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Posts Tagged "curiosity rover"

Life, Unbounded

Mars, Ancient Water, Deep Hydrogen, and Life

mars-earth.001

Two billion year-old water pockets and a revised deep hydrogen content are good news for Earth’s vast subsurface biosphere, and could offer clues to life on Mars and much further beyond. Excitement over the Curiosity rover’s recently reported detection of a ‘spike’ in localized atmospheric methane – persisting over a couple of months – is [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Veins, not Flowers, on Mars

Light color mineral veins in martian rock - a strong clue to a water soaked past (NASA/JPL)

NASA’s Curiosity rover is preparing to drill for the first time, into what appears to be sedimentary rock criss-crossed by mineral-filled veins.         Back in September last year the Mars Science Laboratory carried by the rover found a rocky outcrop on the wall of Gale Crater that was full of a crusty [...]

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Life, Unbounded

A River Runs Through…Gale Crater

Close up of the crusty stream bed, a larger 'clast' is circled (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

It’s one thing to spot stuff from orbit above an alien world, quite another to get in close. Earlier Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter imagery of Gale Crater, now home to NASA’s Curiosity rover, had shown signs of what appeared to be something akin to an ‘alluvial fan’ spreading downwards from the crater rim. It was extremely [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Curiosity Targets Gale Crater

Most recent mapping of Curiosity landing ellipse.

The clock is ticking and NASA’s Curiosity rover with its burden of the Mars Science Laboratory is heading for a potentially historic landing on Mars. As we all wait to find out what happens, here’s a small look at the landing site. This is Gale Crater, a 150 km (about 90 mile) depression just south [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Curiosity Across the Stars

This is not a comet, it's Curiosity on its way to Mars

This, I guarantee, is a view of NASA’s Curiosity rover embarking on its 250 day trip to Mars that you may not have seen before. It’s an extraordinary piece of time-lapse footage taken from Australia not long after launch from Cape Canaveral. It shows a glowing plume from the Centaur stage after a burn over [...]

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Life, Unbounded

The Long Hard Road to Mars

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Starting this Saturday, a 24 day window of opportunity opens for the launch of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory, now also known as the Curiosity rover. If all goes well (very well) then in August 2012 a new visitor will barrel down into the martian atmosphere through a six-and-a-half minute maneuver involving hypersonic speeds, air-braking, parachutes, [...]

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