All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘jet propulsion lab’

Mars Rover Curiosity Begins Months-Long Journey

One month ago, Mars rover Curiosity began preparing for a 5-mile drive by shifting into a distance-driving mode. Today, NASA announced that the first small steps in that long journey have begun. The rover finished investigating an outcrop named “Shaler” early last week before leaving the “Glenelg” area on July 4. Curiosity drove 59 feet (18 meters), and then drove …

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Mars Rover Opportunity Crosses Botany Bay

NASA today provided an update not on Mars rover Curiosity, but its elder rover Opportunity. The rover is part of the Mars Exploration Rover Project, which sent two rovers, Opportunity and Spirit, to Mars in 2004. Opportunity is the only one of the rovers still functioning, after Spirit became stuck in 2009, and stopped responding to communications in 2010. Opportunity …

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Cassini to Take Another Photo of Earth From Saturn

One of the most famous images taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is of Saturn as it eclipses the Sun. With the gas giant bathed in shadow, a tiny speck called Earth can be seen in the photo. This week, NASA announced that Cassini will be recreating that famous photo. On July 19, the probe will take the picture as part …

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Billion-Pixel Panorama of Mars Released by NASA

During its 10 months on the red planet, Mars rover Curiosity has taken hundreds of high-quality photographs of the Martian landscape. Now, NASA has released a photo of Mars sporting over 1 billion pixels. The panorama is pieced together from almost 900 different photographs taken by cameras on Curiosity. The complete image is 1.3 billion pixels in size and can …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Prepares For Long Drive

NASA today revealed that Mars rover Curiosity will soon wrap up its exploration of the Glenelg area and shift into a distance-driving mode. The rover is headed for an area at the base of Mount Sharp, about 5 miles from its current location. “We’re hitting full stride,” said Jim Erickson, Project Manager for the Mars Science Laboratory at NASA’s Jet …

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Monster Saturn Hurricane Imaged by Cassini

NASA has revealed new pictures and of a massive hurricane on Saturn taken by the Cassini spacecraft. The images depict a hurricane in Saturn’s north pole region. The eye of the storm is around 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) in diameter. The clouds on the hurricane’s outer edge are travelling at 150 meters per second (330 miles per hour). “We did …

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Mars Rover Opportunity Found in Standby Mode After Solar Conjunction

The rovers on Mars this month were under a command moratorium as Mars passed behind the sun, an event known as solar conjunction. Now that the solar conjunction has ended, researchers have found something amiss with Mars rover Opportunity. Mission controllers this week found Opportunity in a standby mode. NASA has stated that it appears the rover “sensed something amiss” …

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Meteors Spotted Hitting Saturn’s Rings

Watching stellar impacts as they occur is a rare treat for astronomers. The famous Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact on Jupiter (which left water in the planet’s atmosphere), which happened only 20 years ago, was the first directly-seen extraterrestrial collision in the solar system. This week, NASA revealed that Saturn has now been added to the short list of places in the …

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Voyager 1 Module Added to NASA’s Solar System Viewer

There’s been some confusion in recent months over whether Voyager 1 has actually exited the Solar System. NASA scientists have reported multiple times that they’ve seen indications that the probe may be outside the heliosphere, only to roll back the fanfare with a deeper analysis of the data. Now, NASA is letting everyone in on the agonizing wait with a …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Swaps Computers

NASA announced today that Mars rover Curiosity has switched onboard computers as a result of a “memory issue” experienced on its active computer. The issue has brought research by the rover to a halt. The swap to the rover’s redundant computer took place yesterday and placed the rover into a “safe mode.” Over then next several days the rover team …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Analyzes Rock Powder

NASA this week announced that Mars rover Curiosity has successfully placed two small samples of rock powder into its “compact laboratories” for analysis. “Data from the instruments have confirmed the deliveries,” said Jennifer Trosper, Curiosity Mission Manager oat NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The rock powder comes from the inside of a rock on Mars – the first sample of …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Shows Off Its First Drill Sample

Last week, Mars rover Curiosity, after months of meticulous planning, finally used its hammering drill to collect a sample of Martian rock dust. Today, NASA scientists have released images confirming that the first-ever sample of drilled rock dust is safely in one of Curiosity’s sample scoops. “Seeing the powder from the drill in the scoop allows us to verify for …

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