Mars 2020 Rover Powers Up for Launch Next Year

The Mars 2020 rover under construction. The Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) will be inserted into the rear end of the rover between the panels with gold tubing, called heat exchangers. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s new Mars 2020 rover is now only about a year away from the start of its mission, and another […]

Engineers Conduct Successful First Tests of Mars 2020 Rover

View of the backshell that will help protect the Mars 2020 rover during its descent into the Martian atmosphere, during the Systems Test 1 (ST1). Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The landing of the Mars 2020 rover on Feb. 18, 2021 may still be almost two years away, but NASA’s newest Mars rover has already “touched […]

Jezero Crater Announced as Landing Site for NASA's Mars 2020 Rover

Enhanced color image of a portion of Jezero Crater, the landing site chosen for the Mars 2020 mission. The mineral-rich river delta is in the center of the image. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/JHUAPL/MSSS/Brown University

And the winner is… Jezero Crater! NASA has chosen this location as the landing site on Mars for its next […]

Flying in Martian Skies: NASA's 2020 Rover Mission Will Include Tiny Helicopter

Artist’s conception of the autonomous, drone-like Mars Helicopter, which will be sent to Mars along with the 2020 rover. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Excitement has been building for NASA’s next rover mission to Mars, scheduled to launch sometime in 2020. Although it looks a lot like the current Curiosity rover, its mission will be […]

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 […]

'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 […]

New 2016 NASA Budget Fully Funds Europa Mission, Including Lander

A view many have been waiting for – artist’s concept of the surface of Europa. The new NASA budget brings this closer to reality, with funding for not only a flyby probe, but also a lander. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This was an exciting and very important week for NASA and planetary exploration: the […]

Drones on Mars? Small 'Helicopter-Like' Scout Could Be Added to Mars 2020 Rover Mission

Artist’s conception of the helicopter-like drone which could accompany the Mars 2020 rover. Image Credit: NASA

Over the past few years, numerous orbiters, landers, and rovers have been sent to Mars, revealing the world as never before. There is, however, something else which hasn’t been done yet: a helicopter, airplane, or balloon. An […]

Back to the Ice Giants: Proposed New Mission Would Re-Visit Uranus or Neptune (or Both!)

Uranus (left) and Neptune (right). These two ice giants and their many moons are awaiting further exploration. Image Credit: NASA

The outer Solar System has been a busy place lately, with the ongoing Cassini mission at Saturn and New Horizons’ recent spectacular flyby of Pluto. Literally in-between those two worlds, however, it has […]

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 […]