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Articles on Mars

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In a clean room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., engineers observed the first driving test for the Mars rover, Perseverance. Perseverance will search for signs of past microbial life, characterize Mars’ climate and geology, and collect samples for a future return to Earth. NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s big move to search for life on Mars – and to bring rocks home

This summer, NASA's Mars Perseverance rover is taking the next giant leap in our search for signs of life beyond Earth.
Artist’s rendition of NASA’s 2020 Mars rover collecting rocks with its robotic arm. NASA

Meteorites from Mars contain clues about the red planet’s geology

Martian meteorites allow scientists here on Earth to decode that planet's geology, more than a decade before the first missions are scheduled to bring rocks back home from Mars.
Over the last 50 years, a lot has changed in rocketry. The fuel that powers spaceflight might finally be changing too. CSA-Printstock/DIgital Vision Vectors via Getty Images

To safely explore the solar system and beyond, spaceships need to go faster – nuclear-powered rockets may be the answer

An update of 50-year-old regulations has kickstarted research into the next generation of rockets. Powered by nuclear fission, these new systems could be the key to faster, safer exploration of space.
A researcher in a spacesuit on “Mars” outside the Mars Society Desert Research Station in Utah. David Howells/Corbis Historical via Getty Images

Coronavirus quarantine could provide lessons for future space travel on how regular people weather isolation

Understanding isolation's effects on regular people, rather than those certified to have 'the right stuff,' will help prepare us for the future, whether another pandemic or interplanetary space travel.
In 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft looked back toward the sun and captured this near-sunset view of the rugged, icy mountains and flat ice plains extending to Pluto’s horizon. NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

Planetary confusion – why astronomers keep changing what it means to be a planet

Many people are still upset that Pluto was demoted from being a planet. But definitions of various celestial objects are fairly fluid. So whether it is an asteroid or moon or planet is up for debate.

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