mars

Curiosity's New Software Lets It Drill More Gently (And Do Less Damage)

Curiosity can be heavy handed. Its drill, used to investigate geological samples on Mars, has frequently broken the rocks that NASA scientists have wanted to peer inside. But a new software update means that now it can go more gently with with its drill.


How The Search For Life On Mars Could Be Dooming Itself By Accident

When Curiosity goes looking for organic molecules in Mars’s solid surface, it vapourises a rock sample and sniffs the gas that comes out. The plan could be going awry thanks to a pesky little mineral called jarosite.


Seven Aussie Finalists For A One-Way Trip To Mars

The final 100 candidates for a one-way trip to Mars through the Mars One project — a space mission funded by reality TV — have been chosen. Among those lucky (or unlucky, depending on your attitude) souls are seven Australians; three males and four females of varying ages, who are competing for a chance to live, and die, on the red planet.


'Mars One' Mini Documentary: Why You'd Want To Go On A One-Way Trip To Mars

Mars One is the program that’s planning on sending four humans on a one-way trip to Mars to establish a human colony. Applications are in, a shortlist has been made, and all that’s left to do is um fly to Mars, build a colony, and die a lonely death among the stars. The Guardian has asked a few of the colonist hopefuls why they want to go.


NASA's Curiosity Rover Looks Like A Tiny Rivet On Mars' Surface

Do you see it? That incredibly tiny dot in the center of that blue perimeter. That is NASA’s $US2.5 billion rover, steadily working away and analysing the Martian soil. This image was captured on Dec. 13, 2014 by the HiRISE camera housed inside NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.


(Mock) Mars Mission Comes To (Mock) Tragic End Thanks To (Real) Fire

The brave men and women living in a (mock) Martian base (in Utah), have met a (mock) brutal and fiery end. After an (actual) greenhouse fire sent flames soaring up 3m into the air, our (mock) astronauts have been laid to rest (in their respective homes as they see fit). Goodbye and godspeed, you magnificent pioneers.


NASA's Opportunity Has Now Explored The Martian Surface For 11 Years

Eleven years ago, NASA’s Opportunity rover touched down on Mars for what was supposed to be a 90-day mission. Since then, Opportunity has proven to be an engineering marvel by travelling almost 26 miles on the Martian surface, more than any other off-Earth surface vehicle.


A Look At How Mini Helicopters Could Help NASA's Future Rovers

Driving on the surface of Mars pretty much sucks. Even though the Opportunity rover celebrated its 11th anniversary on the Martian surface today, that robust little craft has also ran into tricky sand dunes and other perplexing surface anomalies. It sure would be nice if some aerial reconnaissance could identified these potential snags before they happen.


The Engineering Challenges Facing NASA's Mars 'Helicopter'

We’ve put a rover on Mars, heck, we’ve got a few of them up there. What’s the next step, before the inevitable invasion by humans? A helicopter obviously! Well, more specifically, drones that can help the poor ground-shackled rovers get a better idea of what lies ahead in their travels.


How NASA Plans To Explore Mars With Microsoft's Holographic Goggles

During Microsoft’s demo of its fascinating holographic headset HoloLens today, the company barely mentioned the coolest way it’s already using it: to develop software with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory that will let scientists explore and work on the Red Planet remotely.