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Mars: July 2012



Opportunity is roving at the north end of Cape York on the rim of Endeavour Crater. Progress was again impacted by a second safe mode entry by the Mars Odyssey orbiter. With normal Ultra-High Frequency relay with Odyssey restored, Opportunity was able to drive on Sol 3019 (July 21, 2012).


Researchers from Western University have discovered further evidence linking subsurface volatiles, such as water or ice, to previously recognized (but thought to be rare) pits, which commonly arise on the floors of Martian impact craters.


After a journey of 245 days across 352 million miles, the moment of truth for the Mars Science Laboratory begins late in the evening of August 5 when the spacecraft roars into the Martian atmosphere, traveling at 13,200 miles an hour.

NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft has successfully adjusted its orbital location to be in a better position to provide prompt confirmation of the August landing of the Curiosity rover.

Actor Wil Wheaton, "The Next Generation's" Wesley Crusher, hosts this look at the Mars Science Laboratory mission and its rover, Curiosity.


At a news conference today NASA discussed the landing on Mars of the Mars Science Laboratory with the Curiosity Rover which takes place in less than three weeks on Monday, August 6th at 1:31 a.m. EDT (Sunday at 10:31 p.m. PDT). NASA described the mission as the hardest mission ever attempted with a never used before landing system. While everyone is hopeful the mission will succeed, there is no guarantee the rover will land safely on Mars.


This full-circle scene combines 817 images taken by the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. It shows the terrain that surrounded the rover while it was stationary for four months of work during its most recent Martian winter.


ESA's Mars Express has imaged an area to the south of the famed Valles Marineris canyon on the Red Planet, showing a wide range of tectonic and impact features.


This picture of Phobos near the limb of Mars was captured in 2010 by Mars Express currently orbiting Mars. Phobos is a heavily cratered and barren moon, with its largest crater located on the far side.