Latest Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Stories

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...

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...

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...

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...

2008-10-10 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...

2008-09-29 16:05:00

The U.S. space agency's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured images of hundreds of small rock fractures on Mars' surface. National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientists say the fractures that were created billions of years ago directed flows of water through underground Martian sandstone. NASA said the fractures are of type called deformation bands, caused by stresses below the surface in granular or porous bedrock. "Groundwater often flows along fractures such as these and...

2008-09-25 14:58:52

PASADENA, Calif. "“ NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed hundreds of small fractures exposed on the Martian surface that billions of years ago directed flows of water through underground Martian sandstone. Researchers used images from the spacecraft's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRISE, camera. Images of layered rock deposits at equatorial Martian sites show the clusters of fractures to be a type called deformation bands, caused by stresses below the...

2008-09-24 11:40:00

About four billion years ago, there were lakes on Mars which may have been fed by short-lived rivers that were, in turn, fed by precipitation. These lakes filled craters that were formed by the impact of meteorites. Water accumulated in places where rivers broke through the crater rims. Deltas were formed at the mouths of the rivers, similar to how they are formed where rivers flow into lakes or seas on Earth. These are the findings of an international team of researchers led by Ernst Hauber...

2008-09-22 14:50:00

NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity is setting its sights on a crater more than 20 times larger than its home for the past two years. To reach the crater the rover team calls Endeavour, Opportunity would need to drive approximately 7 miles to the southeast, matching the total distance it has traveled since landing on Mars in early 2004. The rover climbed out of Victoria Crater earlier this month. "We may not get there, but it is scientifically the right direction to go anyway," said Steve Squyres...

Word of the Day
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.