Mars

1:59pm

Tue December 18, 2012
The Salt

Building A Rover Of The Edible Kind

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 10:47 am

The other Mars Curiosity rover, made of gingerbread and on display on the Caltech campus.
Brian Bell courtesy California Institute of Technology

The folks at the California Institute of Technology have built another Mars rover, but this one will never get to leave Earth. Not surprising, really, since it's made of gingerbread.

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1:30pm

Sun December 2, 2012
Space

Signs Of Life On Mars? Not Exactly

Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 3:06 pm

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity cut a wheel scuff mark into a wind-formed ripple at the "Rocknest" site to give researchers a better opportunity to examine the particle-size distribution of the material forming the ripple.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

The director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said last week that preliminary data showed the possibility that the agency's Mars Science Laboratory – the six-wheeled rover that landed on Mars in August — had found signs of carbon-containing molecules.

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1:15pm

Tue November 20, 2012
The Two-Way

So What Did The Mars Rover Find On Mars? You Tell Us

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 6:21 am

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity cut a wheel scuff mark into a wind-formed ripple at the "Rocknest" site to give researchers a better opportunity to examine the particle-size distribution of the material forming the ripple. The rover's right Navigation camera took this image of the scuff mark on the mission's 57th Martian day.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Talk about a tease! Our friend Joe Palca reported some pretty big news today on Morning Edition.

The scientists working on the Mars Curiosity rover mission have found something "earthshaking," some data that is going "be one for the history books."

But John Grotzinger, the principal investigator for the rover mission, stopped there. He'll say nothing more until the rover conducts more tests to prove this wasn't a fluke.

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1:28am

Tue November 20, 2012
Space

Big News From Mars? Rover Scientists Mum For Now

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 2:11 pm

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity dug up five scoops of sand from a patch nicknamed "Rocknest." A suite of instruments called SAM analyzed Martian soil samples, but the findings have not yet been released.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Scientists working on NASA's six-wheeled rover on Mars have a problem. But it's a good problem.

They have some exciting new results from one of the rover's instruments. On the one hand, they'd like to tell everybody what they found, but on the other, they have to wait because they want to make sure their results are not just some fluke or error in their instrument.

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4:58pm

Fri November 2, 2012
The Two-Way

Life On Mars? Curiosity Rover Sniffs For Methane, Comes Up Empty

This picture shows a lab demonstration of the measurement chamber inside the Tunable Laser Spectrometer, an instrument that is part of the Sample Analysis at Mars investigation on NASA's Curiosity rover.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Today scientists working on the Mars Curiosity Rover mission made an important announcement: The rover used its lasers to "sniff" for methane. As NASA explains, methane is a "precursor chemical" for life, because creatures like us produce methane.

The Rover came up empty, or rather the most sensitive measurements ever taken in the planet's atmosphere reveal "little to no methane."

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