All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘JPL’

Ganymede Sea Could Be Layered and Harbor Life

For decades now Jupiter’s moon Ganymede has been one of the more interesting objects in our solar system. The moon is one of the few that is known to have a large ocean beneath an icy layer, leading to speculation that primitive life may have evolved somewhere inside. This week astronomers have announced a discovery that increases the likelihood that …

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Mars Rover Curiosity to Examine Rocks in the Kimberley

NASA today revealed that Mars rover Curiosity will soon make a short stop to examine some more Martian rocks. The rover will examine an area of interest to researchers due to its different intersecting rock textures. “The orbital images didn’t tell us what those rocks are, but now that Curiosity is getting closer, we’re seeing a preview,” said Ashwin Vasavada, …

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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Functional Following Computer Swap

NASA today confirmed that the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is still functional following a reboot into safe mode on March 9. According to the agency the orbiter rebooted itself after an unscheduled swap of its main computer to a backup. In addition, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter also swapped to a backup radio transponder during the event, which researchers are now using …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Successfully Surmounted a Sand Dune

NASA this week revealed that Mars rover Curiosity has successfully crossed over a Martian sand dune and is now continuing on its way. The rover drove a total of 41.1 meters on Sunday, February 9. This puts Curiosity’s total distance traveled on Mars just shy of the 5 kilometer milestone at 4.97 kilometers. Curiosity had crossed over a small, 1 …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Has Now Driven Over 3 Miles

Following a few hiccups and a software upgrade during the holiday season, Mars rover Curiosity is now back to doing what it does best. NASA today revealed that Curiosity is currently on its way to drill another rock sample. The rover is currently stopped at an area named Dingo Gap so that researchers can determine an optimal route over a …

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NASA Made A Robot Monkey Because It Could

NASA has one of the most advanced robotics labs on the planet where the agency builds the next-generation of space faring robots. It’s latest – RoboSimian – is a robot monkey that can get around like the animal it’s based on. That means it can go from bipedal to quadrupedal for more control. Here’s the official description from NASA: Meet …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Got a Software Upgrade For Christmas

While people on Earth were finishing up their Christmas shopping last week, NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity was receiving its own Christmas gift in the form of new software. According to NASA, Curiosity has now received its third software upgrade since landing on Mars over one year ago. The upgrade took about a week to transition the rover to the 11th …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Dates a Rock, Makes Other Discoveries

Mars rover Curiosity has been on Mars now for over one year. In that time the rover has performed a variety of science observations, revealing to scientists even more about the surface of the red planet. Today, NASA announced that data collected by curiosity has led to a host of new findings, including six new papers published this week in …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Has Fired its Laser a Lot

NASA today officially announced that Mars rover Curiosity has fired its infrared laser more than 102,000 times. The 100,000th blast came back near the end of October, when the rover shot over 300 blasts at a rock named “Ithaca” from a distance of over four meters. Curiosity has now blasted over 420 different Martian targets using its laser. “Passing 100,000 …

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Astronomers May Have Spotted a Double Black Hole

Astronomers this week revealed that a double black hole system may have been found. An object known as WISE J233237.05-505643.5 was spotted at the center of a galaxy 3.8 billion light-years from our solar system. The jet shooting up out of the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy appears to be wavy, rather than straight. This suggests …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Resumes Roving

NASA today announced that Mars rover Curiosity resumed its exploration of Mars this weekend. The rover’s exploration had been suspended last week following an unexpected electrical issue. This is the second time in November that Curiosity has been reactivated following an unexpected technical glitch. The first occurred when the rover unexpectedly booted into safe mode after a software conflict. This …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Halted Over Electrical Issue

NASA today announced that Mars rover Curiosity‘s planned research has been suspended temporarily. The rover is still functional, but has been put on hold while researchers examine an electricity issue that has been detected. This news comes just a week after Curiosity resumed operations following an unexpected software glitch in early November. This new suspension came after NASA researchers detected …

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Mars Rover Curiosity is Back in Action

