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All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘mars rover’

Mars Rover Opportunity Completes Walkabout of Matijevic Hill

NASA announced today that Mars rover Opportunity has completed a reconnaissance circuit around an area named “Matijevic Hill.” Opportunity began its study of the location at the beginning of October. The site is named after Jacob Matijevic, who led the engineering team for Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity and died back in September. “If you are a geologist studying a …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Has Fully Analyzed Martian Soil

Mars Rover Curiosity has now used each of its on-board instruments to analyze Martian soil. Though researchers have found a complex chemistry in the soil on Mars, they haven’t found what would be considered a major discovery: carbon-based organic compounds that could represent the ingredients for life. Water, sulfur, and chlorine-containing substances have been found in samples analyzed using Curiosity’s …

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Dust Storm on Mars Now Dissipating

NASA this week announced that a dust storm on Mars appears to be dissipating, instead of growing into a global storm. The dust storm has been tracked since November 10 using the Mars Color Imager camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. “During the past week, the regional storm weakened and contracted significantly,” said Bruce Cantor of Malin Space Science Systems, …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Celebrates a Milestone

This week marks one year since Mars rover Curiosity launched on the Mars Science Laboratory from Cape Canaveral on Earth. Today, NASA provided a few statistics on the “new” rover to celebrate the occasion. Though Curiosity has only been on Mars for 16 weeks, the rover has beamed over 23,000 raw images back to Earth. Among the latest images are …

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Mars Rovers Detect Regional Dust Storm Effects

A recent regional Martian dust storm has grown large enough for both of the functioning NASA Mars rovers, Curiosity and Opportunity, to detect atmospheric changes on opposite sides of the red planet. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been tracking the storm using its Mars Color Imager since mid-November. The storm came within 837 miles of Opportunity, slightly lowering the atmospheric …

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Mars Rover Curiosity On the Move Again, With Rumors of a “Big” Discovery

After spending weeks stationed at the “Rocknest” site scooping up soil samples, Mars rover Curiosity this past week got the chance to once again drive across the surface of Mars. NASA announced today that over the weekend the rover first drove about six feet to reach a rock named “Rocknest 3.” Curiosity used the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) on …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Measures Wind, Radiation Patterns on Mars

NASA announced today that, aside from scooping and analyzing Martian soil, Mars rover Curiosity’s measurements of wind and radiation patterns on Mars are helping researchers better understand the environment near the surface of Mars. Researchers with the Mars Science Laboratory mission have identified transient whirlwinds, mapped winds in relation to slopes, tracked changes in air pressure, and linked radiation changes …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Chemically Analyzes Martian Soil

Mars rover Curiosity has placed the first solid sample of Martian soil into its Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument. The sample’s chemical makeup has been analyzed, looking specifically for compounds found in environments that can support life. The results of the analysis have not yet been announced. “We received good data from this first solid sample,” said Paul Mahaffy, …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Team Switches to Earth Time

NASA announced today that the Mars rover Curiosity team will be switching back to Earth time. The team has spent the three months since Curiosity landed on Mars operating on Martian time. Mars has a day (called a “sol” by NASA) that is 40 minutes longer than Earth’s. The rover team has been pushing back the beginning of the work …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Reveals Loss of Mars’ Atmosphere

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity is now helping scientists understand how much of its original atmosphere the red planet may have lost. The data could help researchers predict whether Mars was ever habitable. Using its on-board Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instruments, Curiosity has analyzed samples of the Martian atmosphere during its weeks stationed at the “Rocknest” site. NASA states that …

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Angry Birds and NASA Detail Mars Rover Curiosity’s Mission

Anyone who has played Angry Birds Space knows that the game contains a satellite that links to a NASA mobile web page that educates kids on the effects of microgravity and that Angry Birds celebrated the landing of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover with Mars-themed levels in Angry Birds space. What may not be known is that NASA and Rovio, the …

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Mars Rover Curiosity’s First Mineralogy Analysis Shows Basaltic-Like Soil

NASA today announced the results of Mars rover Curiosity’s initial analysis of the soil it has been scooping now for weeks. The results show that the Martian soil around the “Rocknest” area resembles weathered basaltic soils of volcanic origin in Hawaii. These findings come from a small sample that was placed into Curiosity’s Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument (CheMin). “We had …

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