Post Thumbnail

Pardon me while I say something that might not be entirely popular: Software updates are pretty awesome. Maybe not so much for game consoles, but, I digress because the Curiosity rover recently received a patch that improved the autofocus of its "ChemCam" telescope. Over the air. On Mars. Before t...

May 23rd 2015 at 11:08pm 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

NASA's Curiosity rover isn't done finding signs that Mars once had the prime ingredients for life... not by a longshot. The explorer robot has discovered evidence of nitrates, the nitrogen compounds that are some of the key nutrients for life, in rocks at three places near its landing site. This...

March 24th 2015 at 9:28am 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

The Curiosity rover's drilling career is in danger. Its robotic arm has been having sporadic short circuits ever since late February. Its issues started on February 27th, when a surge of current shut down the the rover while it was processing some samples. After running a couple of tests, NASA pin...

March 7th 2015 at 7:24am 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

It's no secret that scientists want the Curiosity rover to drill into Mars more often. However, it first has to learn how to drill properly -- until now, it was so aggressive that it sometimes broke the rocks it was trying to sample. Thankfully, NASA has a fix. It recently started testing a new dr...

February 24th 2015 at 10:33am 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

Happy holidays, everyone! Welcome to Barely Related, a conversational Friday column that presents the non-gaming news stories that we, the Joystiq staff, have been talking about over the past week. And no, we're not stopping our focus on industry and gaming news. Think of this as your casual weekl...

December 19th 2014 at 8:00pm 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

NASA's Curiosity rover is still going strong on the red planet, observing the atmosphere and analyzing soil samples for the sake of future missions. For instance, the agency has revealed that the rover has sniffed out sudden methane spikes in the atmosphere sometime in late 2013 and early 2014, co...

December 17th 2014 at 6:19am 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

Humans have been speculating about water on Mars for hundreds of years, and now thanks to the Curiosity rover we're getting a better sense of how wet the Red Planet used to be. NASA revealed today that the Gale Crater, the 96-mile wide patch of land Curiosity has been exploring since 2012, held a...

December 8th 2014 at 4:56pm 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

NASA is not getting its money's worth of Curiosity, according to a review panel looking at seven planetary missions. The senior scientists criticized the nuclear-powered Mars rover, saying it needed to take more than the eight drill samples scheduled for the rest of its mission. It added that Curi...

September 8th 2014 at 2:21pm 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

NASA's been planning for the Mars 2020 rover for a long time now, back when Curiosity was just making its way to the red planet. Now, the agency has finally chosen seven scientific instruments that'll be equipped on the new rover out of the 58 proposals submitted by researchers from all over the g...

July 31st 2014 at 10:31pm 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

Curiosity feted its first Martian year on the red planet (687 earth days) with a stiched-up selfie while NASA reflected on the Mars rover's triumphs and setbacks. So far, it has achieved most of its mission goals, particularly its quest for evidence that Mars could have supported life. Drilling sa...

June 25th 2014 at 6:12am 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

Been a while since you last took a trip to Mars? Once again, photographer Andrew Bodrov has stitched together the latest shots from the Curiosity rover so that you can spend a little time on another world. As before, the 360 Cities controls aren't the most intuitive, but hey -- it's a lot cheaper...

May 2nd 2014 at 10:22am 0 Comments