Mars

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There's a New Player on the Mars Scene

India's MOM probe succeeds at cost of just $72M

(Newser) - A proud day for India and its MOM: After a tense countdown early today, scientists in a Bangalore command center rejoiced as the country's Mars Orbiter Mission succeeded in putting a spacecraft in orbit around the red planet. The "Mangalyaan"—Hindi for "Mars craft"—probe... More »

After 442M Miles, NASA Craft Enters Mars' Orbit

Maven will study red planet's atmosphere to prep for possible astronauts

(Newser) - After 442 million miles and a year on the space road, Maven has finally reached its destination. The NASA spacecraft successfully completed a harrowing 30-minute "orbital insertion" into Mars' orbit last night, the AP reports. "I don't have any fingernails any more, but we've made it,... More »

NASA Plans to Test World's Biggest Rocket in 2018

Someday, it might take humans to Mars

(Newser) - NASA is moving ahead with plans to build a massive rocket designed to explore deep space and culminate in human trips to Mars, the agency announced yesterday. The Space Launch System has passed from design phase to construction, reports the Houston Chronicle , and an unmanned test mission (not to Mars,... More »

NASA: That 'Thigh Bone' on Mars Was Really a...

...rock. Sorry.

(Newser) - Sorry, ET lovers: That "fossilized thigh bone" spotted on Mars this week was really just (can you bear the tension) a rock, NASA says. "No bones about it!" writes the agency on its website . "Mission science team members think its shape is likely sculpted by erosion,... More »

Latest Weird Mars Find: Is That a Thigh Bone?

But hey, it's no jelly doughnut

(Newser) - First, Mars was thought to be invaded by jelly doughnuts . Now, some are claiming the latest photos from NASA's Curiosity rover show proof of human or animal life on the Red Planet. UFO Blogger first discovered what it calls a "fossilized thigh bone" in a photo snapped by... More »

After 10-Year Chase, Space Probe Catches Comet

Spacecraft to be 1st to hook up with a comet in yearlong trip around sun

(Newser) - The thrill is often in the chase itself—though for European Space Agency scientists, there's definitely a thrill in actually catching the object they've been chasing. The Rosetta space probe, which was sent hurtling through space a decade ago to hunt down comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko—aka the "rubber... More »

NASA's 'Flying Saucer' Test a Success—Sort of

Parachute fails to fully deploy in Mars landing simulation

(Newser) - NASA's test of a flying saucer-esque vehicle ended with a bit of a bumpy landing, but the space agency is calling the experiment a step forward in its quest to land large payloads on Mars. As the AP reports, NASA yesterday launched the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator in the... More »

Pope Francis: Sure, I'd Baptize Martians

He says church can't close its doors to anyone, or any being

(Newser) - If our travelers to Mars encounter any little green men, Pope Francis says the Catholic Church would be happy to make a few converts. In an unusual message about the inclusiveness of Catholicism, Francis went to other-worldly extremes to make his point, reports the Christian Post :
  • "If, for example,
... More »

NASA Tries to Explain Mars 'Mystery Light'

Vent hole, shiny rock could have caused it

(Newser) - NASA has offered a few more explanations for a strange beam of light spotted in a photo from its Curiosity rover—and none of them involve Martians. The bright spot that has excited UFO enthusiasts is probably either "the glint from a rock surface reflecting the sun" or sunlight... More »

'Mystery Light' Spotted in Mars Photo

NASA says blip was caused by cosmic rays

(Newser) - Is there life on Mars—and has it left its lights on? A strange blip of light in a photo snapped April 3 by NASA's Curiosity rover has excited UFO enthusiasts, the Houston Chronicle reports. While experts suspect a pixel problem, some believe the light shining upward signals Martians.... More »

Mars Gets Up Close, Personal With Earth

Red planet is closest it's been to us since 2007

(Newser) - The red planet is coming in for a close-up with our night sky: As Sky & Telescope reports, Mars will be closer to Earth this month than it's been since the end of 2007, appearing bigger and brighter in the night sky for the middle two weeks of April.... More »

Astronomers: No, You Can't Name Mars Craters

IAU won't recognize paid-for names

(Newser) - A plan to raise money by selling the names of Mars' craters has hit a snag: the organization in charge of naming craters on Mars and most other features in our solar system. The International Astronomical Union says Uwingu—a commercial venture that aims to raise money for space research—... More »

Imams Forbid Muslims From Traveling to Mars

Fatwa in UAE likens it to suicide

(Newser) - Muslims in the United Arab Emirates hoping to colonize the red planet have had their hopes dashed by the country's General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment, which has issued a fatwa against them doing that very thing. The group was specifically concerned about the one-way trip to Mars... More »

NASA Lays to Rest Mars' Rock Mystery

Rover kicked it into camera's view, says NASA

(Newser) - Remember when the weird "jelly doughnut" object on Mars made news last month? NASA scientists were happily baffled after it suddenly appeared in images taken by the Opportunity rover. They're baffled no more: Scientists today said they're sure that the object is indeed a rock that got... More »

This Is What Earth Looks Like From Mars

Curiosity rover photographs our planet

(Newser) - The Mars rover Curiosity paused last week to take a photo of its home planet, and NASA points out that Earth is "shining brighter than any star in the Martian light." If you look carefully—one of the images provides help—you can pick out the moon just... More »

NASA Sued Over Mystery Mars Rock

Critic thinks it's a sign of life, wants a more thorough investigation

(Newser) - NASA says it's a rock, a weird one for sure, but "clearly a rock." One critic, however, thinks it just might be evidence of life on Mars, and he's sued the space agency to demand a closer investigation, reports the Houston Chronicle . The strangeness began last... More »

1K Make First Cut for One-Way Trip to Mars

297 Americans among the chosen

(Newser) - In the end, more than 200,000 people applied, but just 1,058 candidates got an email Monday letting them know they're still in the running for a one-way ticket to Mars . The Mars One project to send average Joes to colonize the red planet has narrowed down its... More »

Mars Rover Finds Evidence of 'Very Earth-Like' Lake

It might have supported life for millions of years

(Newser) - The Curiosity rover has discovered evidence of an ancient freshwater lake on Mars that was brimming with the key chemicals necessary to support microbial life, and its findings suggest that it could have held that life more recently than we thought—and possibly for millions of years before that. "... More »

NASA Launches Robotic Mission to Mars

Maven will investigate red planet's loss of wet atmosphere

(Newser) - NASA's newest robotic explorer, Maven, rocketed toward Mars today on a quest to unravel the ancient mystery of the red planet's radical climate change. The Maven spacecraft is due at Mars next fall following a journey of more than 440 million miles. Scientists want to know why Mars... More »

Latest Entry in Race to Mars: India

Country could be 4th to get to red planet

(Newser) - It may soon get a little more crowded around Mars: India has successfully launched a spacecraft headed for the red planet, putting the country a 300-day journey away from being the fourth space agency to get there, the BBC reports. The Mars Orbiter Mission took off from a base on... More »

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