Post Thumbnail

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...

1 day ago 0 Comments
May 28, 2015 at 11:41AM
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...

6 days ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

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...

10 days ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

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 ...

13 days ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

NASA's top priority is still taking humans to Mars, and it says private companies who want to do the same don't stand a chance without its support. Administrator Charles Bolden told a US House budget committee, "our ultimate focus is the journey to Mars and everything comes back to that," adding t...

1 month ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

Mars One promises to send humans on a one-way trip to the red planet, with the intent to colonize, by 2027. Once the first four people leave Earth for Mars, there's no turning back, no panic button, no chance to return home. This aspect of the trip isn't just for drama -- it's a core tenet of Mars...

2 months ago 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 s...

2 months ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

NASA wants to visit celestial bodies we've never been to before, so it has started testing a precise landing system that will first be used for future trips to Mars. The engineers at Jet Propulsion Laboratory used a rocket by Masten Space Systems called XA-0.1B "Xombie" (a reusable test rocket tha...

2 months ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

As much as humanity knows about Mars, the planet is still chock-full of surprises. Just ask NASA: University of Colorado researchers using its MAVEN probe have discovered phenomena in the Martian skies that you would never see on Earth. For one, there are auroras that are so energetic (their elect...

2 months ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

You probably know that Mars hasn't always been so barren, but have you wondered what it was like in its heyday? You almost wouldn't recognize it, according to an international team of scientists. They've used six years of atmospheric monitoring to determine that Mars had enough water to form a big...

2 months ago 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...

2 months ago 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...

3 months ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

If you've heard about the Mars One mission, you've probably had one overriding question: what the hell would prompt someone to volunteer for a one-way trip to another planet? Thanks to The Guardian, we now have a clearer answer. The news outlet has just published If I Die on Mars, a documentary th...

3 months ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

In an effort to help prevent foodborne illnesses and contamination, IBM Research is teaming up with Mars for a safety study that'll examine how supply chains affect what we eat. Specifically, the duo will take a closer look at microorganisms in a safe factory environment to help cut down on the bi...

4 months ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

Rovers have a tough time getting across Mars' vast, unforgiving landscape. They can't see very far ahead, and the crew back home can only offer so much help by looking at orbital imagery. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory may have a clever solution to that problem, though: an aerial robot scout. It...

4 months ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

Getting to Mars is never going to be cheap. But a couple of mathematicians have figured out how to shave some significant bucks off the price tag. Rather than fly to the red planet when its orbit brings it closest, the craft will "meet" it on the way. The strategy is called ballistic capture and i...

5 months ago 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 wee...

5 months ago 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...

5 months ago 0 Comments