Curiosity Rover Examines Spectacular Layered Buttes, Closes In on Mount Sharp

Curiosity near Murray Buttes, on first approach. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/James Sorenson

Curiosity near Murray Buttes, on first approach. Panoramic image processing by James Sorenson. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/James Sorenson

Mars has often been compared to deserts on Earth, and for good reason: It is pretty much a barren landscape with a lot of sand and rocks everywhere. Sometimes the similarities can be quite striking, and the […]

NASA's InSight Mission to Mars Approved for Spring 2018 Launch

Artist's conception of InSight on the surface of Mars. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Artist’s conception of InSight on the surface of Mars. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s InSight mission to Mars will now go ahead as planned, it was announced today. After a delay due to a vacuum leak last December, with a launch originally slated for last March, it was unclear whether the mission would still be […]

Viking Remembered: Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the First Search for Life on Mars

Painting of a Viking lander on Mars, prior to launch. Image Credit: Charles Bennett/Lockheed Martin (Martin Marietta)

Iconic painting of a Viking lander on Mars, prior to launch. The sampling arm reaches into the foreground. Image Credit: Charles Bennett/Lockheed Martin (Martin Marietta)

July 20, 1976, will be forever remembered by space enthusiasts. On that day, Viking 1 became the first U.S. spacecraft to land on another planet—in this case, Mars (the USSR Venera […]

Mars Rovers Update: Curiosity Turns Toward Mount Sharp, Opportunity Finishes in Marathon Valley

Self-portrait of the Curiosity rover at the drill site called Okoruso, on Naukluft Plateau. The image was taken on May 11, 2016, (sol 1,338). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Self-portrait of the Curiosity rover at the drill site called Okoruso, on Naukluft Plateau. The image was taken on May 11, 2016, (sol 1,338). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA’s current rovers, Curiosity and Opportunity, are continuing to explore their respective regions of Mars, with new findings that are providing yet more clues as to the geological […]

Evidence from Curiosity Rover Shows Mars Once Had Oxygen-Rich Atmosphere

Mars' atmosphere is thin, dry and cold now, but it used to be thicker and contained a lot more oxygen. Image Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

Mars’ atmosphere is thin, dry, and cold now, but it used to be thicker and contained a lot more oxygen. Image Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

Mars’ atmosphere is thin and cold, composed primarily of carbon dioxide along with other trace gases and some water vapor. Evidence has continued to mount, however, that the rarified atmosphere […]

Opportunity Rover Moves to New Target on Steep Slope, Sees Swirling Dust Devil

View from the Opportunity rover looking downhill from the steep hillside. Part of the floor of Endeavor crater can be seen beneath the underside of one of the solar panels. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

View from the Opportunity rover looking downhill from the steep hillside on sol 4323 (March 22, 2016). Part of the floor of Endeavour crater can be seen beneath the underside of one of the solar panels. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Almost, but not quite … The Opportunity rover is now driving to another area on the hillside […]

Ten Years at Mars: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Celebrates a Decade of Discovery

Illustration of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) as it entered orbit ten years ago. Image Credit: NASA/JPL

Illustration of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) as it entered orbit ten years ago. Image Credit: NASA/JPL

The Martian rover Opportunity has become famous for its amazing longevity, but it is not the only one; orbiting spacecraft also usually enjoy long lifespans, and today the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is celebrating its 10th year exploring Mars from […]

NASA Eyes May 2018 for InSight Mars Lander Launch, Pending Instrument Redesign

NASA's InSight Mars mission is now being targeted for a May 2018 launch. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s InSight mission to Mars is now being targeted for a May 2018 launch. Image has been cropped for publication. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

In December, those following the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission, planned to launch on a trek to Mars this month aboard a ULA Atlas-V launch […]

New Study Suggests Mars' Ancient Surface Shifted and Tilted Due to True Polar Wander

A view of Mars showing the expansive Valles Marineris (center), which is the largest canyons system in the entire Solar System. Three of the four giant shield volcanoes that constitue the massive Tharsis region are seen at far left. A new study by an international team of planetary scientists has provided evidence that the formation of Tharsis had profound effects in the shaping of Mars' geomorphology and climate, ultimately tilting the surface by as much as 20 degrees relative to planet's axis of rotation. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

A view of Mars showing the expansive Valles Marineris (center), which is the largest canyons system in the entire Solar System. Three of the four giant shield volcanoes that constitue the massive Tharsis region are seen at far left. A new study by an international team of planetary scientists has provided evidence that the […]

Kelly and Kornienko's Year-Long Mission Paves Way for Journey to Mars

With 520 cumulative days in space, and 340 days from his (almost) one-year mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS), Scott Kelly is now the national record-holder for the longest single space mission and the greatest amount of spaceflight time of any U.S. citizen. Photo Credit: NASA

With 520 cumulative days in space, and 340 days from his (almost) one-year mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS), Scott Kelly is now the national record-holder for the longest single space mission and the greatest amount of spaceflight time of any U.S. citizen. Photo Credit: NASA

For the first time in almost five […]