January 5, 2013 |
LOS ANGELES - Scientists are abuzz about a coal-colored rock from Mars that landed in the Sahara desert: A yearlong analysis revealed it's quite different from other Martian meteorites. Not only is it older than most, it also contains more water, tests showed. The baseball-size meteorite, estimated to be two billion years old, is strikingly similar to the volcanic rocks examined on the Martian surface by the NASA rovers Spirit and Opportunity, which found water-bearing minerals. "Here we have a piece of Mars that I can hold in my hands.
August 3, 2012 |
By Chris Gibbons One of the greatest pay-per-view events in history — expensive to produce but very affordable for viewers — will begin its broadcast around the globe on Monday. It's not WrestleMania or the long-awaited Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. showdown, and it's not taking place in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, or the Superdome. As a matter of fact, it will unfold more than 150 million miles from Earth. NASA's car-sized Curiosity rover will begin its perilous plunge through the atmosphere of Mars early Monday morning, and modern technology will enable millions around the world to anxiously follow the descent and subsequent explorations of the Red Planet's surface.
November 23, 2011 |
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - As big as a car and as well-equipped as a laboratory, NASA's newest Mars rover blows away its predecessors in size and skill. Nicknamed Curiosity and scheduled for launch Saturday, the rover has a 7-foot arm tipped with a jackhammer and a laser to break through the Martian red rock. What really makes it stand out: It can analyze rocks and soil with unprecedented accuracy. "This is a Mars scientist's dream machine," said NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Ashwin Vasavada, the deputy project scientist.
June 9, 2011 |
LOS ANGELES - NASA's next-generation rover to the surface of Mars, already over budget and behind schedule, may need more money to meet its November launch date, auditors have found. The grim news was outlined in a report released Wednesday by NASA's inspector general. Though project managers have solved most of the problems that caused the mission to be delayed by two years, auditors found significant hurdles remained before liftoff. The mobile Mars Science Laboratory is intended to be the most sophisticated rover sent to the Martian surface.
January 9, 2004 |
This has been a week of excited expectancy for Stan Mertzman, a professor at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster. He has been getting daily updates on his daughter, who is to give birth any hour. But Mertzman was focused on another arrival as well - that of the NASA space rover Spirit, which landed on Mars Saturday. Mertzman has a personal attachment to Spirit, and to the rover Opportunity, scheduled to land on the other side of Mars in a few weeks. He helped calibrate spectrometers on the two craft - devices that determine the mineral makeup of rocks.
January 2, 2004 |
With mountains that rise to three times the height of Everest and Grand Canyonlike gorges long enough to connect Philadelphia to Los Angeles, Mars and its dramatic landscape inspire a certain awe. For as long as they have spied Mars through a telescope, scientists have been drawn to the story behind the red planet, which Carl Sagan described as a billion years past its prime. In its youth did rivers carve these gorges? Did lakes fill the craters? Did life take hold? And so despite a string of costly failures, earthlings keep hurling new spacecraft toward the more hospitable of our two neighboring planets in the solar system.
August 26, 2003
In the next couple of weeks, do a simple, invigorating thing for yourself and your species. Go outside at night and look up and see Mars. Really see it. There will never be a better time. Mars is now closer to Earth than it has been in 60,000 years. Recorded history is only 6,000 years old. So in a way, what is happening right now is something that has never happened in human memory. You can really see Mars right now. It looks great: beacon-bright, basketball-red. As of tomorrow, it will be "full Mars," the rosy, round face of the planet nice and close.
June 15, 1998 |
Keith Morgan says he believes that there is - or at least was - life on Mars, but he won't tell you about flying saucers, alien abductions, or strange men clothed all in black. "I try to look at this from a scientific standpoint," said Morgan, of Washington, D.C., after finishing a presentation that covered artificial structures on Mars, circumscribed tetrahedral geometry, and crop circles. Morgan, a television technician for ABC News who is urging NASA to take more and better pictures of the Martian surface, was one of about 50 people who spent yesterday in the Fort Washington Holiday Inn sorting through the myths and data that are part of the marketplace of ideas for UFO enthusiasts.
November 8, 1996 |
NASA kicked off an intensive search for evidence of life on other worlds yesterday, launching the first of 13 Earth-to-Mars spaceships scheduled for the next 10 years. After a day's delay because of high winds, the Mars Global Surveyor blasted off from Florida's Kennedy Space Center at 50 seconds after noon, lugging six scientific instruments to explore the Martian environment. "It's the beginning of a long sequence of missions . . . whose goal must be to determine whether or not life was ever on Mars or even perhaps exists now," said Wesley Huntress Jr., chief of space science for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
March 21, 1996 |
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Smart robots that know how to get around can do more than entertain their creators. They can go to war - or even to Mars. Ursula, a crablike robot crammed with plastic explosives, crawls toward a beach in advance of a landing force, searching for mines hidden in shallow water. When it finds one, Ursula squats beside it and blows it up. Ursula and Ariel, its bigger, stronger successor, were designed for the Defense Department by Rodney Brooks, a robotics expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.