NASA is making a new, and perhaps final, attempt to restore contact with the Mars rover Opportunity, which has not communicated with the Earth for more than six months.
With NASA committed to a human return to the moon, Mars exploration advocates say those lunar missions can be useful to achieve their long-term goals, if designed properly.
A long-overdue exploration roadmap report released by NASA Sept. 24 offers an overview of the agency’s plans to send humans back to the moon and on to Mars, but few new details about how to carry out those plans.
Mars exploration advocates have been waiting and hoping as well, concerned about a potential hibernation of NASA’s overall Mars exploration program.
Senators preparing a new NASA authorization bill want to ensure that the agency’s long-term focus remains human missions to Mars even as it plans flights to the moon.
China is claiming progress on a number of reentry and landing technologies for human spaceflight and Mars missions, underlining apparently significant plans for deep space exploration.
Despite conditions that have deprived the Opportunity Mars rover of solar power, NASA officials said June 13 that they expected the long-lived spacecraft to survive an intense ongoing dust storm.
Few in Congress are bigger proponents of sending humans to Mars than Ed Perlmutter, and he has the bumper sticker to prove it.
A day after telling one audience that the U.S. was returning to the moon, new NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine reassured another that Mars remained a goal for the agency as well.