AidSpace Blog

Tag Archives: Mars

Investigating the Apollo Valley

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In July, I joined a team from Johnson Space Center and elsewhere in investigating the geology of Apollo Valley with rover-deployed scientific instruments. Apollo Valley is a former 1960s Apollo-era astronaut training site at 3,505 meters (11,500 feet) on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. The project was funded by NASA’s Moon and Mars Analog Mission Activities Program, which   …Continue Reading


Drive on Curiosity, Drive On!

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“You put an X anyplace in the solar system, and the engineers at NASA can land a spacecraft on it,” so said actor Robert Guillaume in an episode of “Sports Night,” a situation comedy about a team that produced a nightly cable sports broadcast in 2001. Amen brother, the team that landed Curiosity proved the   …Continue Reading


Satisfying Our Curiosity: Mars Science Laboratory and the Quest for the Red Planet

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Mars has long held a special fascination for humans—in no small measure because of the possibility that life either presently exists or at some time in the past has existed there. In his classic work Cosmos, Carl Sagan asks an important question: “Why Martians?” Why do Earthlings not similarly obsess over “Saturnarians” or “Plutonians?” As   …Continue Reading


Climate Change in the Solar System

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We are all familiar with the climate on Earth: the seasons, the range of surface temperatures that are just right for being a water world, the oxygen we breathe, the ozone layer that protects us from UV radiation. In short: habitable. So what other bodies in the Solar System might be (or might have been)   …Continue Reading


Was Mars Ever Habitable?

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If all goes according to plan, on November 25th the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity will leave the Earth and begin its journey to Mars. Any delays due to weather or other factors should be accommodated by a launch window that extends until December 18th. The spacecraft will use a new landing system to   …Continue Reading