As you might know, NASA's Curiosity Rover, a car-sized robot that snaps super cute selfies, has been roaming around Mars for seven years. It's purpose is to find life on the Red Planet, but in the meantime it's been taking chemical samples of the earth (is that what we call it?) on Mars and sending us back some cool photos. In the most recent installment of Mars photography, Curiosity took some black and white photos that are desolate, lonely and a little creepy. But what else could we expect from a planet that is devoid of any life (until we find it)? Check out Curiosity's latest photos below.
In the latest update of random things being sent to the International Space Station, the six astronauts living in the International Space Station (ISS) have been sent a cookie oven (which must be a lot more exciting than that time when they were sent cement). For the first time, astronauts will be able to bake cookies in space. I'm betting the prospect of eating fresh cookies is pretty exciting for them after months of eating packaged space food.
When scientists found what looked like a landslide on Mars, they thought they stumbled upon evidence that water, and therefore life, might have existed on Mars in the past. However, recent studies show that this probably isn't the case. It looks like we're not any closer to extraterrestrial life yet (but there's still hope).
In 2012, NASA's Curiosity rover landed on Mars and it's been rolling around the surface of the planet ever since. Aside from taking samples and doing science experiments, Curiosity also has a camera attached to it. It's been discovering new things about Mars and taking some pretty awesome photos. Check them out below.
3D printing has really taken off in the past few years. What started off small scale is now expanding to being able to print rockets. Not just parts - entire rockets. That's what the folks over at Relativity Space have been working on, and they may just revolutionize the rocket industry - both on Earth and in space. If things go well, the startup is hoping that their AI will be able to oversee the building of rockets on Mars. Life is starting to sound a lot like science fiction...
Colonization of the moon isn't too far off: plans for permanent lunar bases are already in motion, and the equipment for cheaply transporting people to the moon is in it's first stages of conception. But once we get there, humans will have to live inside buildings (or whatever the moon-equivalent will be called). So, in consideration of this, astronomers on the ISS mixed cement to see what zero-gravity cement would turn out like.
That is not a typo. NASA has been hard at work developing the technology for the next mission to Mars. Part of that are the modules that will be part of the rover. An autonomous helicopter would be able to take pictures never seen before, and reach areas that the rover on the ground, would take far longer to reach, and might not even be accessible.
According to NASA's article on the test, this is a big step toward sending a manned mission to Mars:
NASA successfully tested the first deep space RS-25 rocket engine for 500 seconds March 10, clearing a major milestone toward the next great era of space exploration. The next time rocket engine No. 2059 fires for that length of time, it will be carrying humans on their first deep-space mission in more than 45 years.
This is all part of a plan to send humans to Mars by 2030, which NASA has laid out in this beautifully illustrated image:
It's more than just a weird shadow this time, planetary geologist Steven Ruff and geobiologist Jack Farmer have seen something on Mars that could indicate life was there. NASA's Spirit Rover took the above image in 2008. They say that the 'cauliflower-like' deposits of minerals seen in this picture could have been formed by microbes.
The area this photo was taken on Mars is thought to have been a center for hot springs and geyser activity. The same kind of mineral shapes have been found in Atacama desert in Chile.
The Atacama desert is often compared to the conditions on Mars and even used as a practice area by NASA for the real thing.
The Mars Curiosity rover is no stranger to selfies. This is a composite of 57 images taken from the camera at the end of the rover's arm called the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI). It's on top of a sand dune called 'Namib Dune', taking samples of sand to study the composition of sand dunes on Mars and the way they behave in Mars' atmosphere.
It even took a close up picture of the sand it's been scooping up.
This image was found among several of the images taken by NASA's Mars Curiosity rover. The amateur astronomer on ArtAlienTV claims that this is a large rodent of about 2-3 feet in length.
Watch the video for an enhanced view of the "mouse" as well as a few other anomalies, including a big rock that you can kind of see has a scary face if you look at the right angle.
Is this evidence of life on Mars? There are some who want to believe, but NASA hasn't mentioned any Rodents of Unusual Size in their findings.
For now, enjoy this artists rendering of the space mouse.
"Being right and being alone is a challenging existence."
Most everyone was pretty excited, or at least mildly interested, in the announcement NASA made yesterday about the likely possibility that there's liquid water on Mars.
Not Rush Limbaugh, unfortunately.
He's got his own ideas about just what NASA is doing up there.
According to him:
I said 'look at the temperature data, that has been reported by NASA, has been made up, it's fraudulent for however many years, there isn't any warming, there hasn't been for 18.5 years. And yet, they're lying about it. They're just making up the amount of ice in the North and South Poles, they're making up the temperatures, they're lying and making up false charts and so forth. So what's to stop them from making up something that happened on Mars that will help advance their left-wing agenda on this planet?'
So there you have it. Finally, the truth.