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...

1 month ago 0 Comments
March 24, 2015 at 9:28AM
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...

2 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...

3 months ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

NASA and Nissan believe they've got a lot to learn from each other when it comes to autonomous vehicle technology. So, the two have decided to team up for the next five years and develop a self-driving system that they can use not just on Earth, but also in space. A team of scientists from both or...

3 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...

4 months ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

NASA's ironman Mars rover Opportunity, like your five-year-old PC, is about to get reformatted. Problems have been causing the aging vehicle to reboot and scientists suspect that worn-out cells in the flash memory are to blame. Opportunity's been running for 10 years despite an expected mission li...

8 months ago 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...

9 months ago 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...

10 months ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

We've built rovers to deal with arid planets like Mars, but what about trips to Titan's hydrocarbon puddles and Europa's ice lakes? NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is working on a robot that'll dive into the frozen water, riding along the underside of the surface of Jupiter's moon. BRUIE (Buoyant...

10 months ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

Any long-term human presence on Mars is going to require renewable food sources, and that likely involves plants. But how do we know that they'll flourish in the Red Planet's higher radiation and lower gravity? NASA may find out in the next several years. One of the proposed modules on its next Ma...

12 months ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

Many kids want to become astronauts, but getting them to embrace day-to-day space science is tougher -- it's not as exciting as setting foot on Mars. NASA is all too aware of this challenge, so it has teamed up with LittleBits to create the Space Kit, a build-it-yourself bundle that should make th...

1 year ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

We already know the radiation levels on Mars' surface are safe enough for us to go ahead and start building vacation homes. But, before we can finish our plans for the pool, there are still a few more tests that need to be done. There's just one problem: the planet has a way of destroying all of t...

1 year ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

China has just entered a very exclusive club -- it's now the third country to have soft-landed vehicles on the moon. Its Chang'e 3 lander and accompanying Jade Rabbit rover successfully reached our celestial neighbor's Bay of Rainbows on Saturday. Jade Rabbit will now spend months studying the lun...

1 year ago 0 Comments