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Latest Lander Stories

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2006-07-24 16:20:13

The answer to the question about life on Mars may very well come from analyzing an unsuspecting source - the soil, specifically the icy layer of soil underneath the red planet's surface. By analyzing the properties of Mars frozen layer of soil during NASA s next lander mission, scientists will be able to better understand and theorize about life on Mars. A synopsis of the project was presented by Douglas R. Cobos on Monday, July 10, 2006, during the 18th World Congress of Soil Science in...

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2006-07-14 18:20:00

Thirty years after the first successful landing on Mars by NASA's Viking spacecraft, the ambitious mission continues to evoke pride and enthusiasm for future space exploration. NASA's Viking 1 and 2 missions to Mars, each consisting of an orbiter and a lander, became the first space probes to obtain high resolution images of the Martian surface; characterize the structure and composition of the atmosphere and surface; and conduct on-the-spot biological tests for life on another planet....

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2006-06-20 15:05:00

The Phoenix Lander will explore a polar site on Mars to uncover clues about the planet's history of water and potential for life. The computer "brain" of the spacecraft is now ready for action, and a team at the University of Arizona in Tucson has begun adding engineering models of science payload instruments to a mock lander that will be tested in the Payload Interoperability Testbed, or "PIT". The stage is built. The lights are in. The computer "brain" that simulates the workings of the...

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2006-05-01 07:18:47

Jupiter's moon Europa is one of the most intriguing places in the solar system to Astrobiologists. An icy shell overlies a deep water ocean, and tidal flexing from Jupiter's gravity may provide energy for life. But while scientists have been talking about developing a Europa mission for some time, so far NASA has not yet sent an orbiter to investigate the moon in detail. Karl Hibbitts, a research scientist at the John Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory, is working on developing a...

2005-12-20 05:29:46

By Kate Holton LONDON (Reuters) - The scientist behind the lost 2003 Beagle 2 mission to Mars said on Tuesday the craft may have been spotted in NASA pictures which indicate the project very nearly worked. Beagle 2, named after the ship Charles Darwin sailed in when he formulated his theory of evolution, was built by British scientists for about 50 million pounds ($90 million) and taken to Mars aboard the European Space Agency's orbiter Mars Express. It was due to land in a crater...

2005-12-20 05:25:00

By Kate Holton LONDON -- The scientist behind the lost 2003 Beagle 2 mission to Mars said on Tuesday the craft may have been spotted in NASA pictures which indicate the project very nearly worked. Beagle 2, named after the ship Charles Darwin sailed in when he formulated his theory of evolution, was built by British scientists for about 50 million pounds ($90 million) and taken to Mars aboard the European Space Agency's orbiter Mars Express. It was due to land in a crater on the red planet in...

2005-12-20 04:10:00

By Kate Holton LONDON (Reuters) - The British scientist behind the lost 2003 Beagle 2 mission to Mars said on Tuesday the craft may have been spotted in Nasa pictures which indicate the project very nearly worked. Beagle 2, named after the ship Charles Darwin sailed in when he formulated his theory of evolution, was built by British scientists for about 50 million pounds ($90 million) and taken to Mars aboard the European Space Agency's orbiter Mars Express. It was due to land in a crater on...

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2005-12-11 09:40:00

Blood red and notoriously treacherous, the planet Mars is tantalizingly close to Earth yet infamously difficult to explore. Historically, only one in three missions to Mars has managed to reach the planet. For decades, the poor odds of successfully exploring Mars severely limited our ability to learn about our nearest planetary neighbor. Incredibly, in 1997 NASA began a remarkable reversal of exploration fortunes when the agency safely landed the first probe on Mars in 22 years. Not only did...

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2005-11-23 06:55:00

TOKYO -- Japan's space agency said Wednesday its spacecraft had successfully touched down on an asteroid 180 million miles from Earth despite an earlier announcement that it had failed. On Sunday, JAXA officials had said the Hayabusa probe, on a mission to land on the asteroid named Itokawa, collect material, then bring it back to Earth, failed to touch down after maneuvering within yards of the surface. However, the agency said Wednesday that data confirmed that Hayabusa had landed on the...

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2005-11-21 12:27:34

TOKYO (AP) - A Japanese space probe is heading back toward an asteroid for a second landing attempt after failing to touch down over the weekend, space agency officials said Monday. Communications between the Hayabusa probe and Japan's space agency, JAXA, have returned to normal after the vessel inexplicably stopped just yards from the asteroid Itokawa on Sunday. The probe, which also botched a rehearsal earlier this month, is on a mission to briefly land on the asteroid, collect material,...