NASA’s Spirit rover stopped to examine an unusual, flaky rock on the surface of Mars today as scientists prepared to send it on a trek that would more than double its one-day distance record. The Mars Explorer team hopes the rover will travel about 24 metres tomorrow morning and make the same distance again during the afternoon.
Spirit readies for record Mars trek San Jose Mercury News
New Astrobiology field draws cadre of researchers San Jose Mercury News
Two years ago, NASA took a chance and launched a new field of research christened “Astrobiology” with a bold Nobel laureate at the helm and about $10 million for research. This week, at the first ever Astrobiology Science Conference, NASA organizers were surprised when 600 scientists — three times as many as expected — showed up brimming with research papers, new ideas and enthusiasm about the questions of origins and evolution of life in the universe.
Stanford dish to play ‘long shot’ on Mars Lander San Jose Mercury News
Stanford University scientists think they may have heard a faint whistle of life from the given-up-for-dead Mars Polar Lander. Researchers will be listening for a radio signal so weak that if it were a light, it would glow no brighter than a Christmas tree bulb plopped on the Martian surface, 184 million miles away.
Nomad robot finds 2-inch meteorite on its own in Anarctic San Jose Mercury News
A robot took its first step toward becoming a true scientist this weekend as Carnegie Mellon University’s Nomad robot discovered a 2-inch-long meteorite at the Antarctic rock deposit known as Elephant Moraine.
NASA lander will dig deep to study Mars San Jose Mercury News
Every time we’ve visited the red planet in the past, we’ve slogged through the atmosphere and kicked around some dust to get a superficial view. That’s about to change. On Friday at 12:37 p.m. PST, NASA’s Mars Polar Lander is expected to settle on the frigid soil near the planet’s south pole and start digging below the dusty veneer.