ADVERTISEMENT
  About the SA Blog Network

Posts Tagged "Curiosity"

Beautiful Minds

Is Your Child Ungifted?

PROLOGUE

  When Jay Leno asked Steve Carell how his kids were doing, he didn’t seem too concerned: “I hate it when people talk about kids on talk shows. I hate it, because every person who talks about their kids, their kids are obviously the most intelligent and the cutest. They’re all very, very gifted children. Ask [...]

Keep reading »
Expeditions

Stepping into the Twilight Zone: Day 33, or, Curiosity Killed by a Cosmic Ray

a recent Mars Curiosity rover self-portrait

Editor’s note: Researchers exploring Mars via rover and satellite have to adapt to the longer day on the Red Planet. Katie Worth, whose Can Earthlings Adapt to the Longer Day on Mars? for Scientific American last month describes the consequences of sleep-pattern changes, is trying it out herself. Follow her experiences in living on “Mars time” at [...]

Keep reading »
Life, Unbounded

Something’s Cooking on Mars

Drilled out martian mudstone...(Credit:NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

What do you get when you cook buried martian mudstone in your oven? The answer appears to be the kind of gases you’d expect if you cooked organic material here on Earth. A couple of weeks ago the latest results from the Curiosity rover’s investigations at Yellowknife Bay in the Gale Crater structure on Mars [...]

Keep reading »
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 [...]

Keep reading »
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 [...]

Keep reading »
Life, Unbounded

Mars Tinted Goggles

The same scene as it would appear on Earth (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems)

What would the landscapes of Mars look like under a different light? Getting an accurate visual sense of the rocks and minerals on the martian surface is important for a number of reasons. For science it’s critical that objects are correctly seen, especially in terms of colors. Spectral features help give compounds their optical fingerprints [...]

Keep reading »
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 [...]

Keep reading »
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 [...]

Keep reading »
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 [...]

Keep reading »
Life, Unbounded

Skiing To Mars: The Original Rovers

A Prop-M rover

As the world waits with bated breath for NASA’s Curiosity rover to attempt a safe landing on Mars on August 6th (EDT), it’s interesting to recall the rovers of times past. We’ve all heard about Spirit (R.I.P. 2010) and Opportunity (still kicking), and their immediate technological precursor Sojourner (part of the Mars Pathfinder mission), but [...]

Keep reading »
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 [...]

Keep reading »
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, [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Explore Mars for Yourself with this Billion-Pixel Image from the Curiosity Rover

Gigapan image of Mars from MSL rover

During Barack Obama’s first inauguration as president in 2009, photographer David Bergman snapped hundreds of photos to build a stunning mosaic of the event, comprising more than one billion pixels in total. Users of the clickable, zoomable Gigapan platform (where the inauguration mosaic has attracted more than 15 million views) dove into the image to [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Science Advisor Gives Hopeful Progress Report on Obama’s Achievements

John Holdren addresses audience at the Stevens Institute of Technology President

President Obama has restored science to its rightful place in the White House, says John Holdren, Obama’s senior science advisor. “Science is again where it should be,” he told an audience of 200 as part of a lecture series at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. on Wednesday, although he warned that the [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Can Hitchhiking Earth Microbes Thrive on Mars?

Curiosity rover cleanroom

LOS ANGELES—When the Curiosity rover lifted off toward Mars, the spacecraft carried a few stowaways—278,000 bacterial spores, by NASA’s best estimate. That is sparkling clean, by spacecraft standards—the mission’s components had been sterilized, wiped, baked and coddled in clean rooms to drastically reduce the bacterial burden. Mars missions such as Curiosity are subject to strict [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Top 10 Space Stories of 2012

Space shuttle Endeavour lands at LAX

Now that 2012 has really and truly been put to bed, let’s look at the year that was in space exploration and astronomy. My choice for #1 was a no-brainer: not only is spectacular science already rolling in, but the top space event of the year—the August landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars—also crossed [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Curiosity Gears Up to Zap Rocks in Huge Crater at Red Planet

Mars, rover

Now that NASA’s “seven-minutes of terror” have passed safely, the Mars Curiosity rover’s exploratory mission is off and running. Over the next two years—probably more, if it’s anything like the Opportunity or Spirit rovers—the Jeep-sized rover will explore its new home using a variety of tools. One of the Curiosity’s most important objectives will be [...]

Keep reading »
Plugged In

Photo Friday: Nuclear Power Lands on Mars (2012)

8056997796_470b730679_c

NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on Mars on August 6, 2012. Its primary goals were to gather geological and environmental data from the planet. This photo was taken by a navigation camera located toward the back-left of the rover. It is, one can see a part of Curisoty’s nuclear power supply. Beyond the rover itself, one can [...]

Keep reading »
PsiVid

MAVEN Orbiter Preparation at NASA Considered “Emergency Exception”–Work Continues Despite Government Shutdown

1264064_10152020319982868_1502767347_o

With only 3% of NASA employees currently at work during the government shutdown, the status of continuing work for the upcoming MAVEN orbiter launching to Mars to analyze the Martian atmosphere mid-November has been uncertain. Luckily it seems they’ve been quite industrious this past month in preparation: The MAVEN spacecraft is shown in this time-lapse [...]

Keep reading »
PsiVid

Twelve Months of Curiosity on Mars in Two Minutes

Curiosity's First Year On Mars

Mars Curiosity Rover has captured our attention from the time it launched in November 2011 to the time it landed on August 5, 2012 in a very dramatic landing to now. It has been on the red planet for almost 12 months. What has it done so far? Take a look: Even with Curiosity there, [...]

Keep reading »
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 [...]

Keep reading »
Symbiartic

See Where Our Curiosity Gets Us?

12-020FEATURE

I’m so excited I might burst. The first images from Curiosity’s cameras rained down to Earth in the middle of last night, after a 14 minute journey from the red planet. Here they are, in all their glory. Larger, color images will be available next week. Let the imagination soar!! Other neat tidbits from Curiosity: [...]

Keep reading »
Symbiartic

Curiosity’s Storybook Wishes For Mars

Curiosity's storybook wishes for Mars

The Martian rovers Opportunity and Spirit have represented optimism, hope, and even cuteness to millions of people dreaming about discoveries on the red planet. How appropriate then, that the newest rover, Curiosity, should carry a sundial with sentiments and illustrations worthy of classic children’s literature. Curiosity blasted off aboard an Atlas 5 rocket on November [...]

Keep reading »
The Thoughtful Animal

Sunday Photoblogging: Curious about Curiosity

Last weekend, NASA successfully launched the Mars Science Laboratory – called Curiosity, which is currently well on its way towards the red planet. Back in May, I went to an Open House at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena. What a refreshing sight it was to see so many people – couples, families, grandparents and [...]

Keep reading »

More from Scientific American

Scientific American Special Universe

Get the latest Special Collector's edition

Secrets of the Universe: Past, Present, Future

Order Now >

X

Email this Article

X