Mars rover

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NASA Just Launched Its Biggest-Ever Mars Rover

Perserverance will seek signs of ancient life

(Newser) - The biggest, most sophisticated Mars rover ever built—a car-size vehicle bristling with cameras, microphones, drills, and lasers—blasted off Thursday as part of an ambitious, long-range project to bring the first Martian rock samples back to Earth to be analyzed for evidence of ancient life. NASA’s Perseverance rode... More »

China's Launch Was a Success. '7 Minutes of Terror' Is to Come

Nation just sent its first unmanned Tianwen-1 rover to Mars

(Newser) - It's a big first for China: the independent launch of an unmanned probe to Mars. Riding a Long March 5 rocket out of the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan province, the Tianwen-1 rover was sent into space at around 12:40pm local time on Thursday. "I now... More »

7th Grader Names Mars Rover

Meet Perseverance, due to launch in July

(Newser) - NASA's next Mars rover finally has a name. Perseverance, a six-wheeled robotic explorer, will blast off this summer to collect Martian samples for eventual return to Earth, the AP reports. The name was suggested by Alex Mather, a Virginia seventh-grader, as part of a naming contest for US schoolchildren.... More »

Mars Rover Finds Possible New Sign of Life on Mars

The Curiosity rover detected a puff of gas

(Newser) - It's been a while, but Martian methane is back. NASA's Curiosity rover detected rich amounts of methane in the planet's air on Wednesday, reigniting hope of life on Mars, the New York Times reports. "Given this surprising result, we've reorganized the weekend to run a... More »

NASA Invites Millions on the Next Mars Mission

Or at least their names. And it's easy to join

(Newser) - Giddy-up, you're going to Mars—or your name is, if you're up for it. NASA is offering to take a huge list of names on board the Mars 2020 rover's life-hunting trip, Space.com reports. The space agency will let anyone sign up and "share in... More »

NASA Sends Rover Its Final Wake-Up Song, Gets Silence

Billie Holiday can't rouse the Mars rover Opportunity

(Newser) - NASA's Opportunity, the Mars rover that was built to operate for just three months but kept going and going, was pronounced dead Wednesday, 15 years after it landed on the red planet. The six-wheeled vehicle that helped gather critical evidence that ancient Mars might have been hospitable to life... More »

Mars Opportunity Rover May Have Died 'Honorable Death'

It hasn't been heard from since massive dust storm over the summer

(Newser) - "This could be the end" for NASA's Mars Opportunity rover, the principal investigator for the mission, Steven W. Squyres, tells the New York Times . The rover marked the 15th anniversary of its touchdown on the red planet Thursday—silently, the AP reports. It hasn't been heard from... More »

Screams, Applause, Laughter as Spacecraft Lands on Mars

The three-legged InSight spacecraft traveled 300M miles

(Newser) - A NASA spacecraft designed to burrow beneath the surface of Mars landed on the red planet Monday after a six-month, 300 million-mile journey and a perilous, six-minute descent through the rose-hued atmosphere. Flight controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, leaped out of their seats and erupted... More »

Scientists Are Excited About the Next Mars Destination

2020 rover will land on site of ancient delta

(Newser) - Between 3.5 billion and 3.9 billion years ago, when simple life forms were emerging on Earth, a river flowed through a delta system into a lake on Mars, then a warm and wet planet. NASA plans to send a rover there to see if any traces of life... More »

Why NASA Is Closely Watching a Gargantuan Dust Storm

The Opportunity rover is stuck in it on Mars

(Newser) - To call the Martian dust storm gargantuan wouldn't be an overstatement: As of Tuesday, it covered a quarter of the planet, making it the size of North America and Russia combined, per Space.com . And the Opportunity rover is in the middle of it. That's of concern. The... More »

'Building Blocks of Life' Found on Mars

Latest discoveries are the best evidence yet of life on the red planet

(Newser) - New Mars discoveries are advancing the case for possible life on the red planet, past or even present. Scientists reported Thursday that NASA's Curiosity rover has found potential building blocks of life in an ancient Martian lakebed. Hints have been found before, but this is the best evidence yet,... More »

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 »

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