Rover Rounds Martian Dune to Get to the Other Side

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover, partway through the first up-close study ever conducted of  extraterrestrial sand dunes, is providing dramatic views of a dune’s steep face, where cascading sand has sculpted very different textures than the wavy ripples visible on the dune’s windward slope. This Dec. 18, 2015, view of the…

NASA Suspends 2016 Launch of InSight Mission to Mars

After thorough examination, NASA managers have decided to suspend the planned March 2016 launch of the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission. The decision follows unsuccessful attempts to repair a leak in a section of the prime instrument in the science payload. This artist’s concept…

Rocks Rich in Silica Present Puzzles for Mars Rover Team

In detective stories, as the plot thickens, an unexpected clue often delivers more questions than answers. In this case, the scene is a mountain on Mars. The clue: the chemical compound silica. Lots of silica. The sleuths: a savvy band of Earthbound researchers whose agent on Mars is NASA’s laser-flashing,…

NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover Heads Toward Active Dunes

On its way to higher layers of the mountain where it is investigating how Mars’ environment changed billions of years ago, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover will take advantage of a chance to study some modern Martian activity at mobile sand dunes. This Sept. 25, 2015, view from the Mast Camera…

NASA Releases Plan Outlining Next Steps in the Journey to Mars

NASA is leading our nation and the world on a journey to Mars, and Thursday the agency released a detailed outline of that plan in its report, “NASA’s Journey to Mars: Pioneering Next Steps in Space Exploration.” “NASA is closer to sending American astronauts to Mars than at any point…