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Latest Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Stories

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2008-12-11 16:20:00

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has completed its primary, two-year science phase. The spacecraft has found signs of a complex Martian history of climate change that produced a diversity of past watery environments. The orbiter has returned 73 terabits of science data, more than all earlier Mars missions combined. The spacecraft will build on this record as it continues to examine Mars in unprecedented detail during its next two-year phase of science operations. Among the major findings...

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2008-12-08 16:15:00

A $2 pair of cardboard 3-D glasses is a must-have on holiday gift lists. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRISE, team based at The University of Arizona today released 362 three-dimensional images of Mars taken by the HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Other Mars-orbiting cameras have taken 3-D views of Mars, but the HiRISE camera "“ the most powerful camera ever to orbit another planet "“ can resolve features as small as one meter, or 40...

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2008-11-20 13:50:00

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed vast Martian glaciers of water ice under protective blankets of rocky debris at much lower latitudes than any ice previously identified on the Red Planet. Scientists analyzed data from the spacecraft's ground-penetrating radar and report in the Nov. 21 issue of the journal Science that buried glaciers extend for dozens of miles from the edges of mountains or cliffs. A layer of rocky debris blanketing the ice may have preserved the underground...

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2008-11-19 18:35:00

PASADENA, Calif. -- Four intriguing places on Mars have risen to the final round as NASA selects a landing site for its next Mars mission, the Mars Science Laboratory. The agency had a wider range of possible landing sites to choose from than for any previous mission, thanks to the Mars Science Laboratory's advanced technologies, and the highly capable orbiters helping this mission identify scientifically compelling places to explore. Mars Science Laboratory project leaders at NASA's Jet...

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2008-11-05 10:20:00

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has communicated with controllers daily since Oct. 30 through relays to Mars orbiters. Information received over the weekend indicates Phoenix is running out of power each afternoon or evening but reawakening after its solar arrays catch morning sunlight. The fraction of each day with sun above the horizon is declining at the Martian arctic landing site. Dust raised by a storm last week continues to block some of the sunshine. "This is exactly the scenario we...

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2008-10-28 12:00:00

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has observed a new category of minerals spread across large regions of Mars. This discovery suggests that liquid water remained on the planet's surface a billion years later than scientists believed, and it played an important role in shaping the planet's surface and possibly hosting life. Researchers examining data from the orbiter's Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars have found evidence of hydrated silica, commonly known as opal. The...

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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...

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2008-10-10 08:10:00

The longest-serving of six spacecraft now studying Mars is up to new tricks for a third two-year extension of its mission to examine the most Earthlike of known foreign planets. NASA's Mars Odyssey is altering its orbit to gain even better sensitivity for its infrared mapping of Martian minerals. During the mission extension through September 2010, it will also point its camera with more flexibility than it has ever used before. Odyssey reached Mars in 2001. The orbit adjustment will allow...

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...


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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