The China National Space Administration (CNSA) has just released amazing new images of Mars captured by their Tianwen-1 orbiter, which has been in orbit for approximately 526-days at a distance of about 350 million kilometers above Earth. Due to its distance from us, it required 19.5-minutes to transmit the images. The lander carried the rover with an expected life span of at least 90 Martian days and touched down in the southern part of Utopia Planitia on Mars, around 134-days-ago. Read more for a video and additional information.
It’s official, the ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter has discovered hidden water deposits at Mars’ Grand Canyon, Valles Marineris. It was found by the orbiter’s FREND instrument, which is mapping the hydrogen in the uppermost metre of Mars’ soil. This water-rich section is roughly the size of the Netherlands and overlaps with the deep valleys of Candor Chaos. Read more for a video and additional information.
It’s not everyday that you get to see the ExoMars Rover at work, much less escaping a sand trap in the Earth-based Mars Terrain Simulator. However, that’s exactly what the European Space Agency was able to witness recently. All didn’t go smoothly though, as the rover initially has its front two wheels almost completely buried in sand, but then managed to break free using its unique wheel-walking mode. Read more for a video and a bonus.
NASA’s Curiosity rover captured am amazing image perched on the side of Mars’ Mount Sharp. The rover is capable of capturing a 360° view of its environment with its black-and-white navigation cameras each time it completes a drive. However, the rover typically keeps the images in a compressed, low-quality format, to make it easier to transmit back to Earth. This scene was just too incredible not to capture it in the highest quality that the navigation cameras are capable of. Read more for a video and additional information.
NASA’s Perseverance rover has just uploaded some amazing footage of Ingenuity Mars Helicopter’s 13th flight, providing the most detailed look yet of the rotorcraft in action. This 160.5-second flight was one of the most complex since it involved flying into varied terrain within the “Séítah” geological feature and taking images of an outcrop from multiple angles. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Boriska Kipriyanovich from Volgograd, Russia, a so-called “Indigo Child”, claims to have lived on Mars in a past life before being reborn here on Earth to save it from nuclear apocalypse. If his story is to be believed, Martians were allegedly wiped out by a nuclear conflict thousands of years ago, and he warns that Earth is headed in the same direction and will share the same fate as “his people”. Read more for a video about the boy and additional information.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX is aiming to launch its first orbital Starship spaceflight by early 2022 and a new “Gateway to Mars” video shows the spacecraft, along with the Super Heavy booster, almost ready to go. Unlike the other Starship test flights, this one will be fueled by a 230-foot tall booster, with the bottom housing up to 33 sea-level optimized Raptor engines that produce 72 MN (16,000,000 lbf) of thrust during liftoff. Read more for the video and additional information.
NASA’s Perseverance rover is equipped with two microphones and so far, the mission has recorded around five hours of Martian wind gusts, rover wheels traveling over gravel, and motors whirring as the spacecraft works its robotic arm. Perseverance is also the first spacecraft to record the sounds of Mars using dedicated microphones, with the first one located on the side of the rover’s chassis, while the second mic sits on its mast. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Photo credit: OeWF | FIorian Voggeneder
Six analog astronauts will spend three weeks in isolation simulating life on Mars in the Israeli desert to conduct research and better understand the mental as well as physical health of being on the Red Planet. Operated by the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF), all participants will be wearing a 99-pound prototype pressurized space suit that will impede the astronauts’ movements in an aim to seek out weak points that can be improved upon. Read more for a video and additional information.
NASA’s Perseverance rover has spent over 217-days in the Jezero Crater surveying its dusty rocks using seven powerful science cameras. This enables the rover to zoom in on small features from great distances, capture vast panoramas of the Martian landscape, and even magnify tiny rock granules. Plus, these specialized cameras also help the rover team determine which rock samples offer the best chance to learn whether microscopic life ever existed on the Martian surface. Read more for a video and additional information.