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there is boron on mars — another sign the red planet could have hosted life


nasa's mars rover curiosity has discovered boron in gale crater — new evidence that the red planet may have been able to support life on its surface in the ancient past.






there is boron on mars — another sign the red planet could have hosted life


nasa's mars rover curiosity has discovered boron in gale crater — new evidence that the red planet may have been able to support life on its surface in the ancient past. boron is a very interesting element to astrobiologists; on earth, it's thought to stabilize the sugary molecule ribose. ribose is a key component of ribonucleic acid (rna), a molecule that's present in all living cells and drives metabolic processes. but ribose is notoriously unstable, and to form rna, it is thought that boron is required to stabilize it. when dissolved in water, boron becomes borate, which, in turn, reacts with ribose, making rna possible. [boron found on mars for first time by curiosity (video)] in a new study published in the journal geophysical research letters, researchers analyzed data gathered by cu






mars facts: life, water and robots on the red planet


learn about planet mars’ atmosphere, water supply and the possibility to support life, plus, findings from the mars exploration rover mission.






wetter red planet? ancient mars may have had more water than thought


mars may have harbored even more liquid water on its surface in the ancient past than scientists had thought, a new study suggests.mars meteorites commonly contain a mineral called merrillite, which is regarded as an indicator of dry environments. but some of the merrillite in mars meteorites may actually have been converted from a "wet" mineral called whitlockite by the asteroid impacts that blasted the red planet rocks toward earth, the study indicated. "if even a part of merrillite had been whitlockite before, it changes the water budget of mars dramatically," study co-leader oliver tschauner, a professor in the department of geoscience at the university of nevada, las vegas, said in a statement.[photos: the search for water on mars] researchers are still trying to get a handle on that






a moon of mars may have once been rings (& might be again)


mars might once have had rings — and might regain them over and over again, according to new research. a new model suggests that mars' oddball moon phobos might once have been rings around the planet, caused by a large impact about 4.3 billion years ago, and that as it approaches the planet it will be torn into a ring again. mars' borealis basin, which covers two-fifths of the planet's surface, could be the impact site of the event that generated all that debris, researchers said in a statement. [phobos and deimos: the moons of mars in pictures] in the model, the debris from a large impact slowly spreads out away from mars, clumping up to form a moon over time. then, mars' gravity begins to pull the moon toward the planet until the gravitational force is too strong, and the moon is ripped






rise to mars! new anthem expresses hope for red planet exploration


if you're excited about the possibility of mars exploration, there's now a theme song just for you: the mars society has released a new anthem calling for humanity to explore the red planet.






life on mars? sadly, there's probably not even water on mars


a few years ago, the scientific community went bananas at data suggesting that there was water on mars. if there were water on mars, then colonizing the planet would be exponentially easier. sadly, however, that data has now been called into question. so despite the existence of ice and water vapor on mars, it looks like our progeny won’t be swimming in martian underwater lakes anytime soon. the good news, though, is that a (relatively) close exoplanet with liquid water.full story at youtube.more about space. posted by josh urich






nasa's next mars rover: a life-hunting curiosity 2.0


nasa's upcoming mars 2020 rover will be a souped-up version of the highly accomplished robot that touched down on the red planet in august 2012, agency officials said. engineers are reusing the designs for about 85 percent of the curiosity rover's hardware to save time and money on the new robot, but the remaining 15 percent includes a number of innovations, such as advanced navigation and imaging systems. in its five-plus years on mars, the car-size curiosity — also known as the mars science laboratory (msl) — has found extensive evidence that the red planet could have supported microbial life in the ancient past. but the 2020 rover (which is scheduled to launch in 2020, as its name suggests) will go a step further, searching for actual signs of past mars life. [nasa's mars 2020 rover in






