Rock powder to be analysed for evidence of water.
Martian spring "dry ice" thaw forms dunes from powerful escaping gasses
As if getting to Mars and establishing the first colony there wasn't dangerous enough, a new analysis of cratering rates suggests that over a three-year expedition to Mars, the planet will likely get hit by at least one asteroid large enough to cause an impact explosion in the megaton range. Good times.
NASA has had quite a year. The Curiosity rover, aside from an unidentified discharge, has been an huge success. So much of a success in fact, that the next Mars rover, launching in 2020, will be based almost entirely on Curiosity's design.
The movie Mission To Mars showed us a scenario in which astronauts had managed to grow vegetables on the surface of Mars. It now appears that Chinese scientists intend to make this sci-fi scene a reality.
Curiosity has been on Mars for 118 days now, but she's still just getting warmed up. Since October, the rover has sampled and analyzed its first five scoops of Martian soil, and NASA announced the results (which aren't these results) at a press conference this morning.
Elon Musk has been talking about creating a colony on Mars for a while now, and he wants 80,000 colonists moving to Mars per year.
Right now, there's a bit of Martian soil sitting in the Curiosity rover's sample analysis tool that some Earthlings are getting pretty excited about. If the folks at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory find what they think they've found, it'll be "one for the history books," according to the team.
If there's life on Mars right now, it's either really good at hiding from our robots, or it's too small to be able to wave at us. In either case, an effective way of finding it might be through gene sequencing, which is why scientists want to send a DNA sequencer on Mars. It's called "the search for extraterrestrial genomes," which I have abbreviated to "SEx GNomes."
As a curious planet watches, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is continuing its mission on Mars. On Sunday, Curiosity collected its first sample of Martian soil. The sampling was not without some drama however, a bright object in the soil raised NASA's hackles, delaying the mission.