Universe Today 22 Mar 2017, 18:36 UTC As part of their effort to kick-start the eventual colonization of Mars, SpaceX is sending an unmanned Dragon spacecraft to Mars. Initially, that mission was set for 2018, but is now re-scheduled for 2020. Now, SpaceX says they’re working with NASA to select a suitable landing site for their first Dragon mission to Mars.
Centauri Dreams 22 Mar 2017, 15:14 UTC Learning about the changes that occur on a cometary surface over time was a primary goal of the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission, which orbited comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko between August 2014 and September 2016. This was a period when the comet was swinging through the inner Solar System as it closed to perihelion. Now we have vivid evidence of the changes the comet experienced as recorded by Rosetta.
The Space Reporter 22 Mar 2017, 14:19 UTC Mars’ two small moons Phobos and Deimos may have originated as rings around the planet rather than as captured objects from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience.
The Space Reporter 22 Mar 2017, 14:03 UTC A volcano on Mars called Arsia Mons apparently went dormant right around the time that dinosaurs were becoming extinct. According to Space.com, a new computer model has determined that the approximate time of Arisia Mons’ last eruption was about 50 million years ago. This was about the same time as Earth’s Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event, which served as the death knell of the dinosaurs. “We estimate that the peak activity for the volcanic field at the summit of Arsia Mons probably occurred approximately 150 million years ago — the late Jurassic period on Earth — and then died out around the same time as Earth’s dinosaurs,” Jacob Richardson of NASA said in a statement. “It’s possible, though, that the last volcanic vent or two might have been active in the past 50 million years, which is very recent in geological terms.” Arsia Mons is one of three huge volcanoes that make up the mountain group known as Tharsis Montes. The three ancient volcanoes lie in a line in Mars’ Tharsis plateau, and Arsia Mons is the southernmost. The trio is located close to Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in the solar system. The caldera that tops Arsia Mons is 69 miles ...
All About Space 22 Mar 2017, 13:15 UTC A routine check of the aluminium wheels on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has found two small breaks on the rover’s left middle wheel-the latest sign of wear and tear as the rover continues its journey, now approaching the 16-kilometre (10-mile mark).
Scientific American 22 Mar 2017, 11:15 UTC Sometime in the early 2030s, NASA hopes to attempt a landing on Jupiter’s moon Europa. A four-legged spacecraft would descend towards the icy surface, ready to hunt for signs of alien life in a buried ocean.
SPACE.com 22 Mar 2017, 11:00 UTC Mars' intriguing dark streaks may not be evidence of liquid water after all. These long and narrow features, known as recurring slope lineae (RSL), darken some slopes near the Martian equator for weeks at a time during the warmest parts of the year. They were discovered in 2011, by scientists studying images captured by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).