here's what nasa's new red-planet car will look like


nasa has unveiled some cool new concept art for its next red planet robot, the mars 2020 rover, and it looks awesome. if the mars 2020 rover concept art, which nasa released yesterday (may 23), looks familiar, don't worry; you're not seeing things. the rover's basic design was influenced by nasa's nuclear-powered curiosity rover, which has been exploring mars since 2012. [nasa's mars 2020 rover in pictures]this artist's concept shows how nasa's mars 2020 rover will look as it explores the red planet.credit: nasa/jpl-caltech both rovers are about the size of a mini cooper. but the 2020 rover will have a completely new mission, nasa officials said. "the mission takes the next step by not only seeking signs of habitable conditions on mars in the ancient past, but also searching for signs of p






nasa tests life-detecting mars rover tech in brutal chilean desert


the atacama desert in chile offers an unparalleled approximation of the conditions on mars — which also makes it a good place to practice looking for life on the red planet.






if there was ever life on mars, gale crater could have hosted a variety of micro


scientists with nasa’s mars curiosity rover mission have found that gale crater had the right physical and chemical conditions for life for 700 million years — and for part of that history, held a lake that could have hosted a wide variety of microbial life.the findings, published last week in the journal science, document a long-lasting martian environment that had the potential to host a diverse array of living things.“it helps to broaden our understanding of what it meant to be a habitable environment on mars, 3 ½ billion years ago,” said lead author joel hurowitz, a geochemist at stony brook university.since landing in gale crater in 2012, curiosity has drilled, x-rayed and laser-blasted a variety of rocks in the quest to understand whether the red planet — a world that began much like






nasa mars probe completes 50,000th red planet orbit


nasa's sharp-eyed mars reconnaissance orbiter (mro) has now circled the red planet 50,000 times.






nasa proposes artificial magnetic field to make mars a second home


nasa mars has become a beacon of interest for astronomers, scientists, and even businesses which are all working to see if colony missions could ever succeed, but in itself, the planet is dry, dusty, and has an atmosphere roughly 100 thinner than earth's.the planet, in itself, may have once been suitable for life, but this is not the case now.mars' atmosphere is composed of roughly 95 percent carbon dioxide, 0.13 percent oxygen, and minor traces of water, nitrogen oxide, neon, hydrogen-deuterium-oxygen, krypton, and xenon. the planet is also far colder than earth due to the distance from the sun and is usually around 60 degrees celsius on the surface.while some scientists speculate that frozen water may exist under the surface as a resource for colonies, potential visitors would still have






nasa proposes artificial magnetic field to make mars a second home


nasa mars has become a beacon of interest for astronomers, scientists, and even businesses which are all working to see if colony missions could ever succeed, but in itself, the planet is dry, dusty, and has an atmosphere roughly 100 times thinner than earth's.the planet, in itself, may have once been suitable for life, but this is not the case now.mars' atmosphere is composed of roughly 95 percent carbon dioxide, 0.13 percent oxygen, and minor traces of water, nitrogen oxide, neon, hydrogen-deuterium-oxygen, krypton, and xenon. the planet is also far colder than earth due to the distance from the sun and is usually around minus 60 degrees celsius on the surface.while some scientists speculate that frozen water may exist under the surface as a resource for colonies, potential visitors woul






should nasa's next mars rover tread new ground?


the search for martian life may take nasa's next red planet rover to a site already explored by one of its smaller cousins. columbia hills/gusev crater, which nasa's now-dead spirit rover studied intensively from 2004 through 2009, is one of three finalist landing sites for the agency's next mars rover, a life-hunting machine scheduled to launch in 2020. spirit found evidence of an ancient hydrothermal system, meaning columbia hills/gusev once hosted liquid water and an energy source — two of the key ingredients necessary for life as we know it. [nasa's 2020 mars rover in pictures] "because nasa's stated objective for the 2020 rover is to seek signs of past microbial life, the fact that we can point to possible signs of microbial life among rocks in the columbia hills is a major reason to






mars' atmosphere: composition, climate & weather


mars' atmosphere is too thin to support life as we know it. and it's very dusty. the red planet has the largest dust storms in the solar system.






