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JPL Articles

Mars Rover Curiosity Rolls Toward Its First Anniversary

On August 6, 2012, Mars rover Curiosity landed on the red planet, in a site called Gale Crater. The event was cause for immediate celebration for those who had worked for years to send the rover to Mars, but researchers …

Mars Rover Curiosity’s First Year in First-Person

Next week will mark the one-year (Earth year) anniversary of Mars rover Curiosity’s Mars landing. The rover has performed admirably, and all of its instruments have been successfully tested on the surface of the red planet. It has also, in …

Most “Centaurs” Are Comets, Say Astronomers

For years, the small objects orbiting the Sun between Jupiter and Neptune have remained a mystery to astronomers. Dubbed “centaurs,” researchers were unsure what exactly the objects were. Now, new observations using NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) have determined …

Mars Rover Curiosity Sets One-Day Driving Record
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Mars rover Curiosity is currently on a months-long journey to a Martian mountain named Mount Sharp. The rover has shifted into a distance driving mode and is now roving further than ever along its planned five-mile journey. This week, NASA …

Water on Mars Left With Atmosphere, Shows Rover
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It’s been nearly one year since Mars rover Curiosity landed on Mars in August 2012. During that year, the rover has analyzed soil, drilled rock samples to determine whether conditions on Mars could have ever been conducive to life. Now, …

Mars Rover Curiosity Hits a 1 Kilometer Milestone

Last week, NASA revealed that Mars rover Curiosity has traveled more than 325 feet (99 meters) along its 5-mile (8 kilometer) trek to the base of a Martian mountain named Mount Sharp. This week the agency announced that the rover’s …

Mars Rover Curiosity Drives 135 More Feet
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Last week, Mars rover Curiosity began a months-long journey to the base of a Martian mountain named Mount Sharp. This week, NASA revealed that the rover has driven 135 feet (41 meters) closer to its destination. Combined with the 59 …

NASA Previews 2020 Mars Rover Mission
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NASA’s Mars 2020 Science Definition Team this week released its recommendations for a rover the agency plans to send to the red planet by 2020. The announcement of the 2020 rover mission came in December 2012. The team of 19 …

Mars Rover Curiosity Begins Months-Long Journey
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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” …

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 …

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 …

Billion-Pixel Panorama of Mars Released by NASA 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 …

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 …

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. …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Mars Rover Curiosity Swaps Computers
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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 …

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 …

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 …

Asteroid Flyby to be Live-Streamed by NASA
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On February 15, tomorrow, an asteroid named 2012 DA14 will fly within several thousand miles of the surface of the Earth. At its closest approach the asteroid will come within 17,200 miles of the Earth’s surface – a harrowingly close …