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MAVEN Maneuvers into Orbit Tonight

MAVEN Maneuvers into Orbit Tonight

Last summer, I attended a new media professionals workshop at the Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) in Colorado to learn more about the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission which launched last November...

September 21, 2014 — Joanne Manaster

The Great Alien Debate: How Unlikely is Life?

This post is one in a series covering, and expanding on, topics in the book The Copernicus Complex (Scientific American/FSG).           The conversation usually goes like this: Do you think we’re alone in the universe?...

August 26, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf
Summer Shorts: A Record 25 Miles On Mars

Summer Shorts: A Record 25 Miles On Mars

It's summer in the northern hemisphere of a small, damp, planet orbiting a middle-aged star in a spiral galaxy of matter enjoying a brief heyday before colliding with another galaxy in some 4 billion orbits of the same small, damp, planet...

July 31, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

Space: A New Hope or an Old Dream?

The release of a long-awaited National Academy of Sciences report on the state and future of the US space program has triggered wide-reaching commentary on what it means to be space-faring...

June 5, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf
Rock-Eating Martian Microbes?

Rock-Eating Martian Microbes?

A recently published study of a 30-pound martian meteorite found in Antarctica suggests the presence of indigenous carbon-rich material, ancient water erosion, and a number of tiny structures that resemble the sort of features that we see rock-eating microbes leaving in basaltic glasses here on Earth...

February 28, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf
Mystery of Mars ‘Doughnut’ Rock Solved

Mystery of Mars ‘Doughnut’ Rock Solved

About a month ago an intriguing pair of images from NASA’s Opportunity rover on Mars showed a curious rock that had seemingly appeared our of nowhere during the course of 12 days.

February 18, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf
The Jumping Rocks of Mars

The Jumping Rocks of Mars

Now you don’t see it, now you do. Ten years into a mission that was originally going to only last a few months, NASA’s Opportunity rover continues to turn up surprises on Mars...

January 22, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf
Something’s Cooking on Mars

Something’s Cooking on Mars

What do you get when you cook buried martian mudstone in your oven? The answer appears to be the kind of gases you’d expect if you cooked organic material here on Earth.

December 20, 2013 — Caleb A. Scharf
5 Signs of Life on Mars – The Countdown, Episode 37

5 Signs of Life on Mars – The Countdown, Episode 37

Could Mars support life? In this episode of The Countdown, we run through five intriguing lines of evidence that the red planet was not always as desolate as it appears, and may even be habitable today...

December 12, 2013 — Joss Fong

4 Billion Years of Martian History in 2 Minutes

In honor of a slew of new results coming from NASA’s Curiosity rover, here’s a two-minute simulation of our current best-bet for how the martian environment has evolved over the past 4 billion years...

December 9, 2013 — Caleb A. Scharf
NASA’s MAVEN Mission, as told by LeVar Burton

NASA’s MAVEN Mission, as told by LeVar Burton

I am having quite the space-filled weekend! Today, we just had a hangout with astronaut Chris Hadfield and now I’m packing up to head to Cape Canaveral to watch an ATLAS V rocket send the next Mars Orbiter, MAVEN, to space!...

November 14, 2013 — Joanne Manaster
Live Chat at Noon Today on “Dreams of Other Worlds” and NASA’s Next Mars Mission

Live Chat at Noon Today on “Dreams of Other Worlds” and NASA’s Next Mars Mission

Robotic exploration of space is fascinating, complex and quite important to our understanding of the universe. To learn more about how scientists and engineers overcome challenges of robotic space exploration for successful data collection, join us for a live chat today (Tuesday, October 29) at noon EDT with Chris Impey, astronomer and author of Dreams of [...]..

October 29, 2013 — THE EDITORS

The Great Martian Storm of ’71

                          On November 14th 1971 NASA’s Mariner 9 became the first spacecraft to successfully orbit another planet...

October 21, 2013 — Caleb A. Scharf

Astrobiology Roundup

                      Lots of new scientific results in the past couple of weeks feed directly into the central questions of astrobiology – from the search for life, to the environment of interplanetary and interstellar space, and the grand cosmological terrain we find ourselves in...

September 25, 2013 — Caleb A. Scharf
Miniature Big Bang Created in Ultra-Cold Lab, and More – The Countdown, Episode 30

Miniature Big Bang Created in Ultra-Cold Lab, and More – The Countdown, Episode 30

More to explore: Earth life ‘may have come from Mars’ (BBC News) Maybe Mars Seeded Earth’s Life, Maybe It Didn’t (Scientific American Blog Network) China Plans Its First Unmanned Moon Landing This Year (New York Times) China to launch lunar probe for landing mission (Xinhua) NASA Data Reveals Mega-Canyon under Greenland Ice Sheet (NASA) Space [...]..

September 6, 2013 — Eric R. Olson
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