Mars

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Glitch Caused Mars Lander to Plummet 2.3 Miles

It thought it had landed, but it was mid-air

(Newser) - The European Space Agency's Mars lander ended up as a smudge on the red planet's surface because of what Gizmodo calls a "crazy miscalculation." According to a report released by the ESA, the Schiaparelli lander had deployed its parachute and was descending normally when the device... More »

Stephen Hawking: Humans Have 1K Years Left on Earth

Which is why we need to find a new planet to call home.

(Newser) - Stephen Hawking has a simple message for humanity: Haul your butt to Mars (and beyond). In a speech delivered this week at the Oxford Union, the legendary scientist says humanity can only survive another thousand years or so on Earth thanks to growing threats that include climate change, nuclear war,... More »

It Seems Mars Lander's Crash Made Quite the Explosion

The European Space Agency lost contact with its lander Wednesday

(Newser) - We now have the most definitive sign yet—courtesy of a NASA orbiter—that the European Space Agency's Mars lander crashed onto the planet's surface in what the AP describes as a "fiery ball of rocket fuel." ESA lost contact with the Schiaparelli lander Wednesday, approximately... More »

Plenty Went Wrong With ESA's Mars Lander

Schiaparelli probably fell a half-mile or more

(Newser) - The Schiaparelli spacecraft that tried to land on Mars Wednesday is probably dead or badly injured, the European Space Agency confirmed Thursday. It's placing the blame on a problem with the lander's parachute, reports CNN . "The ejection itself appears to have occurred earlier than expected," which... More »

Europe Fears Its Mars Lander Has Crashed

The ESA lost contact with its robot less than a minute before it landed

(Newser) - It appears Europe's latest attempt to put a lander on the surface has Mars has once again resulted in failure. The BBC reports the European Space Agency lost communication with the Schiaparelli robot less than a minute before it was supposed to reach the Martian surface Wednesday. The lander'... More »

Obama Aims for Mars, but Venus May Be More Logical

One drawback: We'd never be able to plant a flag

(Newser) - President Obama wants to have humans on Mars in about 20 years, a goal that prompts all kinds of questions about the logistics of such a feat. But as Brian Fung writes in the Washington Post , it also prompts a more fundamental question: Why Mars and not Venus? As proponents... More »

Obama's 'Clear Goal' for Getting Americans on Mars

We'll send them by 2030s, per new White House, NASA initiative

(Newser) - President Obama has a Tuesday op-ed on CNN , but he's not writing about Election 2016—or even anything on Earth. Instead, the president announces America's plans for a "giant leap to Mars," with a "clear goal" to get humans to the red planet by the... More »

Elon Musk Says Humans Could Be on Mars in 10 Years

And living in a permanent Martian colony in 50 years

(Newser) - Human's have two choices: "become a spacefaring species" or perish in an "extinction event on Earth," Elon Musk said Tuesday during the International Astronautical Conference in Mexico while laying out his plan to colonize Mars. Here's what you need to know about the SpaceX founder'... More »

Scientists Finish Year on 'Mars'

6 emerge from dome in Hawaii

(Newser) - Six scientists have completed a yearlong Mars simulation in Hawaii, where they lived in a dome on a Mauna Loa mountain in near isolation and could go outside only while wearing spacesuits. On Sunday, the simulation ended, and the scientists emerged, the AP reports. Kim Binsted, principal investigator for the... More »

2 Tiny Moons Orbiting Mars May Be Sole Survivors of Many

Scientists question the prevailing theory of how the 2 moons formed

(Newser) - The two moons that orbit Mars, Phobos and Deimos, are pretty dinky as far as moons go, clocking in at just 14 and 7.7 miles wide respectively and known for being rather pathetic potato-shaped bodies that more closely resemble asteroids. And so astronomers have hypothesized that they are in... More »

Mars and Earth About to Get Cozy, Astronomically Speaking

Monday will mark the closest the red planet has been to us in 11 years

(Newser) - This Memorial Day, Mars attacks. OK, so the red planet won't actually be attacking, but it will be closer to Earth than it's been in 11 years. ABC News reports Mars will be within 46.8 million miles of Earth at 5:34pm Eastern time on Monday. At... More »

Spacecraft Blasts Off to Seek Alien Life on Mars

Russian and Euro space agencies send ExoMars craft to measure gases

(Newser) - Anyone who glanced at the skies above Kazakhstan Monday morning may have seen the trails of a spacecraft headed out on a search for alien life on Mars. Per the Guardian , the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, a joint effort by the European Space Agency and Russia's Roscosmos agency, launched... More »

NASA Scientist: I Can Get Humans to Mars in a Month

'No known reason why we cannot do this'

(Newser) - A century ago, the first transatlantic flight took about 23 days. Soon, we could reach Mars in about as long. The key: perfecting laser technology. NASA scientist Philip Lubin says that by swapping out the current fuel-based rocket propulsion system with one relying on photons would significantly boost our space... More »

5 Brightest Planets Begin Rising Together

Look for them: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury

(Newser) - Like stargazing in the pre-dawn hours? Then here you go: The sky's five brightest planets visible from Earth will soon be lined up for the first time in over a decade, the Conversation reports. Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and Venus—which have been up visible together since early January—will... More »

Scientists Coax First Flower to Bloom in Outer Space

A month ago the zero-gravity zinnia plants weren't looking so good

(Newser) - Back in 2014, through a NASA project called Veggie, scientists began to grow plants in space—red romaine lettuce, to be specific. It took two attempts to get it right, though even the setbacks provided valuable data for the scientists back at home. So astronaut Scott Kelly's ability to... More »

We Need to Rename Mars' Moons Quickly

Phobos and Deimos are way too dark, writes essayist

(Newser) - Each new discovery about Mars seems to show that it's more like Earth than we imagined. NASA, meanwhile, is firming up plans for a trip there. It's high time, then, for a long overdue chore, writes Fortunato Salazar in the Guardian —we've got to rename the... More »

Mars Is Destroying Its Own Moon

Poor Phobos is doomed

(Newser) - The days are numbered for one of Mars' two moons, and the culprit turns out to be Mars itself. It seems that the two are engaged in what Discovery describes as a gravitational tug-of-war, and Mars is going to win. It will take a while, about 30 million to 50... More »

The Sun Is Obliterating Mars' Atmosphere

Solar storms hit with energy of 'one large nuclear weapon per hour'

(Newser) - Scientists might finally have an explanation for how Mars went from an Earth-like, potentially life-sustaining planet to a cold ball of rock barely capable of keeping a single Matt Damon alive . Discovery reports the sun has been "blasting away" the planet's once-thick atmosphere for the past few billion... More »

NASA: Here's How We'll Get Humans on Mars by 2030s

It involves 3 phases, the first of which is already underway

(Newser) - NASA doesn't just have a vague vision of putting humans on Mars by the 2030s: It now has a detailed plan to make it happen. In a report released last week, called "NASA's Journey to Mars," the space agency reveals a three-step plan, which includes more... More »

Meet the Woman Protecting Mars From Earth Invaders

Curiosity is one dirty rover

(Newser) - Dr. Catharine Conley's job is to make sure that if we ever discover life on Mars, it's actually Martian and not our own dirty fingerprints. “If we’re going to look for life on Mars, it would be really kind of lame to bring Earth life and... More »

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