Shortly After Mars Comet, NASA’s New Red Planet Spacecraft Officially Starts Mission

NASA’s newest Mars spacecraft is “go” for at least a year — and potentially longer. After taking a time-out from commissioning to observe Comet Siding Spring whizz by the Red Planet in October, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) officially began its science mission Monday (Nov. 17). And so far things are going well. […]

Mind-blowing Meteor Shower on Mars During Comet Flyby, Say NASA Scientists

“Thousands of meteors per hour would have been visible — truly astounding to the human eye.” That’s Nick Schneider’s description of what you and I would have seen standing on Mars during Comet Siding Spring’s close flyby last month. “It would have been really mind-blowing,” he added. Schneider is instrument lead for MAVEN’s Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS). He and a […]

A Compendium of Universe Today Comet Siding Spring Articles: January 2013 – October 2014

We present here a compendium of Universe Today articles on comet Siding Spring. Altogether 18 Universe Today stories and counting have represented our on-going coverage of a once in a lifetime event. The articles beginning in February 2013, just days after its discovery, lead to the comet’s penultimate event – the flyby of Mars, October 19, […]

MAVEN Spacecraft’s First Look at Mars Hints at Promising Results

It’s been less than a month since NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft slipped into orbit. But it’s already provided mission scientists their first look at Mars’ tenuous atmosphere. “Everything is performing well so far,” said Bruce Jakosky, the mission’s principle investigator, in a news release. “All the instruments are showing data quality […]

Comet Siding Spring: Close Call for Mars, Wake Up Call for Earth?

It was 20 years ago this past July when images of Jupiter being pummeled by a comet caught the world’s attention. Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 had flown too close to Jupiter. It was captured by the giant planet’s gravity and torn into a string of beads. One by one the comet fragments impacted Jupiter — leaving […]

ISRO and NASA Ink Deal to Collaborate on Red Planet and Home Planet Science Missions

ISRO and NASA have inked a deal to collaborate on future missions to jointly explore the Red Planet and our Home Planet hot on the heels of ISRO’s wildly successful Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), India’s first ever interplanetary voyager to explore Mars. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and K. Radhakrishnan, chairman of the Indian Space Research […]

India’s MOM Snaps Spectacular Portrait of New Home – the Red Planet

MOM is truly something special. For her latest eye popping feat, India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has snapped the first global portrait of her new Home – the Red Planet.(…)Read the rest of India’s MOM Snaps Spectacular Portrait of New Home – the Red Planet (387 words) © Ken Kremer for Universe Today, 2014. | […]

MOM Eyes the Limb of Mars after History Creating Arrival

India’s maiden interplanetary voyager, the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has transmitted a breathtaking new image eyeing the limb of Mars and its atmosphere against the blackness of space. The beautiful Martian image is only MOM’s second since successfully braking into orbit during the ‘history creating’ insertion maneuver days ago on Sept. 23/24.(…)Read the rest of […]

Multicolor Mars! Speedy NASA Spacecraft Takes Pictures Just Hours After Arrival

Sure is fun to see the Red Planet in different colors! This is what the gases around the Red Planet’s atmosphere look like from NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft, which did its first observations on Monday (Sept. 22) — just eight hours after arriving in orbit. The goal of the spacecraft is […]

India’s First Mars Mission MOM Meets Mars on Sept. 23/24 – Watch Arrival Live

Its D-Day for MOM! The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is India’s history making first mission to the Red Planet and she arrives today, Sept. 23/24 ! MOM’s goal is to study Mars’ surface features, morphology, mineralogy, and the Martian atmosphere with five indigenous scientific instruments. Among other goals it will sniff for methane.(…)Read the rest […]