A Look at How Mini Helicopters Could Help NASA's Future Rovers

Driving on the surface of Mars pretty much sucks. Even though the Opportunity rover celebrated its 11th anniversary on the Martian surface today, that robust little craft has also ran into tricky sand dunes and other perplexing surface anomalies. It sure would be nice if some aerial reconnaissance could identified… » 1/26/15 1:01am Monday 1:01am

Kim Stanley Robinson Wanted To Go Hiking On Mars, So He Wrote Red Mars

Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy is one of the most important books about terraforming (and interplanetary colonization) of the past 20 years. And Robinson spent 10 years working on it, learning a lot about the subject as he went. But it all started becuase he fantasized about going backpacking on Mars. » 1/08/15 4:30pm 1/08/15 4:30pm

A Methane Spike Indicates Active Processes On Mars

The more we learn about Mars, the more we learn it's a deceptively active planet. Most recently, the Curiosity rover sniffed out a sharp spike in methane levels that dropped back down just as quickly, suggesting some yet-to-be-determined process is currently happening to trigger the aberration. » 12/17/14 1:01am 12/17/14 1:01am

Martian Science Team Recruits Imperial Guard To Protect HiRISE Computers

The science performed by HiRISE, the telescopic camera on the Mars Reconnoissance Orbiter, is so important the research team recruited members of the Imperial Guard to stand sentry over their processing computers. Here's a sample of incredible images produced by this well-protected instrument: » 11/19/14 2:22pm 11/19/14 2:22pm

Curiosity Has Stumbled Upon A Unique Mineral Patch

NASA's Curiosity Rover has spent the better part of a year scooting from a low lying area called Yellowknife Bay to the base of Mount Sharp. As a recent chemical analysis performed by the robotic explorer shows, this region is distinctly different from that found within Gale Crater — which is exactly what NASA… » 11/05/14 12:40pm 11/05/14 12:40pm