nasa proposes artificial magnetic field to make mars a second home


nasa mars has become a beacon of interest for astronomers, scientists, and even businesses which are all working to see if colony missions could ever succeed, but in itself, the planet is dry, dusty, and has an atmosphere roughly 100 times thinner than earth's.the planet, in itself, may have once been suitable for life, but this is not the case now.mars' atmosphere is composed of roughly 95 percent carbon dioxide, 0.13 percent oxygen, and minor traces of water, nitrogen oxide, neon, hydrogen-deuterium-oxygen, krypton, and xenon. the planet is also far colder than earth due to the distance from the sun and is usually around minus 60 degrees celsius on the surface.while some scientists speculate that frozen water may exist under the surface as a resource for colonies, potential visitors woul






if there was ever life on mars, gale crater could have hosted a variety of micro


scientists with nasa’s mars curiosity rover mission have found that gale crater had the right physical and chemical conditions for life for 700 million years — and for part of that history, held a lake that could have hosted a wide variety of microbial life.the findings, published last week in the journal science, document a long-lasting martian environment that had the potential to host a wide variety of living things.“it helps to broaden our understanding of what it meant to be a habitable environment on mars, 3 ½ billion years ago,” said lead author joel hurowitz, a geochemist at stony brook university.since landing in gale crater in 2012, curiosity has drilled, x-rayed and laser-blasted a variety of rocks in the quest to understand whether the red planet — a world that began much like






nasa's orbiter mission to mars — mission details


this artist's concept shows the maven spacecraft in orbit around the red planet, with a fanciful image of her home planet in the background.credit: nasa/goddard nasa's mars atmosphere and volatile evolution mission (maven for short) is designed to peer into the martian past in an attempt to piece together how the ancient red planet changed from a wet world into the dry desert scientists study today. the $671 million mission is investigating the upper atmosphere of the red planet, focusing on how the planet lost most of its atmosphere and liquid water.  after launch in mid-november 2013, the school bus-size spacecraft embarked upon an approximately 10-month journey to mars, arriving on sept. 21, 2014. spacecraft on and orbiting mars maven was selected in september 2008 among 20 mission inve






nasa is building a new mars car and this is what will look like


nasa has unveiled some cool new concept art for its next red planet robot, the mars 2020 rover, and it looks awesome. if the mars 2020 rover concept art, which nasa released yesterday (may 23), looks familiar, don't worry; you're not seeing things. the rover's basic design was influenced by nasa's nuclear-powered curiosity rover, which has been exploring mars since 2012. [nasa's mars 2020 rover in pictures]this artist's concept shows how nasa's mars 2020 rover will look as it explores the red planet.credit: nasa/jpl-caltech both rovers are about the size of a mini cooper. but the 2020 rover will have a completely new mission, nasa officials said. "the mission takes the next step by not only seeking signs of habitable conditions on mars in the ancient past, but also searching for signs of p






in 'life' mars sample-return film, 'be careful what you search for'


mars attacks … this time in a new movie called "life." to be released in the u.s. on march 24, the going-in theme as advertised for life is that an international space crew discovers life from mars . that's the good news.  but the delivery package of samples to their spacecraft from the red planet has an edgy side. as one poster for the movie notes: "be careful what you search for." this horror, sci-fi thriller features actors rebecca ferguson, jake gyllenhaal, and ryan reynolds. the film is directed by daniel espinosa known for 2012's "safe house," "child 44" (2015) and "easy money" (2010). at quick glance, the film appears part "andromeda strain" and "alien" – but the outcome is tbd. according to early details from sony pictures, life tells the story of the six-member crew of the interna






