Curious Mars
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Mars: February 2013



The Mars rover Curiosity is this week in the midst of potentially historic discoveries as the full range of its capabilities are brought to bear for the first time on a gray powdered Martian subsurface rock sample.


If Dennis Tito has his way, two people will leave our planet in January 2018 and make a trip to Mars and back. Tito will be footing much of the bill himself. This mission won't stop at Mars, but rather, will do a quick flyby.


The Mars rover Curiosity's team is beginning to amass enough diverse science data to actively consider whether the area around its first drilling site was potentially habitable.


A press release issued late today indicated that a new organization, Inspiration Mars Foundation, led by the first private space traveler, Dennis Tito, would make a major announcement next Wednesday, February 27th concerning a 501 day mission to Mars.


NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has relayed new images that confirm it has successfully obtained the first sample ever collected from the interior of a rock on another planet. No rover has ever has drilled into a rock beyond Earth and collected a sample from its interior.


The $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover is beginning detailed analysis of the first subsurface rock sample acquired on another planet, keeping researchers on "pins and needles" about whether Curiosity has struck Martian paydirt 216 million miles (348 million km) from Earth.


NASA's Curiosity rover has, for the first time, used a drill carried at the end of its robotic arm to bore into a flat, veiny rock on Mars and collect a sample from its interior. This is the first time any robot has drilled into a rock to collect a sample on Mars.


Antarctica's Don Juan Pond might be the unlikeliest body of water on Earth. Situated in the frigid McMurdo Dry Valleys, only the pond's high salt content -- by far the highest of any body of water on the planet -- keeps it from freezing into oblivion.


Two powerful laboratories inside the Mars rover Curiosity are being readied to process the first powdered samples of subsurface Martian rock obtained by the rover's drill during the most complex series of Curiosity operations since its Sky Crane landing last August.


Nearly 90% of Mars' surface has been mapped by the high-resolution stereo camera on ESA's Mars Express, which celebrates ten years since launch this June.