Mars

3:31pm

Sun April 14, 2013
The Two-Way

Mars Rovers Go Quiet, As Sun Blocks Transmissions

The rover Curiosity and other NASA spacecraft at Mars are now in a radio blackout, as the sun is interfering with transmissions. Curiosity took this self-portrait by combining 66 exposures in February.
NASA

Communications between the Earth and Mars are on hiatus for several weeks, thanks to interference from the sun. That means NASA's orbiters and rovers that study Mars will be left to their own devices until radio signals can once again travel between the two planets.

Known as "solar conjunction," the problem arises when the orbit of planets places the sun directly between them.

Read more

12:36pm

Tue March 12, 2013
The Two-Way

NASA: Rover Data Indicates Ancient Mars Could Have Supported Life

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 4:50 pm

This image from NASA's Curiosity rover shows the first sample of powdered rock extracted by the rover's drill.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The group of scientists working with NASA's Curiosity rover made a big announcement during a press conference today: "We have found a habitable environment that is so benign" if there was water there, "you be able to drink it," John P. Grotzinger, professor of geology at Caltech, said summing up the rover's latest findings.

That is, at one point Mars had the right conditions to support living microbes.

Read more

12:25pm

Wed February 27, 2013
The Two-Way

Millionaire Space Tourist Plans Manned Mission To Mars In 2018

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 4:43 pm

The proposed Earth to Mars trajectory.
Inspiration Mars

The American businessman who paid $20 million to visit the International Space Station in 2001, has presented an ambitious plan for a manned fly-by mission to Mars.

If all goes as planned, a couple would be on a rocket headed to the Red Planet in January of 2018.

Space Ref reports that Dennis Tito has created a non-profit organization called Inspiration Mars Foundation that will raise the funds for the mission through donations.

Read more
Tags: 

4:40pm

Mon February 11, 2013
The Two-Way

Another Shiny Object Seen In Pictures From Mars Is Now Explained

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 4:47 pm

The image, taken by Mars rover Curiosity in January has sparked debate because of the shiny object marked by the yellow arrow.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

Last week, a blogger at Universe Today began a bit of an Internet frenzy when a reader spotted a shiny object in one of the pictures taken on Mars by the Curiosity rover.

Read more

2:41pm

Fri January 25, 2013
The Two-Way

Mars Curiosity Rover Beams Back First Nighttime, Ultraviolet Photos

This rock target in the "Yellowknife Bay" area of Mars' Gale Crater is called "Sayunei." The image covers an area about 1.3 inches by 1 inch (3.4 by 2.5 centimeters). The illumination came from one of MAHLI's two groups of white LED pairs. This allowed surface features to cast shadows and provide textural detail.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The Mars Curiosity Rover has beamed back its first nighttime pictures. It sent one taken while using its white LED lights and another using its ultraviolet LED lights.

It's a milestone and the pictures are pretty cool. But they don't tell us much of anything yet.

Read more

Pages