5 ways mars can kill


radiation exposure is among the top health risks for mars astronauts, but the red planet poses many other dangers as well. the most immediate threat to human health on mars is the low pressure of the planet's atmosphere, which is about 100 times thinner than earth’s. "if you are unprotected on mars … your blood would boil, even at ambient temperature," said planetary scientist pascal lee, who's based at nasa's ames research center and the seti (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) institute, both in california. [how living on mars could challenge colonists (infographic)]conditions make living on mars extremely challenging. see how living on the red planet would be hard in this space.com infographic.credit: by karl tate, infographics artist "all the gases that are dissolved in your blo






forget about terraforming mars. here's why.


if you want to terraform a planet, you can do so virtually in a new video game called "mass effect: andromeda." the main character voyages to planets that are uninhabitable to life as we know it for various reasons, including sulfuric water, immense cold, or a thin atmosphere. it's then your task as a player to fix up these planets, in part by using alien technology. could we terraform a planet for real, though? for decades, one of the top targets for terraforming was mars. it's relatively close to earth and we have reams of research showing that water flowed there in the ancient past. perhaps the red planet, if it was warm enough, could host life as we know it again — although there is the ethical problem of potentially wiping out evidence of past life, or viability for present life. nasa






rise to mars! new anthem expresses hope for red planet exploration


if you're excited about the possibility of mars exploration, there's now a theme song just for you: the mars society has released a new anthem calling for humanity to explore the red planet. the world premiere of the anthem, called "rise to mars," was recently played by the royal welsh repco sinfonia in cardiff, england, and is now available on youtube. "rise to mars! / men and women / dare to dream! dare to strive! / build a home for our children / make this desert come alive," the song goes. "there are challenges before our eyes / that nature never knew / but the power of human enterprise / shall take us through and through!" [take a 360-degree tour of a mars base simulator with nat geo, mars society] the anthem was released as several nations and organizations are working on plans to br






nasa is gearing up a new rover for a mission to find evidence of life on mars


nasa is already gearing up for its next mission to mars with a more tricked-out, updated version of the curiosity mars rover, the agency announced recently.new hardware for the mars 2020 mission includes seven new instruments, new wheels, a new drill to capture rock cores and a caching system with a miniature robotic arm to store the samples.the new gear is currently under development at nasa’s jet propulsion laboratory in pasadena, calif.other new features on the rover will include a new cruise stage to fly the rover out to mars and new descent-stage technology for landing — including something that jpl is calling a “sky crane” to lower the rover onto the planet’s surface.still, the rover looks roughly the same because it is roughly the same; around 85 percent of the hardware on the new r






space farm - mars colonization download


download download welcome to the rather unusual farm simulator in the outer space with space farm 3d - mars colonization space games. here mars planet aliens need your help in growing plants. you will see that their farm world is amazing. just play this one of the greatest outer space farming games. come to the outer space station near the mars planet. play greatest of space games. create the biggest farm on mars planet and grow alien plants there. remember: such plants need special care. find prolific lands for your farm worldchoose the place in the mars planet where you will build on your farm;visit special farm simulator buildingshangar, housing estate, warehouse, garage. visit all these places every day;grow aliens and earth plantsrun your farm town economy wisely and invest money in p






here's what a volcano on mars looked like to mariner 9 in 1971


mariner 9, which arrived at mars in november of 1971, was the first spacecraft to orbit a planet other than earth, and sent back more than 7,000 images the red planet.






lockheed fleshes out red planet space station plan


the woodlands, texas — in 2028, a space station could be circling mars, if a new concept comes to fruition. as a prelude to human expeditions to the planet's surface, researchers aboard the proposed orbiting lab would aim to answer key questions about the complex world. the six-person mars base camp is led by researchers at aerospace giant lockheed martin, who unveiled the concept last year and fleshed out more details of the project here at the 48th lunar and planetary science conference (lpsc), held march 21-25. the mars base camp is designed to vastly amplify the collection of imagery and scientific data from multiple sites on the planet over a full year of crewed occupation.  this work could help identify the best spots for humans to explore on the martian surface, lockheed martin repr






happy new year, mars!


