Curious Mars

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Hellas Basin: Mars Deep Down

© ESA/DLR/FU Berlin

Craters within the Hellas Basin.

Scarring the southern highlands of Mars is one of the Solar System's largest impact basins: Hellas, with a diameter of 2300 km and a depth of over 7 km.


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Rolling Boulder Captured by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

© NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

An Irregular, Upright Boulder on Mars.

A path resembling a dotted line from the upper left to middle right of this image is the track left by an irregularly shaped, oblong boulder as it tumbled down a slope on Mars before coming to rest in an upright attitude at the downhill end of the track. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter recorded this view on July 3, 2014.

Frosty Gullies on Mars

Frosty Gullies on Mars

HiRISE monitoring has shown that gully formation on Mars occurs in winter and early spring in times and places with frost on the ground.


Preserving Ice from a Vanished Terrain

Preserving Ice from a Vanished Terrain

This HiRISE image shows what is termed a pedestal crater, so-called because the level of the surface adjacent to the crater is elevated relative to the surface of the surrounding terrain.


Curiosity Rover Report for August 5, 2014: A Softer Trek to Mount Sharp

Curiosity Rover Report for August 5, 2014: A Softer Trek to Mount Sharp Video in Story

On the second anniversary of landing, NASA's Curiosity rover on Mars is preparing to navigate through a series of sandy valleys on its way to Mount Sharp. The base of Mount Sharp sits 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) from the rover's current position.


ScienceCasts: Mars vs Comet Siding Spring

ScienceCasts: Mars vs Comet Siding Spring Video in Story

Comet Siding Spring is about to fly historically close to Mars. The encounter could spark Martian auroras, a meteor shower, and other unpredictable effects. Whatever happens, NASA's fleet of Mars satellites will have a ringside seat.


Water-Bearing Rocks in Noctis Labyrinthus

Water-Bearing Rocks in Noctis Labyrinthus

The bright rocks in this image have minerals that contain water. These water-bearing minerals are found using the companion instrument on the MRO spacecraft called CRISM.


The Past is Prologue to the Future When It Comes to the Next Decade of Mars Exploration

The Past is Prologue to the Future When It Comes to the Next Decade of Mars Exploration

Past missions, and in some case the spare parts of past missions, will help drive the next decade of Mars exploration, a panel of experts from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the University of California at Berkeley, told an audience yesterday at the AIAA SPACE 2014 Forum in San Diego.


Curiosity Rover: Two Years On Mars

Curiosity Rover: Two Years On Mars

NASA's most advanced roving laboratory on Mars celebrates its second anniversary since landing inside the Red Planet's Gale Crater on Aug. 5, 2012, PDT (Aug. 6, 2012, EDT).


Comet Siding Spring's October Encounter with Mars Will Create 30 Minutes of Concern for Global Space Agencies

Comet Siding Spring's October Encounter with Mars Will Create 30 Minutes of Concern for Global Space Agencies

On October 19, 2014, at 18:32 UTC, Comet Siding Spring (2013A1) will pass Mars at roughly 150,000 kilometers, about 1/3 the distance between Earth and the Moon, in a direction putting it on a track for its dust to pass over the Martian North Pole, possibly endangering, over a thirty minute window, the collection of orbital spacecraft currently on station in that region.


NASA Announces Mars 2020 Rover Payload

NASA Announces Mars 2020 Rover Payload

The next rover NASA will send to Mars in 2020 will carry seven carefully-selected instruments to conduct unprecedented science and exploration technology investigations on the Red Planet.


Opportunity Rover Sets Off-World Driving Record

Opportunity Rover Sets Off-World Driving Record

NASA's Opportunity Mars rover, which landed on the Red Planet in 2004, now holds the off-Earth roving distance record after accruing 25 miles (40 kilometers) of driving. The previous record was held by the Soviet Union's Lunokhod 2 rover.


Mars' Icy North Pole Cap

Mars' Icy North Pole Cap

At Mars' North Pole is a dome of icy layers ranging up to 2 kilometers thick, roughly analogous to the Earth's ice caps in Greenland or Antarctica.


Curiosity Rover Camera Captures Laser- Induced Spark

Curiosity Rover Camera Captures Laser- Induced Spark Video in Story

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover used the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on its arm to catch the first images of sparks produced by the rover's laser being shot at a rock on Mars.


Curiosity Rover Finds Iron Meteorite on Mars

Curiosity Rover Finds Iron Meteorite on Mars

This rock encountered by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is an iron meteorite called "Lebanon," similar in shape and luster to iron meteorites found on Mars by the previous generation of rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. Lebanon is about 2 yards or 2 meters wide (left to right, from this angle). The smaller piece in the foreground is called "Lebanon B."


A New Geologic Map of Mars

A New Geologic Map of Mars Video in Story

Beginning in the late 1960s with the Mariner 4, 6, and 7 fly-bys, spacecraft began imaging Mars from closer perspectives.


NASA Discovers Further Evidence of Dry Ice Gullies on Mars

NASA Discovers Further Evidence of Dry Ice Gullies on Mars

Repeated high-resolution observations made by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) indicate the gullies on Mars' surface are primarily formed by the seasonal freezing of carbon dioxide, not liquid water.


Airbus Defence and Space Completes Production of Heat Shields for 2016 ExoMars Mission

Airbus Defence and Space Completes Production of Heat Shields for 2016 ExoMars Mission

Airbus Defence and Space, the world's second largest space company, has just completed the production of the two heat shields for the first European ExoMars mission in 2016.



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