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Future Spacecraft Will Use A.I. When Exploring the Unknown

NASA JPL June 21, 2017 How do you get a robot to recognize a surprise? That’s a question artificial intelligence researchers are mulling, especially as A.I. begins to change space research. A new article in the journal Science: Robotics offers an overview of how A.I. has been used to make discoveries on space missions. The article, co-authored by Steve Chien ... Read More »

High-Silica “Halos” Indicate Mars Was Quite Wet in the Past

NASA JPL May 30, 2017 Pale “halos” around fractures in bedrock analyzed by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover contain copious silica, indicating that ancient Mars had liquid water for a long time. “The concentration of silica is very high at the centerlines of these halos,” said Jens Frydenvang, a rover-team scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, and the ... Read More »

New Theory Can Predict Global Dust Storms on Mars

NASA October 5, 2016 This graphic indicates a similarity between 2016 (dark blue line) and five past years in which Mars has experienced global dust storms (orange lines and band), compared to years with no global dust storm (blue-green lines and band). The horizontal scale is time-of-year on Mars. ______________________________________ Global dust storms on Mars could soon become more predictable ... Read More »

Mars Has Some Weird, Un-Earthlike Sand Dunes

NASA JPL June 30, 2016 Some of the wind-sculpted sand ripples on Mars are a type not seen on Earth, and their relationship to the thin Martian atmosphere today provides new clues about the atmosphere’s history. The determination that these mid-size ripples are a distinct type resulted from observations by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. Six months ago, Curiosity made the ... Read More »

Methane and Organic Chemicals Found on Mars

NASA December 16, 2014 NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the robotic laboratory’s drill. “This temporary increase in methane — sharply up and then back down — tells us there must be some relatively localized source,” ... Read More »

Martian Spacecraft Capture Comet Siding Spring’s Passage

CoconutScienceLab.com October 19, 2014     Read More »

Curiosity Rover Finds Large Iron Meteorite on Mars

NASA July 15, 2014 This rock encountered by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is an iron meteorite called “Lebanon,” similar in shape and luster to iron meteorites found on Mars by the previous generation of rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.  Lebanon is about 2 yards or 2 meters wide (left to right, from this angle). The smaller piece in the foreground is ... Read More »

Curiosity Enters Region of Martian Sandstone

NASA JPL March 24, 2014 Variations in the stuff that cements grains together in sandstone have shaped the landscape surrounding NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover and could be a study topic at the mission’s next science waypoint. On a journey with many months yet to go toward prime destinations on the lower slope of Mount Sharp, Curiosity is approaching a site ... Read More »

Curiosity Rover Crosses a Big Martian Sand Dune

February 11, 2014 The Curiosity Rover used its navigation camera to capture these images (see animation) of a traverse made on February 06, 2014, when the rover crossed a sand dune at the entrance to “Dingo Gap,” inside Gale Crater. On February 09, the rover traversed another 135 feet, making it all the way through the gap. image credits: NASA ... Read More »

Earth and Moon – Seen From Mars at Night

NASA JPL February 06, 2014 The rover’s view of its original home planet even includes our moon, just below Earth. The images, taken about 80 minutes after sunset during the rover’s 529th Martian day (Jan. 31, 2014) are available at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17936 for a broad scene of the evening sky, and at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17935 for a zoomed-in view of Earth and the ... Read More »

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