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When NASA's InSight mission to Mars lifts off on May 5 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, it won't be alone. Nestled inside the Atlas V launcher on the aft bulkhead carrier of the Centaur upper stage will be two CubeSats that will make up the Mars Cube One mission or MarCO. The 14.4 x 9.5 inches x by 4.6 in (36.6 x 24.3 x 11.8 cm) miniature spacecraft will be the first CubeSats to be deployed
ESA's Mars Express orbiter is getting a major software upgrade that will extend its service life for years to come. On Sunday, the space agency uploaded the update into the veteran deep space probe's computers where it will remain stored in memory until a scheduled restart on April 16. If successful, it will take some of the burden off the aging gyroscopes used to keep the unmanned spacecraft
NASA is ramping up for the Mars 2020 mission's July 2020 launch as the space agency begins the Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations (ATLO) phase of the project at the Spacecraft Assembly Facility High Bay 1 at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. This includes the final assembly and electrical integration of flight hardware into the spacecraft's rocket-powered "sky cr
If the prospects of life on Mars were a pendulum, it's just swung back toward "favorable." An international team of researchers led by Washington State University planetary scientist Dirk Schulze-Makuch has found that the most Mars-like, apparently lifeless spot on the face of the Earth isn't so lifeless after all. Areas of the hyperarid Atacama Desert once thought lacking even microbes is sh
It was only meant to last about three months, but NASA's Opportunity Mars rover has officially clocked up 5,000 Martian days exploring the Red Planet. That's a little over 5,151 Earth days in which the robotic geologist has traversed a record 28 mi (45 km) across the surface of Mars to unlock the secrets of the planet's history and geology – and it's not done yet. To commemorate this annivers
Mars may not be as dry as it looks. NASA and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) have used instruments onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) to analyze the vertical structure and thickness of buried ice sheets, which preserve a detailed record of the Red Planet's past and could provide future human explorers with an easily-accessible water supply...Continue Reading 3D scans rev
The Mars Express orbiter has been circling the Red Planet for close to 14 years delivering a constant barrage of extraordinary images and valuable scientific data. The latest image from the orbiter, just released by the European Space Agency, was taken on the 19th June, 2017. It shows a rare upside-down, wide-angle view of Mars with its icy northern polar cap at the bottom...Continue Reading
Photo by Brothers Le, CC-BY-2.0Singer Bruno Mars recently shared a childhood photo of himself from 1989, and now the photographer behind the photo, Catherine McGann, is suing him for copyright infringement. The image was shared by Mars back in June on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, amassing more than a million 'likes' and thousands of comments.As of this writing, it's still live on the pop sta
While the Curiosity rover continues to explore the Red Planet, NASA is gearing up to launch its successor. The Mars 2020 mission is well into the testing phase, and now the organization has successfully conducted the first test of a supersonic parachute that will (hopefully) allow the craft to safely touchdown on Mars in early 2021...Continue Reading NASA conducts successful test for Mars 202
When NASA's InSight lander touches down on Mars in November 2018, it will have an unusual cargo. Where other interplanetary probes might carry a commemorative plaque or maybe a coin, InSight will have a microchip inscribed with the names of 2,429,807 names submitted by public, including over 1.6 million names collected this year, who were provided with downloadable "boarding passes" for the m


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