NASA has just released the best-looking photo (above) we have of the Gale Crater, the piece of the Red Planet where Mars rover Curiosity landed last night. The photo shows the rim of the crater on the horizon and a gravel field in the foreground, as seen through a fisheye lens, a part of the many cameras Curiosity has on board.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory recently released the much-watched "Seven Minutes of Terror" video, which describes the harrowing descent to the Red Planet that the Mars rover Curiosity will undergo on August 5. Now, from the same lab, comes a look at the chemical tools Curiosity will use to search for signs that Mars could have once sustained life.
Youth and vigor have their advantages, but there is something to be said for longevity. NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter has been circling the red planet since 2001 and has just released the best map ever made of the Martian surface.
By Gregory MonePosted 10.09.2007 at 1:08 pm 0 Comments
The alien microbes are supposed to be discovered when spacecraft return to Earth, not before they've left, right? Not according to a new study of several NASA clean rooms—the supposedly sterile environments in which engineers assemble and test the components of various spacecraft before launch.
By sampling the air and surfaces in clean rooms at the Jet Propulsion Lab, Johnson Space Center and Kennedy Space Flight Center, scientists uncovered nearly 100 types of bacteria. And about 45% of them are believed to be novel. The study should help scientists improve the clean room environment, which will in turn reduce the risk of interplanetary spacecraft dropping our organisms on far-off worlds.—Gregory Mone