New Findings from Curiosity Hint Ancient Mars Lake 'Favorable for Different Microbial Life'

Mudstone lakebed sedimentary deposits seen by the Curiosity rover in Gale crater. The latest findings show that the lake in the crater was stratified and could have supported a wide variety of microorganisms. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Was Mars ever habitable? Did life ever actually exist there? Those are two of the biggest questions for […]

Venus Beckons Part 2: A New NASA Collaborative Mission With Russia?

Artist’s conception of the Venera-D spacecraft in orbit around Venus. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Last week, AmericaSpace reported on why NASA should return to Venus, and new technology being developed to help make that happen, especially as in longer-lived landers or rovers. With its extremely hostile conditions, Venus has been much less of a priority […]

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

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 […]

'Cauliflower' Silica Formations on Mars: Evidence of Ancient Life?

Image of “cauliflower” silica formations found by the Spirit rover in 2008 near Home Plate in Gusev crater. Do they hold clues to ancient life on Mars? Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Was there ever life on Mars? That is one of the longest-running and most debated questions in planetary science, and while there have been […]

The Saline Slopes of Mars: NASA Confirms Evidence for Flowing Liquid Water

False-color image of RSL on slopes in Hale crater. The blue color is thought not to be related to their formation, but instead are from the presence of the mineral pyroxene. The image is produced by draping an orthorectified (Infrared-Red-Blue/Green(IRB)) false color image (ESP_030570_1440) on a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) of the same site […]

Testing Panspermia: Searching for 'Bubbles of Life' in the Galaxy

Does life spread through the galaxy like an infectious disease, with “bubbles” of inhabited planets? Image Credit: Harvard-Smithsonian CfA

We still don’t know if there is life elsewhere in the universe, but scientists are working on techniques to better understand how it may have originated anyway, in the event that such alien biology is […]

Curiosity Rover Continues Journey Up Mount Sharp After Science Observations at 'Marias Pass'

New low-angle “selfie” of the Curiosity rover taken while it was in Marias Pass, consisting of multiple images stitched together. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

After extensive investigations of rock layers in Marias Pass, a shallow valley near the base of Mount Sharp, the Curiosity rover is now heading southwest again, to continue gradually climbing the […]

Potential Landing Sites for Mars 2020 Rover Narrowed Down to Eight Locations

Map of the eight proposed landing sites for the Mars 2020 Rover. Image Credit: NASA/MOLA Science Team

NASA’s next Mars rover is due to launch in July or August 2020, and the number of potential landing sites has now been narrowed down by scientists to eight locations. Out of an initial list of 21 […]

Methane Discovered in Martian Meteorites: A Clue to Possible Life?

Methane has been discovered in some meteorites originating from Mars. Could it be a clue to life? Image Credit: Michael Helfenbein

The puzzle of methane on Mars has taken an interesting new twist: For the first time, the gas has been detected within Martian meteorites. The finding adds another layer to the ongoing controversy […]

Early Mars May Have Been Cold and Icy Rather Than Warm, According to New Study

Conceptual image of the two competing warm and cold models of early Mars. Image Credit: Robin D. Wordsworth

The debate over whether Mars used to be warmer and wetter or colder and wetter earlier in its history has been a long and contentious one. Now, a new study suggests it may be the latter, […]