NASA is turning increasingly to autonomy and machine learning to make the most out of Mars exploration missions, but don’t count on self-driving rovers to zip across the Red Planet anytime soon.
Anthony Colaprete and his colleagues have been working for more than two years to develop small, low-power instruments to measure winds and obtain vertical profiles of dust and clouds.
After nearly two years of struggles, NASA has abandoned efforts to deploy a heat flow probe on its InSight lander into the surface of Mars.
NASA is moving ahead with work on a pair of Mars sample return missions, although some in the planetary science community worry how the cost of that effort will affect other projects.
A constellation of commercial satellites could serve as a communications relay system for future NASA missions, such as an orbiter later this decade to search for subsurface ice there.
Taken literally, Starlink users must agree with SpaceX that Mars is a “free planet” and that disputes concerning Starlink services provided on Mars or while en route to the red planet via a SpaceX Starship will be settled through self-regulation. But is this clause valid?
Can there be too much of a good thing? Perhaps, when it comes to asteroid samples. That’s what NASA discovered in October when its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft swooped down to collect material from the surface of the asteroid Bennu on a “touch-and-go” maneuver.
NASA’s Artemis program of human lunar exploration can help pave the way for human Mars missions, according to a new report, although some tweaks to those plans may be required.