long

If water ever flowed over Mars’ surface, it was a one-night stand, say geochemists studying the properties of an unusual mineral allegedly found by the Opportunity rover at Meridiani Planum.
The possible detection of a normally short-lived mineral called jarosite seems to indicate that there was liquid water on at least Meridiani Planum. But the moisture didn’t last long and hasn’t been back since.

August 30th, 2000

Meteor Showers Explosive on Mars

Meteors that would be little more than a flash in the sky on Earth can cause massive explosions, vast dust storms and giant lightning bolts on Mars, say Russian scientists. By adapting some classified Cold War equations created to predict what nuclear blasts would do in Earth’s atmosphere, scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute for Dynamics of Geospheres think they have a way of predicting how meteors would behave when they bust through the thin martian atmosphere.

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