Curiosity rover snaps 1st photos of Mars at night

(Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has captured its first nighttime view of the Red Planet using a camera and ultraviolet light on its robotic arm.

Mars Curiosity rover team looks back at ‘flower,’ looks ahead to drilling

(Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS)

The scientists behind NASA’s $2.5 billion Curiosity rover mission on Mars on Tuesday explained the nature of a tiny, gleaming “flower” embedded in Red Planet rock, and revealed where they’ll be using the SUV-sized robot’s drill for the first time.

Read the complete story.

Curiosity rover studies rocks and a ‘flower’ on Mars

(Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Ken Kremer / Marco Di Lorenzo)

The cameras on NASA’s Curiosity rover have been clicking away over the holidays — gathering enough pictures for a 360-degree panorama of its rocky surroundings at Yellowknife Bay, plus a close-up view showing a “Martian flower” seemingly sprouting from the surface.

NASA plans Mars rover remake for 2020

(Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech file)

NASA today announced a $1.5 billion plan to build another Mars rover based on the design of its current Curiosity rover, with the intention of sending it to the Red Planet in 2020 and perhaps storing up samples for later return to Earth.

Read the complete story.

Mars rover finds complex chemicals but no organic compounds … yet

(Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech)

Although NASA’s Curiosity rover hasn’t yet confirmed the detection of organic compounds on Mars, it’s already seeing that the Red Planet’s soil contains water and more complex chemicals — including signs of an intriguing compound called perchlorate.

No organic material discovered on Mars yet, NASA says

(Photo: NASA)

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has completed its first soil analysis of the Red Planet with no sign of organic material, the U.S. space agency said on Thursday.

"Rumors and speculation that there are major new findings from the mission at this early stage are incorrect," NASA said in a statement. "At this point, the instruments on the rover have not detected any definitive evidence of Martian organics."

Read the complete story.

Thanksgiving on Mars: Working holiday for Curiosity rover

(Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has some plans this Thanksgiving, and they don’t involve watching football in a food-coma stupor.

"Thanksgiving isn’t so different on Mars. I had a long drive & plan to take photos. No pie, though," the Curiosity team said via the rover’s official Twitter feed, @MarsCuriosity.

Curiosity’s Mars discovery called ‘one for history books’

(Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Malin Space Science Systems)

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has apparently made a discovery “for the history books,” but we’ll have to wait a few weeks to find out what the new Red Planet find may be, media reports suggest.

Mars rover snaps spooky portraits

(Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS / KrisK / JMKnapp)

It looks as if someone is taking portraits of NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars from a few feet away — but wait a minute: Who’s the photographer?

The answer is that Curiosity itself is responsible for the pictures, with strong assists from image-processing gurus. These views show the six-wheeled, nuclear-powered mobile laboratory at a geological site of interest known as Glenelg, as of Sol 84 (Oct. 31). They were assembled from imagery captured by the Mars Hand Lens Imager, or MAHLI, looking backward from the end of the rover’s 7-foot-long (2.1-meter-long) robotic arm.

Read the complete story.

Curiosity rover gets set to scoop up first Martian sand

(Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech)

NASA’s Curiosity rover will scoop up its first batch of Martian soil samples this weekend, scientists announced Thursday.

The 1-ton Curiosity rover arrived at a sandy patch called “Rocknest” on Wednesday. Mission scientists have deemed it a good spot for the robot’s maiden scooping activities, which should begin Saturday, if all goes according to plan.

Read the complete story.

Bringing pieces of Mars to Earth: How NASA will do it

(Photo: NASA / JPL)

Over the next few months, NASA will map out a strategy for returning bits of Martian rock and soil to Earth, so scientists can study them for signs of past Red Planet life.

That ambitious goal should drive the space agency’s next steps at Mars, according to a report released Tuesday by the Mars Program Planning Group. The report also lays out several ways Mars sample-return can be accomplished over the next decade or two, and NASA is reviewing those options now.

Read the complete story.

Curiosity rover checks its belly on Mars

(Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS / Ken Kremer / Marco Di Lorenzo)

More than a month after landing, NASA’s Curiosity rover is finally ready for its close-ups, and they’re coming in bunches: After taking its own profile picture, the six-wheeled robot has snapped a series of images that show its flat-as-a-board belly.

Read the complete story.

Mars orbiter traces Curiosity rover’s tracks from high above

(Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Univ. of Ariz.)

NASA’s newest Mars rover Curiosity is taking its first tentative drives across the Martian surface and leaving tracks that have been spotted all the way from space in a spectacular photo snapped by an orbiting spacecraft.

Read the complete story.

Listen to the first song from Mars

Hip-hop musician’s "Reach for the Stars" officially became the first song broadcast from Mars today, thanks to a signal beamed from NASA’s Curiosity rover.

"This is the first time that a song’s ever come from another planet," Leland Melvin, NASA’s associate administrator for education and a former astronaut, told students at an educational event at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

Read the complete story.