It's Been a Full Decade Since We Landed the Spirit Rover on Mars

On January 4, 2004, the first of two identical robotic exploratory rovers, NASA's Spirit, snapped this stunning 360 degree image of its surroundings, moments after setting down on Mars. In the years to follow, both Spirit and its sister Opportunity helped revolutionize our understanding of the Red Planet. » 1/04/14 1:28pm 1/04/14 1:28pm

This Is What Happens When You Drive Through Three Miles Of Mars

NASA's Curiosity rover has been on Mars for over a year now, and in the time has traversed nearly three miles. While its wheels are made of high-grade aluminum, they're not strong enough to last forever. NASA announced this week it was taking an extra-long look at the wheels, and boy are they in rough shape. » 12/22/13 11:18am 12/22/13 11:18am

10 Years Ago, Opportunity Rover Began a 90-Day Mission That Never Ended

When NASA's Opportunity rover launched on July 7th, 2003, expectations were modest. It would spend 90 Martian days exploring soil and rock samples and taking panoramas of the Red Planet; anything else would be a bonus. Nearly ten years after its initial shift was up, Opportunity is still going strong. » 7/07/13 2:22pm 7/07/13 2:22pm

Lego Will Make a Mars Curiosity Rover Set

Rejoice fellow space and brick nutters, because Lego is going to release an official Mars Curiosity set! The original model was designed by Stephen Pakbaz, an actual NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's mechanical engineer who worked in the mission. Pakbaz entered his creation in Lego Cuusoo, a web site that allows fans to … » 6/15/13 10:53pm 6/15/13 10:53pm

Cosmonewts Come Home After Russians Send Animals To Space

45 mice, 15 newts, eight gerbils and a handful of snails returned to Earth today after a month in space in a Russian capsule. The Bion-M completed a parachute-assisted landing about 750 miles southeast of Moscow, and researchers immediately set up a mobile lab near the capsule to begin tests on the animals. » 5/19/13 11:49am 5/19/13 11:49am

20,000 people have already applied for the one-way mission to Mars

In the first three days of accepting applications, the Mars One project has received a whopping 20,000 applications, with more than 600 coming from China alone. The project plans to send a select group of colonists to the Red Planet for permanent settlement — with permanent being the key word. » 4/29/13 11:26am 4/29/13 11:26am

The Other Firsts No One's Talking About For The Proposed 2018 Mars…

Remember Dennis Tito? He's the millionaire who became the first space tourist back in 2001, who bought himself a ticket on a Soyuz heading to the International Space Station. Now he's got some big new space plans: he wants to send two people on a Mars flyby mission in 2018. If he can pull it off, there's lots of… » 3/01/13 4:10pm 3/01/13 4:10pm

How To Build A Car On Mars

I'm pretty sure we're going to have a Mars colony one day. In fact, my retirement plans kind of hinge on it. I'm not so deluded that I think I'll be able to ship my beloved Beetle and Scimitar over with me, so I'm going to have to pick up a new car when I get to Mars. » 8/16/12 2:00pm 8/16/12 2:00pm

These NASA Video Games Are Pretty Damn Good

If there was the fun, cool uncle of government agencies, NASA would have to be it. Not only does he have an amazing job (landing robots on Mars), but Uncle Nasa also gives us cool gifts. Not like stupid Uncle Department of Agriculture, who's always trying to pawn off corn husk dolls and garden trowels. Uncle Nasa gives … » 8/07/12 2:45pm 8/07/12 2:45pm

Why It's Great We Send Robots To Mars And Why People Should Follow

While I was live-blogging the spectacular landing of Curiosity on Mars last night, I knew in the back of my head at some point there would be a particular comment posted. It's a comment that gets posted any time there's an article about space exploration anywhere. It may be trolling, but it's consistent and common… » 8/06/12 3:30pm 8/06/12 3:30pm

Live From NASA: Blogging The Curiosity Mars Rover Landing

We're hours away from humanity's most advanced robot explorer ever landing on another planet. Curiosity, the car-sized, six-wheeled mobile laboratory, will very soon slam into the Martian atmosphere, then be placed on the surface of the planet in a way never before tried. This rover has the potential to change… » 8/05/12 8:23pm 8/05/12 8:23pm