December 11th, 2008

Solar Conjunction: Mars Missions Take a Load Off National Geographic

Last Friday Mars slipped into place behind the sun directly opposite to Earth observers, and over the next few weeks the red planet will drift through a line of sight very close to our stormy star.
This means that solar noise effectively blocks radio communications with the five craft now orbiting or actively exploring the face of Mars—and that means Mars mission engineers can take a bit of a breather.
Called solar conjunction, the radio blackout between Earth and Mars happens every two years, with the last one cropping up between October 18 and 29, 2006.

November 30th, 2008

Visions of Mars National Geographic

Robot explorers transform a distant object of wonder into intimate terrain.

April 1st, 2004

April Fools’ on Mars: Scientists Post Yearly Photo Joke National Geographic

A pair of astrophysicists announced today that April Fools’ Day is more intense on Mars than on Earth. To back their claim, the duo notes that Mars has less gravity (pun intended) than Earth

December 9th, 2003

Mars Sundial to Help Teach Kids About Time, Sun National Geographic

If all goes according to plan this coming January, the twin Spirit and Opportunity rovers will land on Mars. At that same time continuously updated images of sundials built by school children and individuals around the world will launch on the Internet. The link between the two lies in science and the sun.

December 9th, 2003

At “Mars on Earth,” Planning a Manned Mission National Geographic

To scientists, Canada’s rocky, windblown Devon Island, 10 degrees above the Arctic Circle with an average temperature of 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (-17 degrees Celsius), is “Mars on Earth.” What better place, then, to serve as NASA’s lab for a possible manned mission to the Red Planet? Devon Island even boasts the Mars-like 14-mile-wide (23-kilometer-wide) Haughton crater, for which the NASA Haughton-Mars Project was named.

February 19th, 2002

Deep Space Best Explored by Family Groups, Scientist Says National Geographic

Forget Starship Troopers and steely-eyed astronauts

November 24th, 2001

Mars Magma May Have Held Significant Water, Say Scientists National Geographic

These days, it seems like scientists are searching everywhere for water on Mars. Geologists Timothy Grove of MIT and Harry McSween, Jr. of the University of Tennessee have been looking for Martian water right here on Earth. The scientists

May 18th, 2001

Health Risks Pose Hurdle for Travel to Mars National Geographic

Humans may soon be on their way to Mars. But human safety is paramount in space missions. Depending on its orbit, Mars can be 500 times farther from Earth than the moon. Traveling such a long distance poses health problems never faced before.

February 9th, 2001

Mission to Mars: A Journey of Magellanic Proportions National Geographic

In 1519 Ferdinand Magellan began the first voyage around the world. He sailed from Spain with 270 men and five of the best ships ever built. Just under three years later, 18 sailors and one ship returned. Mutiny, scurvy, and poor navigation killed the rest. Fast forward to the year 2015, nearly 500 years after Magellan set sail. A group of six space explorers sets off toward Mars in the best rocket ship ever built. Many scientists in the space community believe this scenario will come true.

February 1st, 2001

A Mars Never Dreamed of National Geographic

As the Mars Global Surveyor beams home unprecedented images, our assumptions about the red planet explode.