space
Waning Martian Dust Storm Could Herald the Return of NASA’s Opportunity Rover

Good news, everyone! The planet-encircling dust storm on Mars is beginning to wane, which means NASA’s solar-powered Opportunity rover, currently in hibernation mode, will soon be able to wake up — assuming the storm hasn’t irreparably damaged it. Read More >>

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How Will NASA Know if Opportunity is Okay After The Martian Dust Storm?

Nearly all of Mars has been under the assault of a planet-wide dust storm since June. The nerve-wracking question: Is the Opportunity rover okay? Read More >>

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Report: NASA Needs to Get Moving on Its Plan to Snatch Some Mars Dust

NASA doesn’t just randomly decide what telescopes and satellites to shoot into space and what planet to study next. Instead, a committee of outside scientists drafts a set of goals and recommendations in what’s called a decadal survey. And though it notes some financial setbacks, a midterm review of the last decadal survey report says NASA has done a pretty good job hitting the goals set by the 2013-2022 Planetary Science survey. But there’s work left to do, especially when it comes to bringing a sample of Martian dust to Earth. Read More >>

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Scientists Just Measured the Drought that May Have Brought Down the Ancient Maya

The ancient Maya were an innovative people. They constructed intricate cities throughout the tropical lowlands of the Yucatán Peninsula, communicated using one of the world’s first written languages, and created two calendar systems by studying the stars. But despite their achievements, the thriving Mayan civilisation mysteriously collapsed sometime between the eighth and ninth centuries. We still don’t know exactly why. Read More >>

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The First’s Teaser Trailer is Ridiculously Cryptic

Teaser trailers are supposed to give you just enough information about the actual thing they’re teasing to entice you to actually watch the thing when it’s released. Apparently, the folks working on Hulu’s upcoming series The First didn’t get the memo. Read More >>

space
Mars and Saturn Are Looking Really Good in These New Hubble Pics

On Friday night, Mars was in opposition, meaning it’s about as close and as bright as it’s going to get. To celebrate, Hubble has released new images of the dusty red planet, as well as of Saturn, which was in opposition last month. Read More >>

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Spacecraft Spots Signs of Standing Body of Water Under Martian Surface

After decades of debate, scientists have spotted hints of liquid water trapped beneath the planet’s south polar ice cap. Read More >>

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Here’s How NASA Is Dealing With the Massive Martian Dust Storm

These new views of Mars, taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, show that the entire planet is now engulfed in the dust storm that began in late May. And while orbiters are studying the storm to understand it better, it could spell trouble for the rovers on its surface. Read More >>

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We Need Help Naming Our Mars Rover, and Yes, The Space Agency Has Already Thought of That One

The internet is full of important life lessons; things you really shouldn’t do, like lighting yourself on fire for a fleeting moment of internet fame or reaching out to the masses to help you name something. But it seems like the UK Space Agency has apparently not been paying attention to the internet for a few years, and is asking for the public’s help in naming its forthcoming Mars rover. Read More >>

space
A Small Piece of Mars is Coming Home, Via Stevenage

We're about to do something first in space that'll get on the news and have lots of funny memes attached to it, thanks to the European Space Agency asking a British team to develop a Mars rover with the additional superpower of being able to get a sample of Mars rocks back to earth. Read More >>

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Two New Papers Offers Clues to Mars’ Weird History

As far as humans are concerned, Mars has two stories. One is in the present: We’re trying to send our ships and our astronauts to the Red Planet in order to understand what it’s like today. But much of that work is meant to tell a second story — what the planet used to be like. Read More >>

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The Dust Storm on Mars Is So Huge It Now Encircles the Entire Planet

For the past two weeks, a massive dust storm has churned on Mars, forcing NASA to put its Opportunity rover into hibernation mode. But Curiosity, a rover on the other side of the planet, is now feeling the effects of the storm as well, revealing the dramatic, planet-size scale of this dusty weather system. Read More >>

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This Video Made From Real Mars Data Will Make You Feel Like You’re Flying Over the Red Planet

There are lots of incredible things you can do with data. Like make this incredible animation of the Martian surface, for example. Read More >>

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Curiosity Rover Finds 3.5-Billion-Year-Old Organic Compounds and Strange Methane on Mars

No, NASA hasn’t discovered life on Mars yet—but a new result makes it seem like maybe, at some point in the planet’s history, the conditions were ripe for some extraterrestrial beings. Maybe. Read More >>

space
NASA’s Curiosity Rover Is Able to Drill Holes Into Rocks Again

That’s one small hole for a probe, but one giant leap for NASA. This past weekend, the space agency jerry-rigged Curiosity’s malfunctioning drill, allowing the rover to bore into Martian rock for the first time in over a year. Read More >>