Water on Mars may have flowed for a billion years longer than thought

Observations by a long-running Mars mission suggest that liquid water may have flowed on the Red Planet as little as 2 billion years ago, much later than scientists once thought. Scientists charted the presence of chloride salt deposits left behind by flowing water using years of data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), which has … Read more

NASA’s ‘Nuclear Option’ May Be Crucial for Getting Humans to Mars

The pathway to humans on Mars lies through the atom, split. Far from Earth, whether in the void or on another world, power is life. A steady, strong flow of electricity is as crucial for operating computers and engines as it is for assuring access to corporeal necessities such as light and heat, breathable air … Read more

Perseverance rover does the ‘twist’ on Mars to shake loose stuck rocks

A quick twist and shake relieved NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars of the last two pebbles clogging its sampling system.  The trouble began during the rover’s sixth Red Planet rock sample, on Dec. 29. Pebbles got stuck along the rover’s bit carousel, which passes rock samples into the spacecraft’s internal handling system for processing. After … Read more

Mars’ suspected underground lake could be just volcanic rock, new study finds

A suspected Martian underground lake is probably volcanic rock masquerading as water, according to a new study. In 2018, researchers found evidence that the Red Planet’s southern pole might have water beneath it. The possible water signature was first interpreted from radar observations made by Mars Express, a European Space Agency spacecraft. But a new … Read more

Mysterious Signal of Hidden Lakes on Mars May Not Be What We Thought

The likelihood of lakes of liquid water hidden under Mars‘ southern polar ice cap is receding before our very eyes. Last year, a paper found that temperatures were likely far too cold for water to remain unfrozen in the region. Now, a new study has found that the radar signal interpreted as liquid water was … Read more

Mars ‘asteroid showers’ have stayed steady over 600 million years

Our dating assumptions for the Red Planet might need a second look. Fresh analysis of craters on Mars suggests that asteroids have been smashing into the surface at a consistent rate for at least 600 million years. Scientists often use craters as a proxy to figure out how old a planetary surface is, since more … Read more

Mars water: Spots at south pole thought to be lakes could be volcanic rock

Radar images of Mars’s southern ice cap indicated that there could be a lake there – but a new set of simulations hints that it could be volcanic rock instead Space 24 January 2022 By Leah Crane The icy cap over Mars’s south pole, photographed by Mars Express ESA/DLR/FU Berlin / Bill Dunford There may … Read more

Watch Perseverance Mars rover spit out a stuck rock after choking on sample

NASA’s Perseverance rover managed to spit out pieces of rock that had been blocking its Mars-sampling gear since late December.  Although the un-choking procedure hadn’t been previously tested, the engineers on the Mars mission found it was rather “straightforward,” the team said in an earlier blog post. It involved pointing the drill containing a clogged … Read more

Historic Mars weather delay pushes Ingenuity helicopter’s next flight to Sunday

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter has notched yet another milestone — the first weather-related flight delay on another planet. Ingenuity was scheduled to make its 19th Red Planet hop on Jan. 5. On New Year’s Day, however, a strong dust storm kicked up near Jezero Crater, which the helicopter and its robotic partner, NASA’s life-hunting Perseverance rover, … Read more

NASA’s InSight Mars lander awakens from ‘safe mode’ after Red Planet dust storm

A NASA spacecraft has safely emerged from a precautionary “safe mode” after an intense Martian dust storm. The solar-powered InSight lander, which is designed to study the interior of Mars, entered safe mode to save power on Jan. 7; it went back to “more normal operations” by Jan. 19, the mission said in a Twitter … Read more