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Mars: May 2013



Rounded pebbles on the surface of Mars indicate that a stream once flowed on the red planet, according to a new study by a team of scientists from NASA's Curiosity rover mission, including a University of California, Davis, geologist. The study will be published in the May 31 issue of the journal Science.


On November 26, 2011, the Mars Science Laboratory began a 253-day, 560-million-kilometer journey to deliver the Curiosity rover to the Red Planet. En route, the Southwest Research Institute-led Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) made detailed measurements of the energetic particle radiation environment inside the spacecraft, providing important insights for future human missions to Mars.


NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has used the drill on its robotic arm to collect a powdered sample from the interior of a rock called "Cumberland."


While Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt visited Earth's Moon for three days in December 1972, they drove their mission's Lunar Roving Vehicle 19.3 nautical miles (22.21 statute miles or 35.74 kilometers). That was the farthest total distance for any NASA vehicle driving on a world other than Earth until the other day.


NASA's senior Mars rover, Opportunity, is driving to a new study area after a dramatic finish to 20 months on "Cape York" with examination of a rock intensely altered by water.


NASA's Mars rover Curiosity used its front left Hazard-Avoidance Camera for this image of the rover's arm over the drilling target "Cumberland" during the 275th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars (May 15, 2013).


Scientists using images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have estimated that the planet is bombarded by more than 200 small asteroids or bits of comets per year forming craters at least 12.8 feet (3.9 meters) across.


Snowstorms lashing down at the northern hemisphere of Mars during the icy cold winters may be predicted several weeks in advance, say researchers from the Tohoku University in Sendai (Japan) and the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Katlenburg-Lindau (Germany) in their newest publication.


The original rationale behind this observation was to examine the slopes for changes since an earlier image in the same location. However, a feature that has NOT changed much since then still remains quite eye-catching. Multiple boulder tracks spill down the side of the crater.


Just two weeks into the nineteen week application period, more than seventy-eight thousand people have applied to the Mars One astronaut selection program in the hope of becoming a Mars settler in 2023.


A roughly 3.5-mile high Martian mound that scientists suspect preserves evidence of a massive lake might actually have formed as a result of the Red Planet's famously dusty atmosphere, an analysis of the mound's features suggests.


NASA is inviting members of the public to submit their names and a personal message online for a DVD to be carried aboard a spacecraft that will study the Martian upper atmosphere. Scheduled for launch in November, the DVD will be in NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft. The DVD is part of the mission's Going to Mars Campaign coordinated at the University of Colorado at Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (CU/LASP).