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2008-10-16 08:40:00

HiRISE Reveals Rare Polar Impact Craters On Mars An odd, solitary hill rising part-way down an eroding slope in Mars' north polar layered terrain may be the remnant of a buried impact crater, suggests a University of Arizona planetary scientist who studied the feature in a new, detailed image from the HiRISE camera onboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. HiRISE, or the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, headed by Alfred McEwen of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, is based at...

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2008-10-15 13:00:00

The Phoenix Lander over the weekend successfully weathered a regional dust storm that temporarily lowered its solar power, and the team is back investigating the Red Planet's northern plains. The increasing opacity in the atmosphere from the storm decreased the power reaching the Phoenix's solar arrays. So on Martian days, or sols, 135-136 of the mission (Oct. 11-12), Phoenix scientists and engineers curtailed many of the lander's science activities, such as collecting some data from its...

2008-10-09 15:00:19

The U.S. space agency's Phoenix Lander is investigating soil on Mars' northern plains for signs that water was once present. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the lander, during the past two weeks, used its 8-foot-long robotic arm to move a rock nicknamed "Headless" about 16 inches and snapped an image of the rock with its camera. The robotic arm scraped the soil under the rock and delivered a few teaspoonfuls of soil onto the lander's optical and atomic-force...

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2008-10-09 07:35:00

As fall approaches Mars' northern plains, NASA's Phoenix Lander is busy digging into the Red Planet's soil and scooping it into its onboard science laboratories for analysis. Over the past two weeks, Phoenix's nearly 2.4-meter-long (8 feet) arm moved a rock, nicknamed "Headless," about 0.4 meters (16 inches), and snapped an image of the rock with its camera. Then, the robotic arm scraped the soil underneath the rock and delivered a few teaspoonfuls of soil onto the lander's optical and...

2008-09-30 21:00:19

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE - The JPL-built Phoenix spacecraft has discovered two minerals on Mars that suggest water was there in the past, scientists reported Monday. The minerals - calcium carbonate and sheet silicate - don't usually form without the presence of liquid water, scientists said. Phoenix landed in the Martian arctic plains in May to study whether the environment could be friendly to microbial life. (c) 2008 San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.

2008-09-30 09:00:11

By MARC KAUFMAN By Marc Kaufman The Washington Post WASHINGTON Icy snow falls from high in the Martian atmosphere and may even reach the planet's surface, scientists working with NASA's Phoenix Mars lander reported Monday. Laser instruments aboard the lander detected the snow in clouds about 2 1/2 miles above the surface and followed the precipitation as it fell more than a mile toward the ground. But because of limitations with the technology, it was unclear whether any of the...

2008-09-30 09:00:11

By Alicia Chang Associated Press LOS ANGELES -- NASA's Phoenix spacecraft has discovered evidence of past water at its Martian landing site and spotted falling snow for the first time, scientists reported Monday. Soil experiments revealed the presence of two minerals known to be formed in liquid water. Scientists identified the minerals as calcium carbonate, found in limestone and chalk, and sheet silicate. But exactly how that happened remains a mystery. "It's really kind of all up in...

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2008-09-30 07:00:00

NASA announced on Monday it was extending the Mars Phoenix lander's mission, saying it will operate until it dies in the cold, dark Martian winter. Since it was dropped onto the Martian surface in May, the Phoenix lander has already operated far longer than expected and its controllers said they would squeeze every drop of life they could out of the solar-powered lander. The lander found evidence that the chemical makeup of the dust on the surface of Mars resembles that of sea water, adding...

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2008-09-29 14:25:00

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has detected snow falling from Martian clouds. Spacecraft soil experiments also have provided evidence of past interaction between minerals and liquid water, processes that occur on Earth. A laser instrument designed to gather knowledge of how the atmosphere and surface interact on Mars has detected snow from clouds about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) above the spacecraft's landing site. Data show the snow vaporizing before reaching the ground. "Nothing like this view...

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2008-09-23 07:25:00

If the robotic arm on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander can nudge a rock aside today, scientists on the Phoenix team would like to see what's underneath. Engineers who develop commands for the robotic arm have prepared a plan to try displacing a rock on the north side of the lander. This rock, roughly the size and shape of a VHS videotape, is informally named "Headless." "We don't know whether we can do this until we try," said Ashitey Trebi Ollennu, a robotics engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion...


Word of the Day
call-note
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'
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