Mars rover

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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 »

Rover Captures Blue Martian Sunset

Curiosity took image between dust storms

(Newser) - After nearly three years on Mars, NASA's Curiosity rover has captured one of its most stunning otherworldly images yet: a blue Martian sunset. The newly released image was taken on April 15 between dust storms when the thin atmosphere was still full of particles, reports CNET . "The colors... More »

Rover Finds More Clues to Martian Life

Curiosity discovers planet was ripe for life billions of years ago

(Newser) - There's still no proof there was ever life on Mars, but evidence is starting to pile up that conditions were once ripe for life to begin, NASA scientists say. The Curiosity rover's exploration of the Gale Crater has found signs that liquid water flowed on the planet's... 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 »

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 »

'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 »

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 »

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 »

We've Found Water on Mars—a 'Surprising Amount'

Two pints per cubic foot of soil, to be exact

(Newser) - If you hear a dull roar, it's probably just the collective scream of science buffs the world over. NASA's Curiosity rover has found water in Mars' soil, and the BBC describes it as a "surprising amount." The find occurred at the hands of Curiosity, which scooped... More »

Rover Curiosity Deflates Hopes of Life on Mars

It can't find any trace of methane

(Newser) - If there are any little green men on Mars, or at least little green microbes, the Mars rover Curiosity can't find any trace of them. NASA reported today that a series of tests turned up no signs of telltale methane, reports Space.com . The results are especially disappointing given... More »

Aging Mars Rover May Have Made Its Best Find

Rocks full of likely clay minerals point to water

(Newser) - It's been more than nine years, but the Mars rover Opportunity just made a discovery that ranks among its biggest. The rover has discovered rock in the Endeavour Crater that's full of what appear to be clay minerals—suggesting it had extended contact with water, the BBC reports.... More »

Mars Missions Slow in April, Thanks to Sun's Position

Interference means rovers pretty much get the month off

(Newser) - It's the Martian version of spring break: Curiosity and Opportunity , along with their spacecraft friends circling overhead, will take it easy this month because of the sun's interference. For much of April, the sun blocks the line of sight between Earth and Mars. This celestial alignment—called a... More »

NASA: Yep, Mars Could Have Supported Life

Soil sample dug up by Curiosity proves it

(Newser) - NASA scientists examining their first sample of Martian rock dug out by the rover Curiosity found some remarkable things in there: sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and carbon. In other words, ingredients that show the planet once could have supported life. Lead scientist Michael Mayer sums it up thusly:
  • "
... More »

Latest Search for Alien Life Taking Place on Earth

NASA turns to geologists for help

(Newser) - NASA's latest partner in the search for alien life: a group of about 50 geologists who are hunting for evidence of ancient life here on Earth. The University of Wisconsin's Astrobiology Research Consortium last month started a five-year, $7 million project funded by a NASA grant. It'll... More »

Mars Rover Drills Into Planet for First Time

Curiosity's successful test paves way for bigger projects

(Newser) - NASA's Mars rover has busted out a new tool to pry into the planet's secrets. Curiosity used a drill at the top of one of its arms to make a small hole in Martian rock, reports LiveScience . It was just a test, the first of its kind, but... More »

Curiosity Rover Snaps Pic of 'Martian Flower'?

NASA Rep says it 'appears to be part of the rock'

(Newser) - So, can flowers grow at -65 Fahrenheit? That was apparently the belief of one website reader after the Curiosity rover sent back a photo of a hard-to-identify, light-colored object on Mars, Space.com reports. Noting its reflection of sunlight, "translucent appearance," and "irregular confirmation (like pistils),"... More »

Rover's Mars Find: Carbon or Contamination?

Nothing definitive yet, scientists say

(Newser) - Don't get too excited about life on Mars just yet: Though NASA's Curiosity rover did find a simple carbon compound on the planet, the team has yet to determine whether the compound actually came from Mars or was transported there on Curiosity itself. And the scoop of soil... More »

Mars Scoop May Not Be So 'Earth-Shaking' After All

But it will be 'interesting,' spokesman promises

(Newser) - An NPR story about NASA's Mars mission generated lots of attention today because of a big tease from a lead scientist looking at soil samples taken by the Curiosity rover:
  • "This data is gonna be one for the history books. It's looking really good."
But NASA'... More »

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