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Posts Tagged "mars rover"

Life, Unbounded

Mystery of Mars ‘Doughnut’ Rock Solved

(Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ).

About a month ago an intriguing pair of images from NASA’s Opportunity rover on Mars showed a curious rock that had seemingly appeared our of nowhere during the course of 12 days. This small, brightly hued rock clearly had a fresh surface, suggesting that it was either broken off from somewhere or previously buried. So [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Astrobiology Roundup

mosaic.001

                      Lots of new scientific results in the past couple of weeks feed directly into the central questions of astrobiology – from the search for life, to the environment of interplanetary and interstellar space, and the grand cosmological terrain we find ourselves in. No Methane [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Summer Astrobiology Roundup #1: How Mars Lost Its Swagger

mars_wet

                Summer on our northern hemisphere, and human life slows a little, for some. Science carries on though, and there have been a number of fascinating discoveries and studies hitting the wires in recent weeks. #1 How Mars lost its swagger…and atmosphere. Sometimes it’s good to reconfirm a [...]

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Life, Unbounded

A Martian Stares Back

Peekabo! Mastcam seen by the MAHLI camera on Curiosity's arm (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

There is nothing particularly scientific about this image, but it is remarkably evocative. The Curiosity rover on Mars took a self-portrait of its primary camera masthead using another camera (the rather charmingly named “Mars Hand Lens Imager” or MAHLI)  mounted on its robotic arm on Sept 7th 2012. In part the image was made to [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Watch Out Mars! 1080 HD Video of Curiosity Descent

Martian descent

Ok, so every so often something comes along that just blows away everything you’ve seen before. This is one of those things. Soon after Curiosity made landfall we got to see a glimpse of a low-resolution and highly compressed time-lapse video of the descent, showing the heat-shield fall away and a precipitous drop to the [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Astrobiology: We are the Aliens

Bacterial aliens (NASA)

A funny thing happened recently on the way to Mars. A few days after the successful launch of NASA’s behemoth Curiosity rover with its Mars Science Laboratory instruments on November 26th 2011, a somewhat muted piece of news came out admitting that the strict biological planetary protection rules had not been adhered to quite as [...]

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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

curiosity_small

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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Symbiartic

Hey, how’d they get those men on Mars?

12-021FEATURE

When Curiosity landed three weeks ago today, many news stories were quick to point out it is the biggest rover to date. They said it’s car-sized. But what does that mean – are we talking a Hummer or a Mini? And how did its predecessors measure up? While snooping around NASA’s Mars mission sites, I [...]

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