It’s confirmed, the Emirates Mars Mission will launch its Hope Probe” on Tuesday July 14th from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan at 00:51:27 UAE Time on 15 July [20:51 GMT], marking a very important milestone as part of the promising Emirati project to explore the Red Planet. The team, consisting of 200 engineers, experts and researchers, spent the past six years preparing for this moment and ensured that all scientific as well as logistical preparations to control the Probe mission were successfully completed. Read more for two videos and additional information.
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover has now been attached to the top of the rocket headed toward the Red Planet this summer. It’s encased in the nose cone for protection during launch, and along with the rover, the aeroshell, cruise stage, as well as descent stage were affixed to a United Launch Alliance Atlas V booster on Tuesday, July 7, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Central Florida. Read more for a video and additional information.
NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover begins its summer road trip that will see it traverse roughly a mile of terrain. Its final destination will have it ascending to the next section of the 3-mile-tall Mount Sharp, which it’s been exploring since 2014, searching for conditions that may have supported ancient microbial life. Read more for a video and additional information.
The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Mars Express has captured some incredible images of the 82km wide Korolev impact crater on Mars, and this mosaic gives us a 3D view of what it would look like up close. Water ice can be found within Korolev crater because the deepest part of this depression acts as a natural cold trap, as air above the ice cools, making it heavier compared to the surrounding air, the mound is shielded from heating and sublimation. Read more for the video and additional information.
The European Space Agency’s Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) has captured a brilliant green glow in the atmosphere of Mars for the first time. It occurs due to interactions between the sun’s light and oxygen molecules in Mars’ atmosphere. On Earth, glowing oxygen is produced during polar auroras when energetic electrons from interplanetary space hit the upper atmosphere, and this oxygen-driven emission of light gives them the characteristic green hue. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: Hassell Studio
Ever wonder what an above-ground Mars habitat could look like if it were built by a group of autonomous robots? If so, Hassell Studio shows us their proposal, which was also entered into NASA’s international 3D Printed Habitat Challenge. The team partnered with structural engineers at Eckersley O’Callaghan (EOC) and it consists of an external shell made from local Martian regolith. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Engineers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) have built a mini Mars rover using 3D printers and commercially available components. To be more specific, it’s based on the Resource Prospector 15 (RP15) prototype from 2015 that uses 12 different motors to drive its four wheels. This miniature version can crawl or paddle out of obstacles. Read more for a video and additional information.
NASA’s Mars Helicopter has officially has received a new name: Ingenuity. Vaneeza Rupani, a junior at Tuscaloosa County High School in Northport, Alabama, won the agency’s “Name the Rover” essay contest out of 28,000 entries submitted by K-12 students from every U.S. state and territory recommending names for the next Mars rover. This helicopter will be attached to the underside of the Perseverance rover, which is preparing for launch this summer. Read more for two videos and additional information.
The China National Space Administration (CNSA) has officially named its first Mars exploration mission “Tianwen-1,” which is derived from the long poem Questions to Heaven, written by Qu Yuan (about 340-278 BC), one of the country’s greatest poets. In the future, all of China’s planetary exploration missions will be named with the Tianwen prefix, signifying China’s perseverance in pursuing truth, science, exploration and the universe. Read more for a video and additional information.
NASA has plans to make oxygen on the Moon using gold. That’s right, they are converting carbon dioxide into oxygen using equipment attached to one of its rovers that will be launched to the Moon, or in other words, a golden box called the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE). The golden box itself will be made of gold to assure that the impact with any nearby electronics boxes inside the space rover will be minimal. Read more for a video and additional information.