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Latest Martian soil Stories

cf159a44ac010b195beaed41c4e6d8ca
2010-09-03 14:35:00

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander discovered a surpise chemical in 2008, which suggests that carbon-based chemicals found in 1976 by Viking Mars landers could be from the Martian soil and not from cleaning fluids, according to a NASA statement released on Friday. "This doesn't say anything about the question of whether or not life has existed on Mars, but it could make a big difference in how we look for evidence to answer that question," said Chris McKay of NASA's Ames Research...

fae2f3dac979f19896acc87b156da0fa1
2010-06-11 06:30:00

The ongoing search for evidence of past or present life on Mars includes efforts to identify organic compounds such as proteins in Martian soil, but their absence to date remains a mystery. A new theory to explain what happens to these carbon-based molecules is presented in an article published in Astrobiology, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. "There may be no 'safe haven' for these organic molecules on Mars," conclude Ilya Shkrob, Sergey Chemerisov, and Timothy...

8de5f3abd5c800a615919966a547238d
2009-11-07 07:15:00

Once upon a time "” roughly four billion years ago "” Mars was warm and wet, much like Earth. Liquid water flowed on the Martian surface in long rivers that emptied into shallow seas. A thick atmosphere blanketed the planet and kept it warm. Living microbes might have even arisen, some scientists believe, starting Mars down the path toward becoming a second life-filled planet next door to our own. But that's not how things turned out. Mars today is bitter cold and bone dry. The...

6fcdd702828e2efdbb8820e7217249e41
2009-09-18 10:55:00

The widespread idea that Mars is red due to rocks being rusted by the water that once flooded the red planet may be wrong. Recent laboratory studies show that the red dust may be formed by ongoing grinding of surface rocks and liquid water need not have played any significant role in the red dust formation process. These findings, which open up the debate about the history of water on Mars and whether it has ever been habitable, have been presented at the European Planetary Science Congress...

f67870e244a9518d9f1cd0545934d1691
2009-07-07 16:20:00

The U.S. space agency says it's using a test rover placed in a sandbox to simulate how best to get the rover, Spirit, extracted from loose Martian soil. Engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said they are using a special soil that simulates Spirit's predicament on Mars to assess possible maneuvers for getting Spirit onto firmer ground. They began Monday with the simplest maneuver on their list of options: driving forward with all five operable wheels. The engineers said the wheels...

068d71d3c290a36d1db76f6961ccd3a81
2009-06-25 19:00:00

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars rover Spirit, lodged in Martian soil that is causing traction trouble, is taking advantage of the situation by learning more about the Red Planet's environmental history. In April, Spirit entered an area composed of three or more layers of soil with differing pastel hues hiding beneath a darker sand blanket. Scientists dubbed the site "Troy." Spirit's rotating wheels dug themselves more than hub deep at the site. The rover team has spent weeks studying...

dbed533b596d77fd7a856b3af6d72ceb1
2009-06-25 15:48:59

The U.S. space agency's Mars rover Spirit is still stuck in loose Martian soil, but it's providing scientists data on the planet's environmental history. Spirit became stuck in April in an area composed of layers of soil with differing pastel hues hiding beneath a darker sand blanket, NASA said. Scientists dubbed the site Troy. But while Spirit awaits extraction instructions, the rover is keeping busy examining Troy, which is next to a low plateau called Home Plate, approximately 2 miles from...

e555465a79e5331a88d88637f140c8431
2009-05-19 10:15:00

The U.S. space agency says it's considering the best maneuvers for freeing the Mars rover Spirit, which has become immobilized in soft martian soil. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said a diagnostic test conducted Saturday provided favorable indications about Spirit's left middle wheel. NASA engineers said the weekend test showed electrical resistance in the left middle wheel is within the expected range for a motor that has not failed. This is not a full exoneration of the...

2d4c7055cdd724423ea94f02efeb6e681
2009-05-18 18:30:00

NASA's rover project team is using the Spirit rover and other spacecraft at Mars to begin developing the best maneuvers for extracting Spirit from the soft Martian ground where it has become embedded.A diagnostic test on May 16 provided favorable indications about Spirit's left middle wheel. The possibility of the wheel being jammed was one factor in the rover team's May 7 decision to temporarily suspend driving Spirit after that wheel stalled and other wheels had dug themselves about...

a6af8cbe4af34561d839a676f9c6e6ec1
2009-03-25 10:45:00

Researchers at the 40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in the Woodlands, Texas have been discussing the possibility that water may actually exist on Mars. It was previously assumed that water existed on the Red Planet only in the form of ice or vapor due to the low temperatures and atmospheric pressure. However, the recent discovery by NASA's Phoenix probe showing that perchlorate salts exist within the soil of Mars adds credence to the idea of liquid water on the planet. Some...


Word of the Day
barghest
  • A goblin in English folklore, often appearing in the shape of a large dog and believed to portend imminent death or misfortune.
  • A ghost, wraith, hobgoblin, elf, or spirit.
The origin of 'barghest' is not known, but it may be from perhaps burh-ghest, town-ghost, or German Berg-geist (mountain spirit) or Bär-geist (bear-spirit).
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