NASA today announced that Mars rover Curiosity is now out of safe mode and operating normally. The rover had rebooted into safe mode unexpectedly last week while transferring data between the rover and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Curiosity is expected to resume its exploration functions starting tomorrow, and the rover team has already begun planning for the upcoming days. From …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Drove Itself For Two Days This Weekend

NASA this week announced that Mars rover Curiosity this weekend drove itself over the surface of Mars for two days. The rover used its autonomous driving mode to scope out driving routes on its own, traveling 262 feet closer to its destination. The feat represents the first time the rover has completed a two-day journey on its own. Curiosity is …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Examines Sandstone Pebbles

Two weeks ago, NASA announced that Mars rover Curiosity had reached the first of five waypoints along its months-long drive to a Martian mountain named Mount Sharp. Researchers were hoping to investigate rocks in the area for comparison to those already seen by the rover. Today, NASA announced that their observations were fruitful, as the rocks at the waypoint seem …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Doesn’t Find Methane in Martian Air

Mars rover Curiosity was sent to Mars with a primary mission to discover if the red planet’s environment was ever suitable for life as we known it. As part of that mission, the rover has been analyzing Martian materials, searching for methane – a hydrocarbon that could be a sign of life. Initial chemical analyses on Mars soil samples failed …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Reaches ‘Panorama Point’

For around two months now, Mars rover Curiosity has been on a months-long journey to a Martian mountain named Mount Sharp. There, NASA researchers hope the mountain’s multiple exposed layers will shed light on the red planet’s past. Today, NASA announced that Curiosity has reached the first big milestone of its 5.3-mile drive. The rover has reached a planned waypoint …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Records Phobos Eclipse

For over one month now, Mars rover Curiosity has been cruising along the surface of Mars on its way to a Martian mountain named Mount Sharp. The rover’s journey will take several months, and it has been setting driving records along the way. Though the extensive driving has left little room in the rover’s schedule for in-depth examination of Mars, …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Still Cruising Along

Not much has been seen about Mars rover Curiosity since the rover’s one-year anniversary (Earth year, that is) was celebrated by NASA early this month. That could be because Curiosity is currently cruising along on a months long journey across the Martian landscape. The rover is on its way to the base of a mountain named Mount Sharp. There, researchers …

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Curiosity Rover Sings Itself the Loneliest Happy Birthday in History

This week, NASA celebrated the one year anniversary of the Mars Curiosity Rover’s landing on the planet. And they did it with a song, played in an alien land, heard by no one. Or was it? To celebrate one year on Mars, the rover used its onboard soil analysis instrument (SAM) to sing Happy Birthday to itself. “To make the …

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NASA Celebrates Curiosity’s One Year Anniversary

NASA today celebrated the one year (Earth year) anniversary of Mars rover Curiosity’s landing on Mars. The rover’s landing was a technical feat for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), who celebrated with plenty of cheering and tears. The event also briefly ignited Americans’ passion for exploration and pride in their space program. One …

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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 soon settled in for the long process of testing the rover and using it to explore the planet. Curiosity is …

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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 one short year, managed to fulfill its primary mission goal by determining that Mars once had an environment compatible with …

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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 that many, if not most, of the objects are comets. The new observations were taken from an infrared survey made …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Sets One-Day Driving Record

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 revealed that Curiosity has broken its own one-day driving record. On July 21 the rover completed a 109.7 yard (100.3 …

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Water on Mars Left With Atmosphere, Shows Rover

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, Curiosity has fulfilled that goal. NASA has announced that two new studies based on Curiosity’s research have been published in …

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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 recent long drives have put its odometer past the 1 kilometer (0.62 mile) mark. Curiosity‘s latest jaunt brought it 125 …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Drives 135 More Feet

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 foot (18 meter) and 131 foot (40 meter) drives the rover performed last week, Curiosity has now traveled 325 feet …

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NASA Previews 2020 Mars Rover Mission

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 researchers proposed that the rover be prepared to pave the way for a human mission to Mars, a goal President …

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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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