NASA parks Mars Opportunity Rover for the winter

There’s no bigger drag on a busy Monday morning than finding your car under a heap of snow in the driveway. Taking measures and parking it under some kind shelter, if possible, would be advised if you don’t plan on driving an ice truck. Take NASA for instance, which, like every year, has routed the precious Opportunity Rover, currently the

Russia gives up on Phobos failed mission, scientist apologizes

After what can only be described has a frustrating, sleepless month for the Russian scientists involved in the Phobos grunt mission, which failed just after it escaped Earth’s atmosphere and became stranded into low-orbit, officials have announced that they have finally lost all hope and have abandoned any future efforts of re-salvaging the probe. Russia’s Phobos- Grunt did indeed manage to

NASA’s Curiosity Rover might contaminate Martian samples

Every NASA spacecraft sent to missions on other space bodies, like other planets, asteroids or moons, needs to adhere to a strict internal protoocl which needs to ensure that no biological contamination is brought in from Earth. This is a vital preparatory step before the launch of a spacecraft, especially if the later in cause is sent for a life

Worms show that Mars colonization is possible

There are numerous challenges that come with outer Earth colonization of distant planets like Mars, or our neighboring moon, and one of the major issues scientists have addressed is reproduction. Part of a  recently published study, scientists have tracked the development of worm cultures in space in an experiment designed to study how micro-gravity and radiation has affected them. Back in 2006, researchers blasted

Watch the Mars rover launch LIVE this Saturday [video stream]

On November 26, after countless delays, budget overruns and buckets of sweat, humankind’s most capable machine of landing on and traveling through the red planet will finally touch base and launch towards its ambitious destination. The Curiosity rover‘s lift off is currently scheduled for 10:02 a.m. EST, this Saturday. Also known as the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), the Curiosity rover will

Russia’s Phobos probe is alive! Contact established with the failed Russian craft

Two weeks ago, panic engulfed the Russian space agency after one of its dearest project, the  $170 million Phobos-Grunt mission, which was set to land on Mars’ moon Phobos, collect samples and then return to moon, got stranded in orbit, completely blocked off from any kind of communication. Valiant efforts were made to restore the craft, but in vain. However, just

NASA Curiosity Mars Rover will pave the way for the search for life

After a two year delay, almost a decade of planning, and several budget overruns, NASA’s proudest rover, Curiosity, is finally good to go. The car sized vehicle is twice as big and holds twice as much instruments as its predecessors, including a drill that will allow it to bore deep into the red planet’s rocks. Curiosity, the center of NASA’s

The past and future of space exploration at the ‘Beyond Planet Earth’ exhibit

This year, mankind celebrated 50 years of space exploration since Yuri Gagarin‘s pioneering flight around Earth’s orbit, however the American Museum of Natural History  is more concerned to set its eyes towards future, once with the opening of its new “Beyond Planet Earth” exhibit, which features tomorrow’s space age wonders, as well as relics from the old space programs. Colonies on

Russia struggles to fix Grunt Phobos mission

The drama continues for the Russian Grunt mission, which had the purpose of going to Phobos and extracting samples. The mission was supposed to launch, go to Mars, orbit it for a few months, then land on Phobos, extract samples of soil and rocks, then lift back up and return to Earth. However, the mission, as well as the Russian

The Mars curse strikes again: Russian Phobos mission gets stuck on Earth’s orbit

Just yesterday I was telling you about an extremely ambitious and admirable mission planned by the Russian, which has the purpose of extracting samples from Phobos, a moon of Mars. However, the mission seems to face some serious problems right after launch. According to Russian officials, the probe is currently stuck in orbit and engineers have three days to solve

Private SpaceX Dragon Capsule could go drill for ice on Mars

The privately built SpaceX shuttle is only a few weeks away from its first space flight towards the International Space Station, but NASA already has big dreams for the Dragon; in a presentation held last week, SpaceX and space agency officials discussed sending Dragon to Mars in a revolutionary mission astronomers have called the ‘Red Dragon’. The mission would be

Russia believes Phobos mission will bring them in back in the spatial spotlight

In these past few decades, the US space program seemed to have significantly overcome the Russian one, with all sort of missions and studies, but more recently, the balance seems to have turned once again, as NASA is undergoing numerous problems, while the Russians are planning an ambitious mission which is aimed at the Mars moon Phobos. This will be

Astronauts set to return home after 520 days Mars mock-up mission

Almost one year and a half ago six volunteers embarked on a fictive mission to Mars, designed to simulate the harsh conditions of interplanetary travel and isolation from the rest of the world. Today, November 4th, the team composed of volunteers from Europe, Russia and China is set to end their mission, hypothetically land back on earth and exit the

We’ve been looking for life on Mars in all the wrong places – NASA says

There is still a good chance we might find life on Mars, but if we really want to do this, we’re going to have to dig a little deeper – literally. A new study conducted by NASA claims that if there ever was any life on the red planet, then it probably thrived below the planet’s surface – in the

Beam me up Scotty – NASA researches tractor beam technology

Trekkies might rejoice at the news that NASA has recently decided to fund a research group employed to study how tractor beam technology might become applicable in space exploration missions. The agency has awarded a $100,000 initial grant to a team of reserachers who will study  three experimental techniques involving capturing small-particle samples with lasers. “Though a mainstay in science

Take a three year trip on Mars alongside the Opportunity Rover

A virtual trek, that is. NASA has just released a stunning video comprised of 309 photos the agency’s Opportunity Rover took during it’s three year journey from the crater Victoria to the crater Endeavor. Although the spanned distance is only 13 miles, the whole trip lasted a whooping three years. Granted, a relatively animated view of Mars’ surface is an

Sunset on Mars [AMAZING PHOTO]

A while ago I posted a piece on NASA‘s Spirit Rover last transmitted photo from Mars, before it ultimately died off completely after more than seven valiant years of service, time in which incredible volumes of photographs and other important metrics from the surface of the red planet have been fed. Like I said, a lot of photos from Mars

Nuclear fission power plants – a viable power source for outposts on the Moon or Mars

As space agencies around the world, predominantly NASA, are considering building outposts outside Earth for the most likely far distant future, various difficulties need to be cared for. One of the most bugging and precarious one is the matter of energy generation. Without energy, you don’t have electricity to power labs, green houses, you can’t have oxygen – there’s no

Oldest fossil in the world found, scientists claim

The oldest, up to now, fossil has been found recently by a team of Australian and UK geologists, who claim that they’ve managed to discover micro-organism remnants as old as 3.5 billion years. These tiny living cells were actually sulfur feeding bacteria, which didn’t need any kind of oxygen to survive. The fossils were found in sandstone at the base

SpaceX founder wants man to become a multi-planetary species

More than just a SciFi dream, Paypal founder and billionaire Elon Musk wants to make “man on Mars” a reality. Speaking at a recent spaceflight propulsion conference held by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics on Tuesday, Musk unveiled during his keynote how his company, SpaceX, plans on sending humanity to Mars in coming decades. “Ultimately, the thing that is