Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

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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 »

Mars Crater Points to Water ... and Life?

Scientists find evidence of long-dry lake

(Newser) - Photos of an enormous crater on Mars indicate possible underground water—water that could have supported life, and could still be doing so. Images taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show the 57-mile-wide McLaughlin Crater, which is now dry. It's one of the planet's deepest spots at... More »

Curiosity's Tracks Seen From Space

Rover takes first sniff of Martian air

(Newser) - After a month on Mars, the Curiosity rover is still going through checks, and racking up near-perfect scores. It has driven more than 350 feet from its landing site, leaving tracks that have been photographed from space by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, reports CBS . Curiosity "continues to surprise us... More »

NASA Photos Point to Flowing Water on Mars

Mud 'tendrils' flow downhill, suggesting 'briny water'

(Newser) - New NASA images show “tendrils” of what appears to be mud flowing down hillsides, researchers say. “It's hard to imagine they are formed by anything other than fluid seeping down slopes,” notes one scientist. The cold temperatures when the tendrils appear suggest they aren’t fresh... More »

NASA Probe Snaps Mars 'Trees'

Martian landslides create optical illusion

(Newser) - NASA's Mars orbiter has captured an image of what looks remarkably like rows of trees sprouting from the red planet's surface. The effect is actually an optical illusion, caused by erupting sand debris and dust clouds. The photo shows an area 240 miles south of Mars' north pole where the... More »

New Images May Show Ancient Martian Lake

(Newser) - New images suggest Mars had a sizable lake on its surface billions of years ago, further evidence that the planet had a watery past. Images snapped by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal a 30-mile-long canyon where water once flowed and beach remnants surrounding a basin. Dubbed the Shalbatana lake for... More »

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