Mars

Bam! Fresh Crater Spied on Mars — and It Looks Spectacular

A small space rock crashed into the Red Planet's surface recently, producing a fresh crater that researchers estimate is 49 feet to 53 feet (15 to 16 meters) wide. The dramatic feature is clearly visible in a newly released image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

https://www.space.com/mars-fresh-crater-nasa-mro-photo-2019.html

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Originally posted on Twitter.

Mars 2020 Rover Has A Date With Jezero Crater

This is where the Mars 2020 Rover is heading. From this picture, I think you can guess why.

Jezero Crater is an ancient lake that formed inside an impact crater. Detailed study of the features of the lake led scientists to conclude that the lake is ancient and did not experience times when water went down. Due to its long lifespan as a lake, it’s possible that life may have developed in the lake. It’s possible, though not necessarily likely, that preserved signs of life are waiting to be discovered at Jezero Crater.

https://www.universetoday.com/142357/this-is-where-mars-2020-rover-is-heading-from-this-picture-i-think-you-can-guess-why/

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Originally posted on Twitter.

Ice On Mars

New layers of water ice have been found beneath Mars' North Pole . These layers were found to be 90% water in some places, and are believed to be the remnants of ancient polar ice sheets. If melted, the researchers indicate that they would create a global ocean with a depth of at least 1.5 meters.

https://www.universetoday.com/142308/new-layers-of-water-ice-have-been-found-beneath-mars-north-pole/

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Originally posted on Twitter.

Exploration Posters

From NASA: “Are you ready for your vacation on the Moon? Are you looking forward to setting up camp on Mars? Can you get excitement to use the Gateway to access #Moon2Mars? Show everyone your new favorite exploration destinations with these free downloadable posters: https://go.nasa.gov/2J5SRhx

Le Sigh. I have no more wallspace, dammit! These are beautiful, though....

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Originally posted on Facebook and Twitter.

A Celebration of Opportunity

The NASA press conference was a beautiful, heartfelt celebration of the 15 years of Opportunity's mission and a look to the future of Mars exploration.

Over the last 9 months, the team sent over 1,000 recovery commands to try and wake Opportunity up, ultimately to no avail. The last message Opportunity sent translated as “My battery is low and it is getting dark.” 🥺 Amidst a month-long, record-setting dust storm, it was simply too cold and too dark for too long.

Now the internet is overflowing with personal tributes, and more than a few tears. Here are a few, as well as some images and infographics:

Official statement and mission recap from JPL: https://mars.nasa.gov/…/nasas-opportunity-rover-mission-on…/

XKCD Comic "Opportunity": https://xkcd.com/2111/

A comic with a happy ending, one day: https://twitter.com/GlenMaffews/status/1095514961940488192

More hope for a reunion in the future: “And in 200 years time the little rover will awaken to someone cleaning and repairing it and fitting new batteries, and it'll roll outside and look out over the city of the same name, its home.”: https://twitter.com/od_stuff/status/1096069782724591616

A thread on what went wrong for Opportunity: https://twitter.com/JacobMargolis/status/1095436908899913729

A thread on what Opportunity has meant for humanity, and why we cry at its loss: https://twitter.com/shannonmstir…/status/1095730251873714176

A live blog thread on the NASA press conference: https://twitter.com/tanyaofmars/status/1095759187227770880

Another beautiful goodbye: https://twitter.com/MarsRovers/status/1095760214169546752

A eulogy by Rachel Feltman: https://www.popsci.com/mars-opportunity-eulogy

A whole Flikr gallery of images from Opportunity over the years by Jason Major: https://www.flickr.com/…/lightsinth…/sets/72157669559511817/

Curiosity’s tribute to Opportunity: https://twitter.com/MarsCuriosity/status/1095788439155306496

Even The Onion got sentimental: https://www.theonion.com/spacecraft-travel-from-all-over-galaxy-to-honor-end-of-1832602862

Beautiful thoughts from Scott Maxwell, who relayed commands to Opportunity for years:  https://twitter.com/marsroverdriver/status/1095786993957535744

Ad astra to Opportunity, the finest planetary rover we’ve ever known: https://twitter.com/DeanBobbyBraun/status/1095778180269522944

I'm not crying, you're crying. Okay, fine, we're all crying. 😭

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Originally posted on Facebook (with updates).

Opportunity Update

NASA will hold a press conference Wednesday at 2PM EST to share the results of its efforts to reestablish contact with Opportunity. All indications are that it won't be good news, and may very well mark the end of the mission.

It's been 9 months since communication with the rover was lost during a massive Mars dust storm.

Whatever happens, here's a beautiful piece about Opportunity and some of the lives it's touched by Shannon Stirone: https://medium.com/…/its-time-to-say-goodbye-to-our-beloved…. Expect a lot more pieces like this to be posted in coming days.

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Originally posted on Facebook and Twitter.

Wine on Mars? Hells Yes!

“Georgia, a country with an 8,000-year-old viticulture tradition, is putting its top space and wine scientists to work figuring out how to grow grapes on Mars.

The project is named IX Millennium, ostensibly as a nod to Georgia's ninth millennium making wine.

"If we're going to live on Mars one day, Georgia needs to contribute," Nikoloz Doborjginidze, founder of Georgia's Space Research Agency and an adviser on the wine project, told The Washington Post. "Our ancestors brought wine to Earth, so we can do the same to Mars." (The origins of wine are still debated, but Georgia holds a valid claim thanks to their recent discovery of an old wine-stained pot dated to 6000 B.C.)”

I love it. It’s impractical and extravagant and about 10,000th on the list of things we need to do to enable humans to live on Mars, and I love it.

https://www.livescience.com/64477-georgia-growing-wine-on-mars.html

 
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Originally posted on Twitter.