Emerging Tech

special report

NASA's Mission to Mars

NASA's Curiosity rover touched down on Mars in early August. The rover’s mission -- a joint operation between NASA and its commercial space partner, the United Launch Alliance – is to answer the scientific questions NASA has been exploring for years, focusing on the Mars environment's makeup.

NASA
A self-portrait taken by the NASA rover Curiosity in Gale Crater on Mars.

NASA’s Augmented Reality App Just Got a Makeover

August 5, 2014 New features and images added.

A saucer-shaped test vehicle holding equipment for landing large payloads on Mars in the Missile Assembly Building at the U.S Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility.

NASA's Supersonic Parachute Is Running Out of Time

June 12, 2014 Before humans can land on Mars, scientists have to wrestle with atmospheric conditions back home.

Astronaut Steve Swanson is pictured during a spacewalk on the International Space Station.

Sending Astronauts to Space Is Worth It -- If the Goal Is Mars

June 4, 2014 But we’ll have to increase NASA’s budget and cooperate with China, report concludes.

An image of the Martian landscape from NASA's Curiosity rover

Get to Mars by Selling All Your Earthly Possessions

May 15, 2014 Elon Musk wants a ticket to Mars to cost $500,000. For those left behind, he'll have a cheap electric car for you.

Our Mars Orbiter Looked Down and Saw Our Mars Rover

April 18, 2014 From space, the U.S. Curiosity rover looks scarab-like.

Mars Photo Probably Shows a 'Cosmic Ray Hit,' Not an Underground Alien Base

April 8, 2014 NASA's Curiosity transmits Martian landscape image with a curious light in the distance.

NASA's Morpheus lander

The NASA Rocket That Hovers Like a Helicopter (But Could Land on Mars)

March 7, 2014 Today, Florida. Tomorrow, Mars.

This composite image provided by NASA shows before and-after images taken by the Opportunity rover.

Important Space News: Weird, Mystery Rock Found on Mars

January 24, 2014 Astronomers are trying to figure how a rock shaped like a jelly doughnut has suddenly appeared out of nowhere on the surface of Mars.

How Robots in Outer Space Are Influencing the Cars of the Future

August 23, 2013 If engineers can build bots that can land themselves on Mars, surely they can produce less sophisticated systems for our vehicles.

This self-portrait of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity combines dozens of exposures taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager.

How Curiosity Became an Astronaut

August 6, 2013 From the earliest years of the space program, the exploration of other worlds has been a source of the same techno-anxieties we have today.

This Tiny Blue Dot on Mars Is Our Rover

July 25, 2013 The Mars Reconaissance Orbiter spots Curiosity down on the surface

This image from the right Mast Camera (Mastcam) of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows a scoop full of sand and dust lifted by the rover's first use of the scoop on its robotic arm.

How We Name the Things We Find on Mars

June 28, 2013 Hint: it can involve ... theme weeks.

Mars Rover Opportunity catches its own late-afternoon shadow in a view eastward across Endeavour Crater on Mars.

A Robot Just Broke the Human Record for Miles Driven in Space

May 17, 2013 Another victory for Opportunity, the spunky little rover driving on Mars

What Became of the Parachute That Delivered Curiosity to Mars?

April 4, 2013 It sits on the Red Planet, flapping hauntingly in the wind.

The "Tintina" rock Curiosity cut through in its travels

Curiosity's Hit-and-Run Leads to Another Martian Discovery

March 20, 2013 Behold: "One of the whitest things" we've seen on the Red Planet

The Curiosity rover holding a scoop of powdered rock on Mars. The rover recently drilled into a Martian rock for the first time and transferred a pinch of powder to its instruments to analyze the chemical makeup.

There Could Have Been Life on Mars

March 12, 2013 NASA's Mars Curiosity rover drilled into a rock and found that it contained a clay-like material.

What's This Weird Hunk of Metal We Just Found on Mars?

February 8, 2013 ... Really, what is it?

NASA's beloved Curiosity Rover hasn't even driven a whole mile yet

January 28, 2013 See how it stacks up with other extra-planetary exploration in one chart.

NASA makes plans for new Mars mission

December 5, 2012 Robotic science rover is set to launch in 2020.

So, what is NASA Curiosity's history-changing discovery?

November 21, 2012 John Grotzinger, the principal investigator for the mission, said his team has found something really cool.

Newly forming stars as seem from the Hubble Space Telescope.

Is there life beyond Earth? 'I think absolutely,' says NASA JPL Director

October 31, 2012 "We have the same laws of chemistry, physics. If there are any locations where there are the basic ingredients, there should be the basic ingredients for life."

The Curiosity Rover uses it's robotic arm to scoop sand.

Martian soil is a lot like Hawaiian soil

October 31, 2012 NASA's Curiosity Rover is starting to get some analysis from its soil scooping mission

The CSA's Robot Explorer is designed to collect soil samples from Mars.

Curiosity's cousins: Meet the rover fleet of the Canadian Space Agency

October 24, 2012 A fleet of vehicles ready to explore lunar and Martian terrains

Mars Curiosity discovers evidence of alien life (Spoiler: It's us)

October 11, 2012 A foreign object in Martian soil has made the rover stop in its tracks.

Swabbing and hoping: How NASA keeps germs from colonizing Mars

September 11, 2012 The agency tries to keep humans from inadvertently populating other planets.

This Is the clearest photo of Mars yet

September 10, 2012 Photos have not revealed any water or signs of life.

Video: NASA satellite captures first glimpse of Curiosity's tracks from Martian orbit

September 7, 2012 The little rover is on the go, and NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was there to document it.

The Martian landscape, in wacky 3D

September 5, 2012 The red planet becomes the red and blue planet.

Curiosity Rover busts out the telephoto lens

August 28, 2012 Even better photographs of Mt. Sharp, the rover's eventual science destination.

Video: The Mars rover landing in high definition

August 24, 2012 NASA has released a three-minute clip with sound.

Curiosity takes its first drive, leaving Morse code on Mars

August 23, 2012 Humans, via their robotic rover, are now leaving their mark on the Red Planet.

Curiosity, the sequel: What's in store for NASA's next Mars lander

August 22, 2012 Planned for 2016, NASA's next mission to Mars will examine the planet's geophysics.

Curiosity scientists select random rock on Mars to shoot with laser

August 20, 2012 N165 is the (un)luckiest bit of basalt on Mars. Which is saying something because there is a lot of basalt on Mars.

Curiosity Rover team members at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Five things we learned from the Curiosity Rover team's Reddit AMA

August 16, 2012 NASA's scientists and engineers provided a behind-the-scenes look at their mission.

NASA uses Amazon Web Services for Mars mission

August 13, 2012 Jet Propulsion Lab previously used cloud services from Microsoft, Google, Lockheed Martin Corp.

Video: Where the Mars Curiosity Rover is headed next

August 10, 2012 The Curiosity science team gave the first firm indication of where they might be driving next.

NASA's rover captures gorgeous panoramic view of the Martian landscape

August 9, 2012 But it's not from the rover you think. Don't forget about Opportunity, who's been exploring the planet for eight years.

NASA staff at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory celebrate the landing of Curiosity.

Live-tweeting Curiosity's landing from Earth

August 6, 2012 Thanks to NASA, the world was able to follow the Mars rover's landing Monday morning.

Video: NASA scientist discusses Curiosity with Colbert

August 3, 2012 The latest mission to Mars is set to touch down on the red planet early Monday morning.

Photo Gallery: Curiosity approaches Mars

July 31, 2012 Rover will inspect Mars' environment for minerals, gases and water.