mars mission

Mars New Home 'a Large Sandbox'

Mars New Home 'a Large Sandbox'

With InSight safely on the surface of Mars, the mission team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is busy learning more about the spacecraft's landing site. They knew when InSight landed on Nov. 26 that the spacecraft had touched down on target, a lava plain named Elysium Planitia. Now they've determined that the vehicle sits slightly tilted (about 4 degrees) in a shallow dust- and sand-filled impact crater known as a "hollow." InSight has been engineered to operate on a surface with an inclination up to 15 degrees.

How on Earth Does NASA Choose a Landing Site on Mars?

How on Earth Does NASA Choose a Landing Site on Mars?

Getting to the surface of Mars takes years of planning, engineering and science work, a successful launch, and a months-long journey of millions of miles.  You only get one opportunity to touch down at a site on Mars, so it’s critical to get it right.   

Forget Mars, Now You Can Kickstart An Antimatter Propulsion System To Another Star!

Forget Mars, Now You Can Kickstart An Antimatter Propulsion System To Another Star!

When it comes to the future of space exploration, one of the biggest questions is, “how and when will we travel to the nearest star?” And while space agencies have been pondering this question and coming up with proposals for decades, none of them have advanced beyond the theory stage. For the most part, their efforts has been focused on possible missions to Mars and the outer Solar System.

Astronaut’s return to Earth will prepare us for mission to Mars – here’s why

Astronaut’s return to Earth will prepare us for mission to Mars – here’s why

Would you like to spend a year gazing down from the International Space Station? Before you pack your bag, you should think about what actually might happen to you in microgravity, away from the protection of the atmosphere and magnetosphere. Thanks to two astronauts who’ve recently landed back on Earth, we’ll now be able to find out.