Mars 2020 Perseverance Healthy and on Its Way

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover onboard launches from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Thursday, July 30, 2020, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Perseverance rover is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet. (Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — The team controlling NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover has received telemetry (detailed spacecraft data) down from the spacecraft and has also been able to send commands up to the spacecraft, according to Matt Wallace, the mission’s deputy project manager. The team, based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, has confirmed that the spacecraft is healthy and on its way to Mars.

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NASA’s Mars Rover Drivers Need Your Help

Three images from the tool called AI4Mars show different kinds of Martian terrain as seen by NASA’s Curiosity rover. By drawing borders around terrain features and assigning one of four labels to them, you can help train an algorithm that will automatically identify terrain types for Curiosity’s rover planners. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — You may be able to help NASA’s Curiosity rover drivers better navigate Mars. Using the online tool AI4Mars to label terrain features in pictures downloaded from the Red Planet, you can train an artificial intelligence algorithm to automatically read the landscape.

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Major Space Agency Heads Hold Virtual Meeting

Translated from French by Google Translate

PARIS (CNES PR) — Tuesday, June 9, fifteen heads of space agencies from around the world (European Space Agency (ESA), Germany, Australia, Canada, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, France, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, News – Zealand, Russia, United Kingdom) participated, at the invitation of NASA, in a virtual meeting to exchange their points of view on the progress of human and robotic exploration. 

Because of COVID-19, this meeting could not be held, as every year, at the time of the Colorado Springs Space Symposium initially scheduled for the end of March. 

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NASA’s Curiosity Keeps Rolling As Team Operates Rover From Home

Members of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover mission team photographed themselves on March 20, 2020, the first day the entire mission team worked remotely from home. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA/JPL-Caltech PR) — For people who are able to work remotely during this time of social distancing, video conferences and emails have helped bridge the gap. The same holds true for the team behind NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. They’re dealing with the same challenges of so many remote workers — quieting the dog, sharing space with partners and family, remembering to step away from the desk from time to time — but with a twist: They’re operating on Mars.

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ESA’s Mars Express Matches Methane Spike Measured by NASA’s Curiosity Rover

Artist’s impression of Mars Express. The background image is based on an actual image of Mars taken by the spacecraft’s high resolution stereo camera. Image credit: Spacecraft: ESA/ATG medialab; Mars: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin)

ROME, 1 April 2019 (ESA PR) — A reanalysis of data collected by ESA’s Mars Express during the first 20 months of NASA’s Curiosity mission found one case of correlated methane detection, the first time an in-situ measurement has been independently confirmed from orbit.

Reports of methane in the martian atmosphere have been intensely debated, with Mars Express contributing one of the first measurements from orbit in 2004, shortly after its arrival at the Red Planet.

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NASA’s Busy, Successful Year in Space & On Earth

Orion splashed down safely in the Pacific after its first test flight. (Credit: NASA)
Orion splashed down safely in the Pacific after its first test flight. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — In 2014, NASA took significant steps on the agency’s journey to Mars — testing cutting-edge technologies and making scientific discoveries while studying our changing Earth and the infinite universe as the agency made progress on the next generation of air travel.

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NASA Planetary Exploration Highlights From 2013

This self-portrait of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity combines dozens of exposures taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on Feb. 3, 2013, plus three exposures taken on May 10, 2013. (Credit: NASA)
This self-portrait of NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity combines dozens of exposures taken by the rover’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on Feb. 3, 2013, plus three exposures taken on May 10, 2013. (Credit: NASA)

NASA Takes a Look Back at 2013

Mars

Mars is the centerpiece of NASA’s planetary exploration. The Curiosity rover continues to explore the planet, and in its first year already has accomplished its primary goal of determining that Mars could indeed have supported life in the past, possibly much later than originally thought. Curiosity’s Radiation Assessment Detector instrument is helping scientists assess round-trip radiation doses for a human mission to Mars.

