Organic molecules are considered one of the basic building blocks of life. The compounds discovered on Mars could have been produced by living things, or they could have been food for those living things. This doesn’t constitute proof that life existed on Mars, though. Other processes that have nothing to do with living organisms can create organic compounds as well. Still, this discovery is very encouraging in the context of what we know about Mars in the distant past.
A robotic geologist armed with a hammer and quake monitor rocketed toward Mars on Saturday, aiming to land on the red planet and explore its mysterious insides. InSight will dig deeper into Mars than ever before -- nearly 16 feet, or 5 meters -- to take the planet's temperature. It will also attempt to make the first measurements of marsquakes, using a high-tech seismometer placed directly on the Martian surface.
The long-awaited Falcon Heavy rocket roared to life on Wednesday at 12:30 pm Eastern, as SpaceX fired up the 27 Merlin engines that power the triple-booster rocket at Kennedy Space Center. Perched atop what CEO Elon Musk claims will be the most powerful lift vehicle in the world is the billionaire’s Tesla Roadster, which will launch toward a Mars elliptical orbit on the Falcon Heavy’s upcoming maiden flight.
President Trump in a White House ceremony on Monday signed a new directive aimed at sending U.S. astronauts back to the moon -- one that, while short on details, the administration insisted will restore the U.S. to its role as a leader in space exploration and help spur job growth.
Earlier this month, NASA said it was prepared to shift its focus away from Mars, and toward the Moon, whenever the current administration gave the “go” for logistical launch. Now the organization will have to put their plans into motion, because the present administration just announced a renewed effort to get back to the Moon, and beyond.
A commercial effort to get humans into orbit around Mars in the late 2020s now includes a sleek vehicle to send astronauts down to the surface of the Red Planet. The aerospace company Lockheed Martin late Thursday (Sept. 28) revealed new details for its Mars Base Camp plan, an architecture aimed at building a crewed space station in orbit around the Red Planet that would support long-term exploration at Mars by astronauts on 1,000-day missions.
2016 marked record-breaking progress in NASA’s exploration objectives. The agency advanced the capabilities needed to travel farther into the solar system while increasing observations of our home and the universe, learning more about how to continuously live and work in space and, of course, inspiring the next generation of leaders to take up our Journey to Mars and make their own discoveries.
NASA is developing the RASSOR mining robot to collect soil, or regolith, on the moon or Mars so it can be processed into rocket fuel, breathable air and other commodities. By using materials available at other locations in the solar system, astronauts don't have to carry it all from Earth.
Elon Musk gave the biggest talk of his life in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he detailed his plans to set up a self-sustaining colony of 1 million people on Mars. He knows the rockets and spaceships he wants to build, but many questions still need to be answered if he wants to pull off such an ambitious feat.
The planet Mercury’s transit of the sun on May 9 provided an opportunity for sky-watchers throughout the U.S. to witness a rare celestial event that happens only about 13 times a century.