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Latest Malin Space Science Systems Stories

2006-12-06 15:00:09

By ALICIA CHANG LOS ANGELES - A provocative new study of photographs taken from orbit suggests that liquid water flowed on the surface of Mars as recently as several years ago, raising the possibility that the Red Planet could harbor an environment favorable to life. The crisp images taken by the Mars Global Surveyor do not directly show water. Rather, they show apparently recent changes in surface features that provide the strongest evidence yet that water even now sometimes flows on the...

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2006-12-06 12:40:00

NASA photographs have revealed bright new deposits seen in two gullies on Mars that suggest water carried sediment through them sometime during the past seven years. "These observations give the strongest evidence to date that water still flows occasionally on the surface of Mars," said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program, Washington. Liquid water, as opposed to the water ice and water vapor known to exist at Mars, is considered necessary for life. The new...

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2006-10-16 15:15:00

During its first week of observations from low orbit, NASA's newest Mars spacecraft is already revealing new clues about both recent and ancient environments on the red planet. Scientists hope the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will answer questions about the history and distribution of Mars' water by combining data from the orbiter's high-resolution camera, imaging spectrometer, context camera, ground-penetrating radar, atmospheric sounder, global color camera, radio and accelerometers....

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2006-03-24 17:05:26

JPL -- The first test images of Mars from NASA's newest spacecraft provide a tantalizing preview of what the orbiter will reveal when its main science mission begins next fall. Three cameras on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter were pointed at Mars at 8:36 p.m. PST Thursday, while the spacecraft collected 40 minutes of engineering test data. The cameras are the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, the Context Camera and the Mars Color Imager. "These high-resolution images of Mars...

2005-09-20 20:40:00

LOS ANGELES -- The climate on Mars is showing a warming trend and recent images have shown the first evidence of seismic activity on Earth's neighbor planet, scientists said on Tuesday. New gullies that did not exist three years ago have been pictured on a Mars sand dune -- just another of what scientists say are surprising discoveries found by cameras aboard the 8-year-old Mars Global Surveyor that are changing notions about the climate and formation of Mars. "To see new gullies and...

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2005-09-20 12:30:00

JPL -- New gullies that did not exist in mid-2002 have appeared on a Martian sand dune. That's just one of the surprising discoveries that have resulted from the extended life of NASA's Mars Global Surveyor, which this month began its ninth year in orbit around Mars. Boulders tumbling down a Martian slope left tracks that weren't there two years ago. New impact craters formed since the 1970s suggest changes to age-estimating models. And for three Mars summers in a row, deposits of frozen...

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2005-09-15 12:50:00

JPL -- Three cameras on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter worked as expected in a test pointing them at the moon and stars on Sept. 8. "We feel great about how the camera performed and can hardly wait to see what it will show us at Mars," said Dr. Alfred McEwen of the University of Arizona, Tucson, principal investigator for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment aboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The test also checked operation of the spacecraft's Context Camera and Optical...

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2005-08-17 18:10:08

JPL -- NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched on Aug. 12, has completed one of the first tasks of its seven-month cruise to Mars, a calibration activity for the spacecraft's Mars Color Imager instrument. "We have transitioned from launch mode to cruise mode, and the spacecraft continues to perform extremely well," said Dan Johnston, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter deputy mission manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The first and largest of four trajectory correction...

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2005-05-29 18:25:00

The tiny tornadoes, or dust devils, that scientists have observed from orbit have now been seen close up on the surface by the Spirit rover. The most recent series of images show that these tornadoes can appear suddenly with diameters in the hundreds of feet. Astrobiology Magazine -- A dust devil spins across the surface of Gusev Crater just before noon on Mars. NASA's Spirit rover took the series of images in this 21-frame animation with its navigation camera on the rover's martian day, or...

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2005-05-19 11:35:00

JPL -- Photographs from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft released today are the first pictures ever taken of a spacecraft orbiting a foreign planet by another spacecraft orbiting that planet. Mars Global Surveyor has been orbiting Mars since 1997, Mars Odyssey since 2001. Both are managed for NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif. Mars Express has been in orbit since late 2003. Mars Express was passing about 155...