nasa officials wished mars a happy new year on twitter friday (may 5), using the milestone as an opportunity to review exactly how the red planet's years work and how they differ from earth's. the space agency's jet propulsion laboratory (jpl) in pasadena, california, tweeted an image of a party-hat-wearing curiosity rover watching fireworks explode in the martian sky. an hour later, jpl tweeted a link to a new video explainer about the red planet year. mars is farther from the sun than earth is and therefore takes considerably longer to complete one orbit: a red planet year lasts about 687 earth days, compared to the 365-day year we're used to. scientists decided years ago, somewhat arbitrarily, that mars years begin on the spring equinox in the planet's northern hemisphere. and now sprin






happy new year, mars!


nasa officials wished mars a happy new year on twitter today (may 5), using the milestone as an opportunity to review exactly how the red planet's years work and how they differ from earth's. the space agency's jet propulsion laboratory (jpl) in pasadena, california, tweeted an image of a party-hat-wearing curiosity rover watching fireworks explode in the martian sky. an hour later, jpl tweeted a link to a new video explainer about the red planet year. mars is farther from the sun than earth is and therefore takes considerably longer to complete one orbit: a red planet year lasts about 687 earth days, compared to the 365-day year we're used to. scientists decided years ago, somewhat arbitrarily, that mars years begin on the spring equinox in the planet's northern hemisphere. and now spring






mars surface ‘more uninhabitable’ than thought: study


hopes of finding life on mars, at least on the surface, were dealt a blow thursday by a study revealing that salt minerals present on the red planet kill bacteria.in lab tests on earth, the compounds known as perchlorates killed cultures of the bacteria bacillus subtilis, a basic life form, a research duo from the university of edinburgh’s school of physics and astronomy reported.perchlorates, stable at room temperature, become active at high heat. mars is very cold.in the new study, jennifer wadsworth and charles cockell showed the compound can also be activated by uv light, without heat, in conditions mimicking those on the martian surface.it killed bacteria within minutes, said the team, implying the planet was “more uninhabitable than previously thought.”“if we want to find life on mar






mars has many faces, including some that look like earth (video)


mars and earth may seem like two completely different planets, but a closer look can reveal some familiar scenes. case in point, this nasa video from the prolific mars reconnaissance orbiter, which showcases some of the more earthlike views on the red planet captured by the long-lived spacecraft.  during its 11 years at mars, mro has spotted many martian features that look like they might be right at home on earth. they include dust storms and sand dunes, as well as dry lakebeds and more. you can check out some amazing mars photos by mro in our gallery here. nasa showcased those similarities in the short new video, appropriately entitled "the many faces of mars."nasa's mars reconnaissance orbiter has captured stunning images of the red planet, including some views that look very similar to






nasa's next mars rover: a life-hunting curiosity 2.0


nasa's upcoming mars 2020 rover will be a souped-up version of the highly accomplished robot that touched down on the red planet in august 2012, agency officials said.






water on mars: exploration & evidence


liquid water may still flow on mars, but that doesn't mean it's easy to spot. the search for water on the red planet has taken more than 15 years to turn up definitive signs that liquid flows on the surface today. in the past, however, rivers and oceans may have covered the land. where did all of the liquid water go? why? how much of it still remains? observations of the red planet indicate that rivers and oceans may have been prominent features in its early history. billions of years ago, mars was a warm and wet world that could have supported microbial life in some regions. but the planet is smaller than earth, with less gravity and a thinner atmosphere. over time, as liquid water evaporated, more and more of it escaped into space, allowing less to fall back to the surface of the planet.






send your name to mars aboard nasa's insight lander!


want to send your name to mars? nasa is offering another chance to do so. when the insight lander launches to the red planet next year, it will contain the names of members of the public, and you can submit your name for it to be included.  in 2015, the space agency invited people from around the world to add their names to a silicon chip that will be affixed to the insight mars lander. with nearly 827,000 individuals already signed up, nasa is now adding a second microchip, giving members of the public another chance to put their names on mars.  "mars continues to excite space enthusiasts of all ages," bruce banerdt, the insight mission's principal investigator, of nasa's jet propulsion laboratory in pasadena, california, said in a statement. "this opportunity lets them become a part of t






first manned mission to mars is a virtual one, and you can tag along


fusion media group revealed the "mars 2030" immersive vr experience, which takes you to the red planet to explore the martian landscape and experience using the equipment that future mars astronauts will rely on for their survival.






