Lava, not water, formed canyons on Mars
The canyon-like scars which line Mars' crust are seen by many as evidence for liquid water. But a study now suggests that a different kind of fluid – one much less hospitable to life – may actually have ...
Lichens can survive space conditions for extended periods
A new study shows that a large percentage of hardy lichens exposed to space conditions for one and a half years remain viable after returning to Earth. The lichen Xanthoria elegans was part of the lichen ...
New analyses of Martian chemical maps suggest water bound to sulfates in soil
A research team led by LSU Geology and Geophysics Assistant Professor Suniti Karunatillake reveals a spatial association between the presence of sulfur and hydrogen found in martian soil. The work by this ...
Europe set for launch of "space plane" prototype
Engineers were preparing for the launch Wednesday of a "space plane" that Europe hopes will help it master a key phase in orbital flight—the ability to return to Earth.
MESSENGER completes its 3,000th orbit of Mercury, sets mark for closest approach
(Phys.org) —On April 20, MESSENGER completed its 3,000th orbit of Mercury and moved closer to the planet than any spacecraft has been before, dropping to an altitude of 199 kilometers (123.7 miles) above ...
NASA: Engineer vital to 1969 moon landing dies
John C. Houbolt, an engineer whose contributions to the U.S. space program were vital to NASA's successful moon landing in 1969, has died. He was 95.
How can we find tiny particles in exoplanet atmospheres?
It may seem like magic, but astronomers have worked out a scheme that will allow them to detect and measure particles ten times smaller than the width of a human hair, even at many light-years distance. ...
Ice and fire forge a reservoir for life on Mars
Where volcanoes meet glaciers, lakes often form. This happens in many places on Earth and in at least one place off it: Arsia Mons, Mars.
NASA spacecraft observes further evidence of dry ice gullies on Mars
Repeated high-resolution observations made by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) indicate the gullies on Mars' surface are primarily formed by the seasonal freezing of carbon dioxide, not liquid water.
Professor helps craft marching orders for Mars rover
These are exciting days for the earthbound scientists who study Mars. Data from a NASA rover creeping across the red planet's surface is rewriting our understanding of Mars' geological history and offering ...
Against the current with lava flows
Primeval lava flows formed the massive canyons and gorge systems on Mars. Water, by contrast, was far too scarce on the red planet to have cut these gigantic valleys into the landscape. This is the conclusion ...
Mars scientists capture image of sci-fi landing site
Images taken by the UA-led HiRISE mission reveal that the setting of the best-selling novel "The Martian" is far from being the featureless plain described in the book.
Orbital poised to launch cargo ship to space station
Orbital Sciences Corporation is poised to launch on Sunday its unmanned Cygnus cargo ship packed with more than 3,000 pounds of supplies for astronauts at the International Space Station.
Brown dwarfs may wreak havoc on orbits of nearby planets, causing desolation
Planets that move around their stars in circular orbits are a better bet for life than those in elongated orbits when it comes to creating habitable climate conditions, according to a new study.