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 […]

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 […]

NASA's InSight Mission to Mars Suspended Due to Vacuum Leak in Critical Seismometer Instrument

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

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

NASA officially announced at a media teleconference yesterday that the InSight mission to Mars has now been postponed, for at least two years, due to a leak in a seismometer instrument which cannot be repaired in time for the planned launch in March 2016. The […]

NASA's InSight Lander Arrives at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Prepares for Launch to Mars

A crate containing the InSight lander is loaded onto a C-17 cargo aircraft at Buckley Air Force Base, Denver. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin

A crate containing the InSight lander is loaded onto a C-17 cargo aircraft at Buckley Air Force Base, Denver. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin

Update: Just after this article was published, it was announced that there may be a launch delay due to the problem with a vacuum leak in the seismometer instrument. Today, NASA […]

Vacuum Leak Discovered in Key Science Instrument for InSight Mission to Mars

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

Artist’s conception of the InSight lander on Mars. The SEIS instrument is the dome-shaped object in the foreground. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

One of the science instruments being installed on the InSight lander is experiencing a vacuum leak, according to an update posted Dec. 3 on the JPL website. The leak is in the vacuum container […]

NASA Developing New 'Chemical Laptop' to Search for Evidence of Alien Life

The "Chemical Laptop" being designed by NASA to help search for evidence of alien life elsewhere in the Solar System. Photo Credit: NASA

The “Chemical Laptop” being designed by NASA to help search for evidence of alien life elsewhere in the Solar System. Photo Credit: NASA

One of NASA’s primary objectives, and the one which most excites the general public, is the search for evidence of life elsewhere, whether in our own Solar System or on some […]

Flying the Friendly Martian Skies: NASA to Test Mars Airplane Prototype

Artist's conception of the Prandtl-m airplane flying above the surface of Mars. Image Credit: NASA Illustration/Dennis Calaba

Artist’s conception of the Prandtl-m airplane flying above the surface of Mars. Image Credit: NASA Illustration/Dennis Calaba

For several decades, Mars has been a busy place, with orbiters, landers, and rovers providing unprecedented views of the Red Planet. Another exciting possibility which has yet to be realized is an airplane, which could soar through […]

Muddy Mars: New Evidence for Liquid Water Flows Within Past Million Years

Illustration of debris flows inside Istok crater on Mars, which have provided evidence of large amounts of flowing water and mud in the past. The flows are very similar to ones on Earth in Arctic regions such as Iceland. Image Credit: Nature Communications

The fact that Mars used to have large amounts of liquid […]

NASA Begins Testing of InSight Mars Lander for Launch in 2016

Testing of the solar arrays on the InSight lander at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin

Testing of the solar arrays on the InSight lander at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin

While Curiosity and Opportunity are still busy roving Mars, NASA has begun testing its next lander, InSight, scheduled to launch in March 2016. It will be the first mission devoted to studying the interior of […]