facts about the smaller martian moon


mars is the only terrestrial planet to host multiple moons. the smaller of the two, the lumpy moon deimos, bears more resemblance to an asteroid than to most of the moons in the solar system, a similarity that raises questions about its formation. discovery and nomenclature on august 12, 1877, the focused search for martian moons by american astronomer asaph hall resulted in the discovery of deimos. six days later, he identified the second martian moon, phobos. the existence of the moons had been suggested years before, when johannes kepler proposed that since earth hosted one moon and jupiter four (as only the galilean moons were known at the time), mars might have two moons in orbit around it. however, no signs of such moons existed until hall undertook his careful search. using a 26-inc






the first mars colony could be 3d printed from red planet dust


a new technique could allow the first humans on mars to 3d print everything from tools to temporary housing out of a tough rubber-like material — using only martian dust. the method could enable the first humans who set foot on the red planet to print the tools and housing they need to survive without having to lug all the supplies aboard their spaceship. "for places like other planets and moons, where resources are limited, people would need to use what is available on that planet in order to live," ramille shah, a materials scientist at northwestern university in illinois, said in a statement. "our 3d paints  really open up the ability to print different functional or structural objects to make habitats beyond earth."  [sending humans to mars: 8 steps to red planet colonization] any trip






in photos: 8 months on 'mars' with the hi-seas mission v crew


six "astronauts" spent eight months in the hi-seas mock mars habitat to simulate life on the red planet. see photos from their mock mars mission.






united arab emirates wants to build a city on mars


the united arab emirates has the red planet in its sights, not only moving forward on a mars orbiter but also establishing the first inhabitable human settlement on the planet by 2117.






real 3d images of mars make up this video of a simulated flight over the red pla


it took photographer and self-proclaimed space enthusiast jan fröjdman three months to produce a video turning nasa anaglyph images of mars into a simulated flight over the planet. nasa's high-resolution imagery offers depth information and comes from hirise, a camera on board the mars reconnaissance orbiter. fröjdman converted the still images into panning video clips using reference points – 33,000 of them – and color-graded the images. he describes it as an effort to visualize the planet in his own way, rather than as a strictly scientific endeavor. it's certainly a mesmerizing way to spend 4 minutes.






nasa's mars odyssey snaps its first images of moon phobos


after 16 years of orbiting the red planet, nasa's record-breaking mars odyssey spacecraft has captured its first photos of the martian moon phobos. mars odyssey launched in 2001 and is the oldest operational spacecraft at the red planet. since it arrived at mars, the spacecraft has only looked down at the martian surface and hasn't been pointing its cameras up at mars' moons. but on sept. 29, mars odyssey snapped its first-ever images of the potato-shaped moon phobos.  the spacecraft's thermal emission imaging system (themis) camera has helped researchers study the composition of mars by providing both visible-light and infrared images of the planet's surface. now that mars odyssey has shown that it is capable of imaging moons as well, the mission can begin to do the same types of observat






'unearthing mars' now available on psvr


winking entertainment’s psvr exclusive unearthing mars hit the north american and european markets. now you can explore the red planet from the comfort of your living room. unearthing mars takes you through 10 interactive stages that simulate various portions of a mars mission. you get to pilot spacecraft, which you must land safely on the martian surface. once you land safely, you can explore the red planet on foot or from inside a rover.winking entertainment said that unearthing mars includes approximately two hours of story-driven gameplay, which progresses from basic interactions to puzzle solving. the developer said that the second half of the game even includes a battle with alien beings. unearthing mars is available on the north american psn store for $14.99 ($13.49 for several more






