It will be some time until astronauts can 3D-print tools on Mars, and Stanford University’s ReachBot may be able to explore Martian caves without them. This small robot uses lightweight extendable booms to achieve large reach with a small footprint, enabling it to access steep, vertical, and overhanging surfaces in otherwise dangerous natural voids.
Within this century, astronauts will be turning soil on Mars into geopolymer cement, but in just a few more years, the ESA’s Sample Transfer Arm robot will be collecting tubes left on the Martian surface by NASA’s Perseverance rover. This 2.5 meter-long (8.2 foot) robotic arm will be fully autonomous, highly reliable and very dexterous.
NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover has officially dropped off its final sample tube at the depot, which will eventually be recovered by the future NASA / ESA Mars Sample Return campaign. These samples consist of rocks the mission team deems scientifically significant in the ‘Three Forks’ region of the Jezero Crater.
On December 12, 2022, NASA’s HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captured an unusual bear-like formation on the surface of Mars. However, it’s all just an optical illusion, as if you look closely, the figure is formed by a hill with a V-shaped collapse structure (nose), two craters (eyes), and a circular fracture pattern (head).
NASA announced today that it has partnered with DARPA to develop DRACO (Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations), a nuclear-powered rocket that could be used for future manned missions to Mars. A nuclear thermal rocket makes sense because it allows for faster transit time and increased science payload capacity, all the while reducing risk for astronauts.
This isn’t a massive Martian dust storm, but rather the unusual Arsia Mons Elongated Cloud (AEMC) that returns to Mars each year. Why? Well, the 1,100-mile cloud returns every spring because 5% – 10% of the planet’s atmosphere has the perfect conditions to make recreate it, although a probe would need to study the water ice contain within to confirm this.
Sure, it’s not a duck-shaped rock, but Tissint is just one of five known Mars meteorites that have crash landed right here on Earth. This particular specimen was found in Morocco over 11-years ago and believed to have formed hundreds of million of years ago before being launched into space by a vicious event.
NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter used its HiRISE camera to capture bizarre shapes inside an Arabia Terra crater that are located on the south sides, but not in the north. This upland region is believed to be of great age due to its battered topography and covers as much as 2,000-miles at its longest extent. It was given this name in 1879 after a corresponding albedo feature on a map by Giovanni Schiaparelli, who named it in turn after the Arabian peninsula.
NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter appears to have removed the foreign object stuck to one of its legs, as it successfully completes the 37th powered flight. It managed to fly for 55.2-seconds and covered a distance of 203-feet, all the while drawing power from four Sony VTC-4 solar-rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.