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A Look Back and Ahead at NASA’s Space Technology Program

Technicians at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, prepare the heat shield for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), critical hardware to place the Curiosity rover on the red planet last August. This view shows the inner surface of the (MSL) heat shield, where technicians are installing electronics of an instrument for collecting data about temperature and pressure during descent through the (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin)
Technicians at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, prepare the heat shield for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), critical hardware to place the Curiosity rover on the red planet last August. This view shows the inner surface of the (MSL) heat shield, where technicians are installing electronics of an instrument for collecting data about temperature and pressure during descent through the (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — As the New Year unfolds, NASA is looking forward as well as reflecting upon recent payoffs in its portfolio of space technology investments.

“Last year was an amazing year for space technology,” said Michael Gazarik, Director of NASA’s Space Technology Program (STP). “We are developing, testing, and flying technologies in over 800 projects. The technologies we need for tomorrow, we’re building them today.”

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NASA, Tesla Motors and Red Bull Stratos Make PopSci Best of What’s New List


Four NASA projects, an electric car produced by Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors, and the pressure suit worn by Felix Baumgartner during his record skydiving jump have all made Popular Science‘s Best of What’s New 2012 list.

The following project were recognized in the Aerospace category:

  • Mars Curiosity Sky Crane » Read
  • NASA Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) » Read
  • NASA PhoneSat  » Read
  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Asteroid Anchors » Read
  • Red Bull Stratos Pressure Suit » Read

The Tesla Model S sedan won the Grand Prize in the Auto category. The magazine described the electric vehicle in a press release:

The Tesla Model S sets the standard by which all future electronic vehicles will be measured. It is faster than any other street-legal electric vehicle, with a motor that generates a peak 416 horsepower. The family-size sedan can dart from 0 to 60 in 4.4 seconds and has a top speed of 130 mph. The Tesla Model S can also drive farther on a charge than any other electric car—up to 300 miles on the optional 85-kilowatt-hour battery.

Tesla’s sedan also captured Motor Trend’s Car of the Year honors this week.

A NASA press release about PhoneSat, in which a smart phone was used to power a satellite, follows after the break.

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Awesome Full-Resolution Video of Curiosity Landing on Mars

Video Caption: This is a full-resolution version of the NASA Curiosity rover descent to Mars, taken by the MARDI descent imager. As of August 20, all but a dozen 1600×1200 frames have been uploaded from the rover, and those missing were interpolated using thumbnail data. The result was applied a heavy noise reduction, color balance, and sharpening for best visibility.

The video plays at 15fps, or 3x realtime. The heat shield impacts in the lower left frame at 0:21, and is shown enlarged at the end of the video. Image source: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/?s=0&camera=MARDI

Fun fact: The first mission to Mars, Mariner 4 in 1965, returned a total of 634 kb of data, including 22 photos.











Video: Planetary Resources Raids JPL for Talent

Planetary Resources has a lot of ex-JPL employees who worked on Curiosity on its staff. At least six of them, five of whom appear in this video. Watch them discuss their experiences in landing a car on the Red Planet.











NASA Celebrates Successful Curiosity Landing on Mars

Curiosity’s shadow on Mars, the first photo returned after the landing on Sunday night. (Credit: NASA/JPL)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s most advanced Mars rover Curiosity has landed on the Red Planet. The one-ton rover, hanging by ropes from a rocket backpack, touched down onto Mars Sunday to end a 36-week flight and begin a two-year investigation.

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft that carried Curiosity succeeded in every step of the most complex landing ever attempted on Mars, including the final severing of the bridle cords and flyaway maneuver of the rocket backpack.

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Awesome Photos From Mars

NASA’s Curiosity rover and its parachute were spotted by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as Curiosity descended to the surface on Aug. 5 PDT (Aug. 6 EDT). The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera captured this image of Curiosity while the orbiter was listening to transmissions from the rover. Curiosity and its parachute are in the center of the white box. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona)

A closeup of Curiosity descending under its parachute as seen from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona)

his is one of the first images taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars the evening of Aug. 5 PDT (morning of Aug. 6 EDT). (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The green diamond shows approximately where NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on Mars, a region about 2 kilometers northeast of its target in the center of the estimated landing region (blue ellipse). The location of the diamond is based on Earth-based navigation data taken prior to Curiosity’s entry into the Martian atmosphere, as well as data taken by the rover’s navigation instruments during descent. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., celebrate the landing of NASA’s Curiosity rover on the Red Planet. The rover touched down on Mars the evening of Aug. 5 PDT (morning of Aug. 6 EDT). (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)