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While Curiosity's doing a great job on the red planet, there are still areas it can't go to, such as steep cliffs/hills and locations hidden by permanent shadows. That's why the engineers at NASA Kennedy Space Center's Swamp Works laboratory are developing drones that can withstand harsh condition...

11 hours ago 0 Comments
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NASA's InSight Lander won't be reaching the red planet until 2016, but the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is already preparing for its welcome party. In order to make sure that it's at the right place to be able to receive radio transmissions from InSight during the landing process, the MRO is firing...

July 29th 2015 at 8:28am 0 Comments
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Yes, Google Earth and Street View are great for impromptu armchair traveling. But if you prefer taking a virtual jaunt somewhere literally out of this world, you might want to visit NASA's Mars Trek website instead. It's exactly what its name makes it sound like: an interactive map of the red plan...

July 10th 2015 at 1:20am 0 Comments
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No, you're not looking at a very sophisticated boomerang -- that may be the first aircraft to fly the Martian skies. NASA has revealed that it's building a prototype for Prandtl-m (Preliminary Research Aerodynamic Design to Land on Mars), a glider drone that would launch from a descending rover an...

June 30th 2015 at 1:45pm 0 Comments
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What will NASA be up to by 2030? The space agency (and even President Barack Obama) hopes it will be close to launching a manned mission to the surface of Mars. But, before that's possible, there's a whole lot of puzzle pieces to fit together. In fact, some of those pieces haven't even been invent...

June 23rd 2015 at 2:30pm 0 Comments
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NASA's InSight lander will make its way to the red planet with two smaller companions: briefcase-sized CubeSats called Mars Cube One (MarCO). Each one measures 14.4 x 9.5 x 4.6 inches and is comprised of six 4-inch square cube satellites. All three of them will be ferried to space aboard an Atlas...

June 13th 2015 at 3:02pm 0 Comments
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If you need something to watch that's not Apple related, the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator(LDSD) that NASA hopes will help Mars missions land safely is about to undertake its next test. After more than a week of delays caused by bad weather, the saucer shaped vehicle will launch at about 1:30...

June 8th 2015 at 12:55pm 0 Comments
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NASA's not having an easy time testing the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator that should eventually put big payloads on Mars. The agency has scrubbed all test flights this weekend due to weather, and now won't take the flying saucer-like balloon for a spin until June 8th at the earliest. The lo...

June 7th 2015 at 3:28pm 0 Comments
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Within the next seven months, NASA will subject the InSight lander to a series of tests to ensure it can survive a grueling trip to the red planet. Before it lifts off in March 2016, it will have to undergo two thermal vacuum tests, which will expose it to extreme temperatures and atmospheric pres...

May 28th 2015 at 11:41am 0 Comments
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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
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What's going to happen when astronauts finally land on Mars? In all likelihood, the expedition will be a joint effort between multiple nations and space agencies. So when a perilous explorer steps out onto the red planet, we might need a new flag. One that represents Earth. Such a mission is unlik...

May 19th 2015 at 10:51am 0 Comments
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SpaceX has released a few Mars travel posters in the same vein as NASA's vintage exoplanet ones, and they're making us sad we were born too early for space exploration. Valles Marineris the "land of Martian chasms and craters," as the poster says, is an enormous series of canyons. Olympus Mons is...

May 16th 2015 at 8:14am 0 Comments