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Tag: Mars

Color-discerning capabilities help NASA rover climb, study Mars mountain ridge

Color-discerning capabilities help NASA rover climb, study Mars mountain ridge

Science
Nov. 1 (UPI) -- As NASA's Curiosity traverses a ridge on lower Mount Sharp, the Mars rover is putting its color-discerning capabilities to full use."We're in an area where this capability of Curiosity has a chance to shine," Abigail Fraeman, a scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a news release.Fraeman is leading Curiosity's investigation of Vera Rubin Ridge -- an investigation made possible by the rover's ability to sort light into thousands of wavelengths. To navigate the terrain and to identify minerals and other geologic targets, Curiosity sorts and filters light using both its Mastcam and Chemcam.A variety of scientific filters can be applied to the Mastcam's two eyes to identify whether or not certain wavelengths are being absorbed, instead o...
Mars Express' webcam helps ESA scientists study high-altitude clouds

Mars Express' webcam helps ESA scientists study high-altitude clouds

Science
Oct. 17 (UPI) -- A new survey of high-altitude clouds on Mars marks the first time researchers have used the webcam on the European Space Agency's Mars Express probe for scientific purposes.Until now, the webcam was mostly used for science outreach and education. But last year, ESA scientists upgraded the webcam with new software and began capturing images of the clouds and dust storms forming atop the Red Planet's edge -- the planet's "limb."The probe's other cameras are mostly designed to make high-resolution observations of small targets, but the webcam is ideal for wide-angle views of Mars' distant horizon."For this reason, limb observations in general are not so numerous, and this is why our images are so valuable in contributing to our understanding of atmospheric phenomena," Agustin...
Mars research subjects to emerge after 8 months of isolation

Mars research subjects to emerge after 8 months of isolation

Technology
After eight months of living in isolation on a remote Hawaii volcano, six NASA-backed research subjects will emerge from their Mars-like habitat on Sunday and return to civilization. Their first order of business after subsisting on mostly freeze-dried and canned food: Feast on fresh-picked pineapple, papaya, mango, locally grown vegetables and a fluffy, homemade egg strata cooked by their project's lead scientist. The crew of four men and two women were quarantined on a vast plain below the summit of the world's largest active volcano in January. All of their communications with the outside world were subjected to a 20-minute delay — the time it takes for signals to get from Mars to Earth. They are part of a study designed to better understand the psychological effects that a long-term m
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin rolls out the red carpet for Mars

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin rolls out the red carpet for Mars

Technology
Forty-eight years after he landed on the moon, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin rolled out a red carpet for the red planet at a star-studded gala at the Kennedy Space Center. Aldrin, 87, commemorated the upcoming anniversary of the 1969 mission to the moon under a historic Saturn V rocket Saturday and raised more than $ 190,000 for his nonprofit space education foundation, ShareSpace Foundation. Aldrin believes people will be able to land on Mars by 2040, a goal NASA shares. The space agency is developing the Space Launch System and the Orion spacecraft to send Americans to deep space. Apollo astronauts Walt Cunningham, Michael Collins and Harrison "Jack" Schmitt joined Aldrin, one of 12 people to walk on the moon, at the sold-out fundraiser. "I like to think of myself as an innovative fut...