Latest Spirit rover Stories

2011-04-04 11:56:23

NASA engineers are finishing up the Curiosity rover that is scheduled to launch in Florida later this year. A small army of technicians dressed in protective bunny suits have worked around the clock inside a clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Los Angeles assembling the craft and testing its science instruments. The rover was supposed to launch in 2009, but problems during construction forced a two-year delay. Engineers have been busy testing the spacecraft's various systems...

2011-03-23 13:45:00

Planetary scientists claim that all life on Earth could be descended from organisms that originated on Mars which were carried over by meteorites. MIT research scientist Christopher Carr and post doctoral associate Clarissa Lui, along with other colleagues, based their study on several facts that have been well established. Scientists believe that in the early days of the solar system, climates on Mars and Earth were more similar than they are now.  They also say that about one billion...

2011-03-21 08:20:00

Hopes for reviving NASA's Spirit Mars rover dimmed further with passage of the point at which the rover's locale received its maximum sunshine for the Martian year. The rover team has tried to contact Spirit for months with strategies based on the possibility that increasing energy availability might wake the rover from hibernation. The team has now switched to communication strategies designed to address more than one problem on the rover. If no signal is heard from Spirit in the next month...

2011-03-10 06:55:00

NASA's versatile Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which began orbiting Mars five years ago today, March 10, has radically expanded our knowledge of the Red Planet and is now working overtime. The mission has provided copious information about ancient environments, ice-age-scale climate cycles and present-day changes on Mars. The orbiter observes Mars' surface, subsurface and atmosphere in unprecedented detail. The spacecraft's large solar panels and dish antenna have enabled it to transmit more...

2011-03-09 12:05:00

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has nearly completed its three-month examination of a crater informally named "Santa Maria," but before the rover resumes its overland trek, an orbiting camera has provided a color image of Opportunity beside Santa Maria. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter acquired the image on March 1, while Opportunity was extending its robotic arm to take close-up photos of a rock called "Ruiz...

2011-03-08 14:13:35

Rocks on Mars dug from far underground by crater-blasting impacts are providing glimpses of one possible way Mars' atmosphere has become much less dense than it used to be. At several places where cratering has exposed material from depths of about 5 kilometers (3 miles) or more beneath the surface, observations by a mineral-mapping instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter indicate carbonate minerals. These are not the first detections of carbonates on Mars. However, compared to...

2011-02-21 09:49:32

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, will carry a next generation, onboard "chemical element reader" to measure the chemical ingredients in Martian rocks and soil. The instrument is one of 10 that will help the rover in its upcoming mission to determine the past and present habitability of a specific area on the Red Planet. Launch is scheduled between Nov. 25 and Dec. 18, 2011, with landing in August 2012. The Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) instrument, designed by...

2011-02-02 06:10:00

NASA's next-generation Mars rover is now expected to command a price tag of $2.5 billion. NASA, which has delayed the launch of its next-generation Mars rover by more than two years, said it has burned through its reserves for the project and needs an extra $82 million to complete testing before launch. It's the latest cost setback to plague the Mars Science Laboratory -- a nuclear-powered rover the size of a small SUV which will be used to study whether the planet had or still does have...

2011-01-21 06:25:00

The team operating NASA's Mars rover Opportunity will temporarily suspend commanding for 16 days after the rover's seventh anniversary next week, but the rover will stay busy. For the fourth time since Opportunity landed on Mars on Jan. 25, 2004, Universal Time (Jan. 24, Pacific Time), the planets' orbits will put Mars almost directly behind the sun from Earth's perspective. During the days surrounding such an alignment, called a solar conjunction, the sun can disrupt radio transmissions...

2011-01-05 08:47:57

Nine months after last hearing from the Mars rover Spirit, NASA is stepping up efforts to regain communications with the rover before spring ends on southern Mars in mid-March. Spirit landed on Mars Jan. 4, 2004 (Universal Time; Jan. 3, Pacific Time) for a mission designed to last for three months. After accomplishing its prime-mission goals, Spirit worked for more than five years in bonus-time extended missions. "The amount of solar energy available for Spirit is still increasing every day...

Latest Spirit rover Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:40

Mars' Moon Deimos -- outermost of two small moons orbiting the planet Mars. Deimos orbits Mars at a distance of about 23,500 km (about 14,100 mi), completing an orbit once every 1.26 Earth days. The moon's orbit is almost circular and is only slightly tilted relative to the Martian equator. Deimos is irregular in shape, measuring about 15 km (about 9 mi) along its longest side and about 11 km (about 6.6 mi) along its shortest side. It is the smallest known moon in the solar system. If...

2004-10-19 04:45:40

Mars' Moon Phobos -- in astronomy, innermost moon, or natural satellite, of Mars. Phobos orbits Mars at a distance of only 9,378 km (5,627 mi), closer to its planet than any other moon in the solar system. In fact, it is so close that the force of Mars's gravity is stronger than the force keeping the moon in its orbit, so the radius of Phobos's orbit is decreasing at the rate of about 1.8 m (about 6 ft) per century. In 40 million years, Phobos will either break apart into a ring...

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Word of the Day
  • A Roman unit of weight, 1⁄1728 of a pound.
  • A weight of four grains used in weighing gold and precious stones; a carat.
  • In anatomy, a formation suggesting a husk or pod.
  • The lowest unit in the Roman coinage, the twenty-fourth part of a solidus.
  • A coin of base silver of the Gothic and Lombard kings of Italy.
'Siliqua' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a pod.'