A Moon Falling Apart: Grooves on Phobos Are a Sign of its Eventual Catastrophic Fate

The unusual grooves on Phobos’ surface, such as those on the left side of this image, are now thought to be caused by tidal stress. The large crater Stickney is in the upper portion of the image. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Phobos is the largest of Mars’ two tiny moons, but 50 […]

Getting Closer! New Horizons Sees Two of Pluto's Smaller Moons for First Time

Long-exposure images taken by New Horizons between Jan. 27 and Feb. 8, 2015, showing the two tiny moons Hydra (inside yellow diamond) and Nix (inside orange diamond). Image Credit: Image credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

The New Horizons spacecraft, on course for a historic encounter with Pluto this summer, […]

Countdown Underway for India's First Mission to Mars

Fully encapsulated within its bulbous payload shroud, India’s first mission to Mars awaits its date with destiny. Liftoff is scheduled for 2:38 p.m. IST (4:08 a.m. EST) Tuesday, 5 November. Photo Credit: ISRO

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) began a 56.5-hour countdown to the launch of its first mission to Mars on […]

A Red Flag on the Red Planet: China’s Mars Ambitions

Fobos-Grunt is integrated with its Zenit launch vehicle, preparatory to flight in November 2011. Photo Credit: AsianScientist

At 2:16 a.m. local time on 8 November 2011, the desolate steppe of Baikonur, Kazakhstan, shook to the roar of rocket engines. A Ukrainian-built Zenit-2SB vehicle thundered into orbit carrying the Russian Fobos-Grunt spacecraft, destined to […]

NASA Will Support India's Mars Mission, Despite Government Shutdown

With NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN) providing communications and navigation assistance, India stands ready to stage its first mission to the Red Planet on 28 October. Image Credit: ISRO

Less than three weeks remain until the scheduled 28 October launch of India’s first mission to Mars, and NASA assured the Indian Space Research […]

Buzz Aldrin’s Mission to Mars: A Review

Buzz Aldrin has released a book about the topic of a manned mission to Mars. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth Studio

On May 7, veteran astronaut and space advocate Buzz Aldrin releases his new book, Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration. Co-written with respected space journalist Leonard David, the […]

Wackiest Missions That Never Happened (or Ended Badly)

The Titan Mare Explorer was proposed to be the first interplanetary “boat” to sail the methane seas of Titan. Like so many missions proposed and considered by NASA, it wasn’t to be. Image Credit: NASA

For every triumph, such as the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity, there are […]

Opinion: A Roar, a Whimper and a Grunt: Russia’s Ill-Fated Love Affair with Mars

Many are saying that Phobos-Grunt failure marks the final sunset of Russia's Mars aspirations. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL/Texas A&M/Cornell

As Russia’s ill-fated Phobos-Grunt mission plunged Earthward and burned in the dense atmosphere, high above the eastern Pacific, near the coast of Chile, its demise was another brutal reminder that space exploration is neither […]

Phobos-Grunt Reenters Earth's Atmosphere Continuing Long Line of Russian Mars Failures


Video courtesy of NMANewsDirect

The Russian Phobos-Grunt probe which was carrying tons of toxic fuel – has returned to Earth. The spacecraft was supposed to land on Phobos, one of two Martian moons (the other is named Deimos). It also has earned the dubious distinction of being the largest and […]

Phobos Hopes Grow, as Soyuz Docks to ISS

A European Space Agency ( ESA) tracking antenna in Perth Australia is making repeated successful telemetry contacts with the Russian Phobos spacecraft stranded in low earth orbit on what was to be twin upper stage engine firings to propel it toward Mars after launch Nov. 9. Photo Credit: Roscosmos

A European Space Agency […]