Related topics: nasa · mars · red planet

Video: Fly across Nili Fossae with ESA's Mars Express

Mars's surface is covered in all manner of scratches and scars. Its many marks include the fingernail scratches of Tantalus Fossae, the colossal canyon system of Valles Marineris, the oddly orderly ridges of Angustus Labyrinthus, ...

NASA scientists gear up for solar storms at Mars

In the months ahead, two of NASA's Mars spacecraft will have an unprecedented opportunity to study how solar flares—giant explosions on the sun's surface—could affect robots and future astronauts on the Red Planet.

Mars samples project looms large in final spending talks

A complex project aimed at retrieving rock and dirt samples from Mars has long been a top priority for NASA, with proponents arguing the mission could answer the age-old question of whether life once existed on the red planet.

NASA's Curiosity rover clocks 4,000 days on Mars

Four thousand Martian days after setting its wheels in Gale Crater on Aug. 5, 2012, NASA's Curiosity rover remains busy conducting exciting science. The rover recently drilled its 39th sample, then dropped the pulverized ...

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Mars rover

A Mars rover is a spacecraft which propels itself across the surface of Mars after landing.

Rovers have several advantages over stationary landers: they examine more territory, they can be directed to interesting features, they can place themselves in sunny positions to weather winter months and they can advance the knowledge of how to perform very remote robotic vehicle control.

Their advantages over orbiting spacecraft are that they can make observations to a microscopic level and can conduct physical experimentation. Disadvantages of rovers compared to orbiters are the higher chance of failure, due to landing and other risks, and that they are limited to a small area around a landing site which itself is only approximately anticipated.

There have been three successful Mars rovers, all of which were robotically operated. (There have also been two successful non-Martian robotic rovers: in the 1970s the USSR sent two Lunokhod rovers to the Moon.)

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA