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  1. China is about to try a high-stakes landing on Mars Tianwen-1, China’s first mission to orbit the red planet, is set to release a rover called Zhurong on a harrowing descent to the surface. China's Mars landing platform and Zhurong rover are seen in an illustration released in 2016 by the Chinese State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense. The rover is named after the god of fire in ancient Chinese mythology, which echoes the Chinese name of the red planet, Huoxing, meaning the planet of fire. ILLUSTRATION BY XINHUA VIA GETTY I
  2. NASA: Don't expect humans to fly around Mars on big helicopters "Get to the chopper!" is one phrase astronauts won't be yelling on Mars. NASA's experimental Ingenuity helicopter hopes to take flight on Mars. NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU Space fans are eagerly awaiting updates on when the Ingenuity Mars helicopter might attempt the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. That gives us time to imagine the possibilities for flying on other worlds. If Ingenuity is successful, could it become a prototype for a Mars chopper that would carry humans? Unfortu
  3. NASA Lands the Perseverance Rover on Mars The science mission will launch the first drone to fly on another planet, attempt making oxygen in space, and search for signs of ancient life. Photograph: NASA/JPL-Caltech In the Mission Support Area at Lockheed Martin’s campus in Littleton, Colorado, masked people sat close to computers, flying three spacecraft in orbit around Mars. These three—Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Maven, and Odyssey—were all tasked, in on
  4. NASA’s Perseverance rover beams back first images from its wild landing NASA is teasing an incoming trove of dramatic videos with the first set of still images from its new rover The first image showing Perseverance being lowered to the Martian surface by its rocket-powered Skycrane. Photo: NASA/JPL NASA just released a cache of tantalizing photos from its Perseverance rover after landing on Mars Thursday, with one showing the rover getting dropped off by the rocket-powered platform it used to gently descend on the R
  5. Report: NASA’s only realistic path for humans on Mars is nuclear propulsion "It's the kind of technology challenge that NASA was built for." Enlarge / NASA originally studied nuclear thermal propulsion in the 1960s. Here is concept art for the Nuclear Energy for Rocket Vehicle Applications (NERVA) program. NASA 21 with 20 posters participating Getting humans to Mars and back is rather hard. Insanely difficult, in fact. Many challenges confront NASA and other would-be Mars pioneers when planning missions to the re
  6. UAE “Hope” probe successfully reaches Mars, 2 more following shortly 2021 marks both the 50th anniversary of the Emirates and the first landing on Mars. Enlarge / Dubai's Burj Khalifa is lit up in red with a slogan reading in Arabic, "Mission accomplished" on February 9, 2021 as the UAE's Hope probe successfully entered Mars' orbit. GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images 23 with 20 posters participating Mars month began in earnest on Tuesday, with the arrival of the United Arab Emirates' "Hope" spacecraft at the red
  7. Mapping the ice on Mars that could support future missions It's not great to land near Mars' poles, and accessing water will be key. Enlarge / While we know of locations with ice on Mars, not all of them are in places we'd want to land. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona Over the past couple decades, plans to go to Mars or return to the Moon for longer stays have gradually moved away from sci-fi tinged "what if" scenarios and shifted to something that resembles actual planning. And those plans invariably include extract
  8. February’s Gonna Be a Big Month for Mars On the 9th, the first of three spacecraft will arrive at the Red Planet and inaugurate a new era of Martian exploration. Photograph: GREGG NEWTON/Getty Images On February 9, the United Arab Emirates’ Hope spacecraft is expected to enter orbit around Mars after a six-month, 300-million-mile journey from Earth. It will mark the beginning of a historic month for the Red Planet, which will see three separate national mis
  9. NASA’s next Mars mission has now burned nearly half of its launch window The $2.1 billion rover has a limited amount of time to launch this summer. First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all 6 images. NASA says it will be forced to delay the launch of its multibillion-dollar Perseverance mission to no earlier than July 30. The Mars-bound large rover must launch on an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida before the middle of August, or it will miss Earth's conjunction with the red planet.
  10. The UAE’s first interplanetary mission to Mars set for launch It’s been a grueling six-year journey to get here The UAE’s Hope spacecraft. Image: Emirates Mars Mission This summer, the United Arab Emirates aims to join the ranks of just a handful of elite space-faring countries around the world by launching its first interplanetary mission to Mars. For the last six years, the small Middle Eastern country has worked tirelessly to build a spacecraft that can orbit the Red Planet to study its atmosphere and weather. Now, the
  11. Mars Curiosity Rover captures its highest resolution panorama at 1.8 billion pixels As we near the final stages of development of the upcoming Mars 2020 Rover, NASA's current Curiosity Mars Rover has taken its highest resolution panorama yet. Comprised of over 1.8 billion pixels of the Martian terrain, the panorama is a stitched amalgamation of over 1,000 images taken during the 2019 Thanksgiving holiday. The picture showcases Glen Torridon, which is a region on the side of Mount Sharp on Mars. Impressively, the 1.8 billion-pixel panorama eclipses
  12. Welcome to Muskville — Inside Elon Musk’s plan to build one Starship a week—and settle Mars "I think we need, probably, on the order of 1,000 ships." Enlarge / Three barrels welded together are lowered onto a pressure dome for SN2 at the South Texas Launch Site this week. 265 with 119 posters participating, including story author BOCA CHICA BEACH, Texas—How badly does Elon Musk want to get to Mars? Let me tell you a story. On Sunday, February 23, Musk called an all-hands meeting at the South Texas site where SpaceX is bui
  13. One could fly to Mars in this spacious habitat and not go crazy "We're offering a huge amount of volume in a small amount of space." On Wednesday, Sierra Nevada Corporation—the company that makes aerospace equipment, not beer—showed off its proposed in-space habitat for the first time. The inflatable habitat is, first and foremost, large. It measures more than 8 meters long, and with a diameter of 8 meters has an internal volume of 300 cubic meters, which is about one-third the size of the International Space Station. Sierra Nevada developed this
  14. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS) Curiosity Has Now Been on Mars For 7 Years, So Here Are 7 Amazing Things It Has Seen On 6 August 2012, after an epic six-month journey, NASA rover Curiosity finally arrived at her new home on Mars. This week marks seven Earth years since touchdown, and we're celebrating Curiosity's Landing Day with some of the marvels it has brought us.
  15. Americans aren’t interested in the Moon and Mars—and that’s understandable After 15 years and $50 billion, we haven't really gotten that far. Enlarge / Mars or the Moon? It’s a debate that has bedeviled NASA for decades. Aurich Lawson / Getty Images Nearly two years ago, Vice President Mike Pence made the administration's space policy official, saying NASA would re-focus its program around "establishing a renewed American presence on the Moon, a vital strategic goal." In December 2017, President Trump signed a space-policy d
  16. (NASA/USGS/ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum) via Google Earth Pro; Business Insider) These 9 Places on Mars Could Be The Target For SpaceX's First Starship Missions
  17. Meteors crashing into Mars give rise to mysterious, smoky clouds Where there's meteoric smoke, there's cloud cover. NASA's Curiosity rover sees clouds on Mars. NASA/JPL-Caltech/York University NASA's Mars InSight lander and Curiosity rover have been doing a lot of skygazing and sending back lovely views of wispy clouds. It doesn't rain on Mars, but we might be closer to figuring out how the cold, barren planet can have such scenic cloudy days. A research team led by Victoria Hartwick, a gradu
  18. NASA has shared a new Mars image, but instead of featuring the Red Planet’s dusty orange landscape, we’re greeted with far more unusual sight: “brain terrain.” Scientists gave this mysterious surface its nickname due to its texture, which resembles the color and folds of a brain. The space agency has shared a high-resolution version of the image for the public to download. The image above was captured over Mars’ Protonilus Mensae, though NASA says the brain terrain landscape can be found throughout the Red Planet’s mid-latitude regions. The image was captured using the High Resolut
  19. Mars may look like a dry, dusty planet today. But scientific models indicate that it was likely once home to massive amounts of water, both above and below its surface - and now, researchers have evidence to back those models up. "Early Mars was a watery world, but as the planet's climate changed this water retreated below the surface to form pools and 'groundwater'," European Space Agency (ESA) researcher Francesco Salese said in a press release. "We traced this water in our study, as its scale and role is a matter of debate," he continued, "and we found the
  20. There was a big stir when reports emerged that the Curiosity rover had detected methane on Mars. But there was a problem: it could not be ruled out that its sensors were wiggy, or something was misinterpreted. Now it seems we can put that concern to rest - because an independent source has also detected methane on Mars. On 16 June 2013, a day before Curiosity detected methane in the same region, the European Space Agency's Mars Express mission, in orbit around the Red Planet, caught a whiff of the stuff near the Gale Crater - the region explored by Curiosity.
  21. While the presence of liquid water on Mars remains an ongoing topic of intense interest, we know that there is plenty of water ice adorning the Red Planet - and boy can it ever look amazing, as new images from the European Space Agency's Mars Express attest. The Mars orbiter has obtained a stunning view of a feature called the Korolev crater, an 81.4-kilometre (50.6-mile) diameter crater just south of the Olympia Undae dunes circling the northern polar cap. The crater is filled almost to the brim with pristine ice year-round. Like Earth, Mars does have seasons. And like
  22. The UAE’s First Mars Mission Is a Robo-Meteorologist The United Arab Emirates is preparing to launch its first Martian satellite, Hope, which will search for clues to the Red Planet’s atmospheric mysteries. Courtesy of Emirates Mars Mission Sarah bint Yousif Al-Amiri knows what it’s like to build a spacecraft, but she’s never launched one to Mars—or during a global pandemic. As the deputy project manager for the United Arab Emirates’ first in
  23. Another look at possible under-ice lakes on Mars: They’re still there It can be tough to spot water under an ice cap from orbit. Enlarge ESA 38 with 29 posters participating In recent decades, we've become aware of lots of water on Earth that's deep under ice. In some cases, we've watched this water nervously, as it's deep underneath ice sheets, where it could lubricate the sheets' slide into the sea. But we've also discovered lakes that have been trapped under ice near the poles, possibly for millions of years,
  24. A Helicopter Ride Over Mars? NASA's About to Give It a Shot “I see it as kind of a Wright brothers moment on another planet,” says the project's chief engineer at JPL. Photograph: NASA/JPL-Caltech Later this week, NASA plans to launch its fourth Mars rover, Perseverance, on a six-month journey to the Red Planet. Perseverance will boot up a mission to collect samples of Martian dirt that might have traces of ancient life, so that they can be r
  25. How NASA Built a Self-Driving Car for Its Next Mars Mission It’s hard enough to get an autonomous vehicle to work on Earth. It’s even harder on another planet. Like the self-driving cars on Earth, Perseverance will navigate using an array of sensors feeding data to machine vision algorithms.Photograph: NASA/JPL-Caltech Later this month, NASA is expected to launch its latest Mars rover, Perseverance, on a first-of-its-kind mission to the Red Planet. Its job is
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