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Latest Mars Science Laboratory Stories

Mars Surface Radiation Suitable Manned Mission
2013-12-10 15:24:46

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Newly released data from the Curiosity rover indicate that Martian radiation levels are very close to being acceptable for future manned missions to the surface of the Red Planet. While the Curiosity rover spent its first 300 days cruising around the planet’s Gale Crater gathering soil samples and examining rock structures, the onboard Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) was making detailed recording of the radiation found on the...

Ancient Martian Lake May Have Supported Microbial Life
2013-12-09 12:40:55

[ Watch the Video: Evidence Of Ancient Lake Found Within Gale Crater ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A crater found on Mars is actually an ancient lake bed that could have contained the proper conditions to have supported life on the Red Planet, according to a new finding by NASA’s Curiosity rover. NASA scientists announced at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco on Monday that they have discovered the fossil remains of a lake inside Gale...

NASA Runs Three Mass Spectrometers In Three Different Places In Space
2013-12-06 17:21:48

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online NASA said that three of its instruments built at the Goddard Space Flight Center were all running three experiments of the same kind at different places in space. The mass spectrometers are designed to take in atmospheric, rock or soil samples and identify particular molecules in them. The instruments help identify gases in atmospheric samples or gases that get released from rock or soil samples as they are processed. “At the...

Curiosity Rover Fires Over 100,000 Laser Shots To Date
2013-12-06 04:10:51

[ Watch the Video: Laser-Zapping Milestone For A 'Curious' Rover ] April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has fired the shot heard round the solar system — 100,000 shots, to be exact. The rover has fired the laser it uses as one way to check which chemical elements are in rocks and soils 100,000 times. One of a series of 300 used to investigate 10 locations on a rock called "Ithaca," the 100,00th shot took place this past October. The...

Curiosity Returns To Normal Voltage Levels, Resumes Regular Duties
2013-11-26 11:16:42

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online After spending nearly a week trying to diagnose why NASA’s Curiosity rover experienced a “soft short,” engineers gave the all clear for the Martian vehicle to resume duties on November 23. NASA said the decision to resume scientific activities resulted from successful work by engineers in diagnosing the likely cause of the Nov. 17 change in voltage Curiosity experienced. The space agency maintained that the voltage issue caused...

Minerals Were Scarce When Life First Formed On Earth: Study
2013-11-26 08:05:20

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Just eight percent of the nearly 5,000 different types of minerals currently found on Earth were present on or near the planet’s surface when life first originated, according to new research published in the latest edition of the American Journal of Science. According to researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science, life came about as a result of natural processes that took advantage of raw materials available during...

Curiosity Mars Shut Down Soft Short
2013-11-21 10:16:07

[ Watch the Video: Curiosity Rover Operations Suspended Temporarily ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA has suspended its rover Curiosity operations on Mars to check for possible causes of a voltage change detected this week. The space agency announced that engineers are investigating a “soft” short, which is a leak through a material that is partially conductive of electricity, rather than a hard short like one electrical wire contacting another....


Word of the Day
maffling
  • To stammer.
  • Present participle of maffle, to stammer.
  • A simpleton.
The word 'maffle' may come from a Dutch word meaning 'to move the jaws' or a French word meaning 'having large cheeks'.