how did mars lose so much of its atmosphere? maven has an answer


after circling the red planet for a whole martian year, nasa’s maven spacecraft has discovered the culprit behind much of mars’ missing air: a young, rambunctious sun.the findings, published in the journal science, point to solar wind and radiation as one of the main drivers behind atmospheric loss – and may help scientists better understand how a once-habitable planet became such an arid world today.billions of years ago, scientists think, the red planet may have looked a little more like a pale blue dot – with puffy clouds in a thick, earth-like atmosphere over rivers, lakes, and perhaps even seas of liquid water. depending on how long they lasted, those conditions were potentially ripe for life to form. but over the intervening eons, mars lost the thick atmosphere — particularly the wor






mars' raindrops may once have been bigger than earth's


billions of years ago, rain on mars was heavy enough to shape the planet's surface, carving channels into the red dirt and washing away parts of impact craters, new research suggests. some of the red planet raindrops falling in the ancient past were likely even bigger than the ones we're used to here on earth, according to the study. the study's authors — robert craddock of the smithsonian institution in washington, d.c., and ralph lorenz of the johns hopkins university applied physics laboratory in laurel, maryland — modeled the rainfall of ancient mars by taking into account how the planet's atmosphere has changed over the eons. [photos: the search for water on mars] just after mars formed about 4.5 billion years ago, it likely had a thick atmosphere with a pressure that was about four t






nasa proposes massive mars shield to enable human colony


mars seems to be humanity’s best bet for a colony outside earth, though the red planet is notoriously inhospitable due to a lack of atmosphere and a barren landscape. science, however, might be well on its way to a fix for that. researchers at nasa proposed creating a giant magnetic shield around the planet that would…






nasa's 1st mars rover landed 20 years ago today


mars exploration took a big leap 20 years ago today. on july 4, 1997, nasa's pathfinder mission touched down on the red planet, delivering an eponymous lander and a small rover called sojourner — the agency's first wheeled mars craft — to the surface. pathfinder was the first nasa mission to reach mars successfully since the twin viking 1 and viking 2 landers/orbiters in the mid-1970s, and its success helped pave the way for a robotic red planet invasion. in the two decades since, eight other nasa robots have reached mars, and five of them remain active today. [occupy mars: history of robotic red planet missions (infographic)] "pathfinder initiated two decades of continuous mars exploration, bringing us to the threshold of sample return and the possibility of humans on the first planet bey






today in space! july 4, 1997: mars pathfinder touched down on the red planet


find out what happened on july 4, 1997, when nasa's mars pathfinder mission landed on the red planet.






cradle for life? ancient mars likely had deep-sea hydrothermal vents


ancient mars may have harbored deep-sea hydrothermal vents, the same type of environment where many scientists think life on earth got its start, a recent study suggests.  observations by nasa's mars reconnaissance orbiter (mro) show evidence of ancient sea-floor hydrothermal deposits within the eridania basin — a region in the southern hemisphere where some of the red planet's most ancient crust is exposed.  the deposits are believed to have formed due to volcanic activity in the planet's crust at the bottom of the basin. study team members therefore think that hot, mineral-laden water pumped directly into the ancient martian sea, which probably held 10 times more water than all of north america's great lakes combined, nasa officials said. [the search for life on mars (a photo timeline)]






an ancient lake on mars could have supported a variety of microbial life


scientists with nasa’s mars curiosity rover mission have found that gale crater had the right physical and chemical conditions for life for 700 million years — and for part of that history, held a lake that could have hosted a wide variety of microbial life.the findings, published last week in the journal science, document a long-lasting martian environment that had the potential to host a diverse array of living things.“it helps to broaden our understanding of what it meant to be a habitable environment on mars, 3 ½ billion years ago,” said lead author joel hurowitz, a geochemist at stony brook university.since landing in gale crater in 2012, curiosity has drilled, x-rayed and laser-blasted a variety of rocks in the quest to understand whether the red planet — a world that began much like