A “beautiful dust devil” was just discovered today, April 1, on the Red Planet by NASA’s long lived Opportunity rover as she is simultaneously exploring water altered rock outcrops at the steepest slopes ever targeted during her 13 year long expedition across the Martian surface. Opportunity is searching for minerals formed in ancient flows of water that will provide critical insight into establishing whether life ever existed on the fourth rock from the sun.
Host: Fraser Cain (@fcain) Special Guest: Dr. Matthew Golombek, JPL Project Scientist for MER, and working on the NASA’s InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) Discovery Program mission. Guests: Morgan Rehnberg (cosmicchatter.org / @MorganRehnberg ) Kimberly Cartier (@AstroKimCartier ) Nicole Gugliucci (cosmoquest.org / @noisyastronomer) Paul Sutter (pmsutter.com / @PaulMattSutter) Ramin Skibba […]
Martian Reminder of a Pioneering Flight. Names related to the first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic have been informally assigned to a crater NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover is studying. This false-color view of the “Spirit of St. Louis Crater” and the “Lindbergh Mound” inside it comes from Opportunity’s panoramic camera. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona […]
For many space-faring nations, ambitions for Mars run broad and deep. Now, add China to the list of countries with Mars in their sights. News reports from China disclosed that country is considering a future Mars rover mission, with a potential 2020 launch date. Additionally came other hints that China may be looking to develop […]
NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover captures sweeping panoramic vista near the ridgeline of 22 km (14 mi) wide Endeavour Crater’s western rim. The center is southeastward and also clearly shows the distant rim. See the complete panorama below. This navcam panorama was stitched from images taken on May 10, 2014 (Sol 3659) and colorized. Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/Marco […]
A Top 10 Decade 1 Discovery by NASA’s Twin Mars Exploration Rovers Carbonate-Containing Martian Rocks discovered by Spirit Mars Rover Spirit collected data in late 2005 which confirmed that the Comanche outcrop contains magnesium iron carbonate, a mineral indicating the past environment was wet and non-acidic, possibly favorable to life. This view was captured during […]
Want to get an engineer excited? Give them a challenge. And the Opportunity rover has provided plenty of challenges in the past 10 years on Mars. Fun challenges, though; amazing tests of wit and skill, doing repairs on a rover that is sometimes a hundred million kilometers away. But with the longevity of the rovers […]