A trio of unmanned NASA spacecraft sent to Mars during the next several years will carry with them the first experiments meant to help the space agency design a safe manned mission to the planet. Making room aboard the three spacecraft for such experiments is another sign that NASA is thinking more about sending humans to Mars, even though the agency has not formally adopted such a plan.
Mars could become homestead Space Today
A few decades from now, people could be living on Mars. The reason: The red planet is Earth’s closest neighbor in outer space, 35 million miles away, and the one that seems most able to support human life. As close as Mars is, though, humans will have to overcome much to get there and live there. “But nothing great has ever been accomplished without risk,” Robert Zubrin, president of the Mars Society, an organization devoted to manned Mars missions, said Thursday from Lakewood, Colorado.
Scientists uncover signs of liquid water on Mars Space Today
Signs of liquid water have been found near the surface of Mars, sparking new speculation about the possibility of life on a planet that has intrigued humans since the late 1800s. The findings, which were presented Thursday during a NASA news conference in Washington, D.C., have “profound implications for the ultimate question: Are we alone?” NASA official Ed Weiler said.
Despite almost 40 years of being investigated from afar, Mars essentially remains a mystery. During the years, about two-thirds of the 32 missions planned for the Red Planet have failed, some never getting off the ground. So why go through the trouble?
Mars discovery comes at an unfortunate time Space Today
The tantalizing news announced Thursday that liquid water may lurk just below the red Martian soil could not have comes at a worse moment for NASA. The agency that won the Cold War space race by putting an astronaut’s boot print on the moon is mired in a trough of doubt and self-examination after the loss of two of its most recent Mars missions.
Latest Mars discoveries fuel hope for life there Space Today
The pictures of gullies and crevices carried on NASA TV Thursday morning could have been still shots taken from any number of movie westerns, the topography appeared that familiar. But, this being NASA, the pictures were more Buck Rogers than Roy Rogers and they were of Mars, not Monument Valley.
The Mars Global Surveyor has beamed back exciting pictures for scientists to ponder for years to come, but it did not arrive at the Red Planet unscathed. Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., had to redesign the craft’s approach to Mars soon after launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in November, 1996. One of the two 18-foot-long solar panels had snapped open like a screen door in a gale. The other panel unfolded smoothly.
The unmistakable signature of gushing water has been found on Mars, confounding current thinking about the Red Planet and fueling speculation extraterrestrial life may be closer by than was thought, scientists reported Thursday.
Pockets of water possible on Mars Space Today
Have scientists, for the first time, discovered signs of water seepage onto the surface of Mars, an indication the red planet could sustain life? “That subject will be addressed” at a news conference at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., today, NASA spokesman Don Savage said Wednesday in a telephone interview.
NASA has sparked a new uproar over the failed $165 million Mars Polar Lander program because of a statement in a recently released report. This latest Mars-program controversy revolves around NASA’s claim that a “target” was “achieved” because the spacecraft’s robotic arm worked in testing on Earth, even though the arm and the entire Lander were lost after crashing into Mars in early December.