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Mars

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Thu, June 28 2018

AirSpace Ep.8:
Cute Little Robots in Danger?

Did we just find life on Mars? No. But NASA did announce two exciting new discoveries on the Red Planet—just before a Martian dust storm engulfed the planet. 

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AirSpace Ep.8:
Cute Little Robots in Danger?

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Logo for AirSpace Podcast
Thu, June 7 2018

Curiosity Discovers “Building Blocks of Life” on Mars

Today, NASA announced some exciting new discoveries made by its Curiosity rover. Let our experts at the Museum help break down these exciting new findings.

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Curiosity Discovers “Building Blocks of Life” on Mars

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Curiosity Self Portrait
Thu, March 15 2018

Coding Brings Mars Data Down to Earth

When NASA’s Curiosity rover uses its robotic arm to snap a selfie on the surface of Mars, how does that picture get back to Earth? It’s thanks to programmers like Melody Ho.

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Programmer Melody Ho inside mission control at the NASA JPL
Fri, January 5 2018

Today, Mars is warmer than Earth. See how we compare.

The northeastern United States is experiencing record-breaking cold weather, with temperatures 20 to 30 degrees below average, according to the National Weather Service. Those are temperatures so frigid that parts of Mars—a cold, desert planet—are actually warmer than certain spots in the U.S. But how does Mars’ climate compare to that of our home planet?

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Viking Orbiter 1 Mosaic of Mars
Wed, September 27 2017

Meridiani Planum and the Search for Ice on Mars

If you’re going to Mars, which do you bring: water or a shovel? The question may sound a little tongue-in-cheek, but it actually goes right to the heart of a critical need for future human exploration of Mars – accessible water. Learn how the MARSIS instrument is helping answer this question. 

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MARSIS Radar Instrument
Fri, June 2 2017

Former Lake Environment on Mars Might Hold Clues to Life Beyond Earth

When John Grant was only 16, the Viking landers were sent to Mars. Today, Grant  helps lead the operation groups controlling two Mars rovers,  Opportunity and Curiosity, as a geologist at the National Air and Space Museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies. Recent data collected by Curiosity and published in Science describes an ancient lake environment located at Gale Crater—an environment Grant, a coauthor of the article, believes holds further clues to whether there was ever life on the Red Planet.

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Curiosity's Selfie
Wed, January 11 2017

AirSpace Ep.1:
Mars Time

It's 5 o'clock somewhere on Mars! No human has ever set foot on Mars, but scientists have been working there for years. A day on the red planet is about 40 minutes longer than here on Earth, which wreaks havoc on your workweek.

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AirSpace Ep.1:
Mars Time

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Logo for AirSpace Podcast
Thu, August 4 2016

On This Day: Phoenix Launched to Mars 

On this day in 2007, the Mars Phoenix lander was launched from a Delta II at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Phoenix flew to a site in the far northern plains of Mars where it analyzed components of the surface, subsurface, and atmosphere.

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On This Day: Phoenix Launched to Mars 

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Phoenix Mars Lander Launches
Mon, July 25 2016

Exploring Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes: A Towering Red Planet Analog

As the National Air and Space Museum’s annual Mars Day! celebration approaches, we look to a recent research trip taken by a Smithsonian Summer Intern to investigate the similarities between some of Earth’s most amazing dunes and those found on the ruddy surface of Mars.

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Measuring a Megaripple
Wed, September 30 2015

Mars: One Mystery Revealed, Many More to Solve

The recent announcement by NASA that there is evidence of salty, liquid water seeping out of the ground on Mars is both exciting and scientifically puzzling at the same time. As a member of the science team for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), I’ve been hearing about these possible seeps, or Recurring Slope Lineae (RSL), for several years now.

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Recurring Slope Lineae on Hale Crater

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