Six Wheels on Martian Regolith: 20 Years Since NASA's Pathfinder Mission Launched to the Red Planet

Three Generations of Rovers

With the deployed petals and airbags of the lander in the foreground, the Sojourner rover can be seen at work in the middle-distance. Photo Credit: NASA

Having alighted on the Red Planet in July 1997, and having been dug out of Martian regolith by Mark Watney as part of his efforts to achieve salvation, […]

James Webb Team Ready to Install Telescope's 18 Gold-Coated Primary Mirror Segments

A robotic arm lifts and lowers a golden James Webb Space Telescope flight spare primary mirror segment onto a test piece of backplane at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. In this image the JWST team practices the positioning that will be done on the actual telescope in the cleanroom. Dave Sime, […]

James Webb Telescope 'Pathfinder' Replica Completes First Cryogenic Optics Test

The ‘Pathfinder’ enters Chamber A at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Image Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

If there is one mantra that drives the development of space mission projects, it’s ‘test, test, test’. Before every successful manned or robotic mission has ever flown to space countless man-hours were devoted for extensive and rigorous testing on the […]

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

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 […]

Cool New Technology Will Allow Scientists to Work Virtually on Mars in 3-D

A screen view from OnSight, showing how scientists can meet together in a virtual 3-D simulation on the Martian surface. Such technology will allow scientists to better study features of interest and plan rover or lander activities. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The rover and lander missions on Mars have been cool enough with their high-tech […]

Taking Aim With ExoLance: A New Way to Search for Life on Mars

“Got Life?”—the ExoLance logo. Image Credit: Explore Mars

Is or was there life on Mars? That is one of the biggest and most hotly debated questions in planetary science. The manner in which the evidence has been searched for is also a topic of much discussion. The Viking landers in the 1970s were the […]

NASA's 2020 Mars Rover Begins to Take Shape

NASA image of proposed 2020 Mars rover.

NASA detailed its plans for the next robotic mission to Mars on Tuesday, July 9 during a conference held in Washington, D.C. This mission will use a robot similar to the successful Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity which touched down on the surface of Mars almost one […]

Ninety days? Psh! NASA's Opportunity Rover Sets Out on Its Tenth Year on Mars

Opportunity’s rover team compiled this image timed with the ninth anniversary of the rover’s Mars mission. Photo Credit: NASA / JPL

NASA’s detractors might want to stick their fingers in their ears and hum loudly when confronted with the recent milestone reached by one of the space agency’s rovers—Opportunity. Given a life expectancy of […]