Author Archives: rburnham

ExoMars: Q & A on Trace Gas Orbiter aerobraking

Meeting Mario Montagna – ExoMars 2016 Avionics Systems Engineer – Exploration & Science Italy Head of Avionics, Data Systems & Communications Design department. The ExoMars 2016 spacecraft was launched by a Proton rocket on March 14, 2016. About seven months … Continue reading

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InSight: Elysium landing site coverage by HiRISE

This map shows footprints of images taken from Mars orbit by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera as part of advance analysis of the area where NASA’s InSight mission will land in 2018. The final planned image of … Continue reading

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Curiosity update: CheMin drop-off & SAM analysis

Sol 1652, March 29, 2017, update by USGS scientist Lauren Edgar: Sol 1651 activities executed nominally, so today’s plan is focused on dropping off the fine-grained portion of “Ogunquit Beach” Scoop #1 (now named “OG1”) to CheMin, and SAM analysis … Continue reading

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THEMIS: Sand sheet in Cimmeria crater

THEMIS Image of the Day, March 30, 2017. Today’s VIS image shows a sand sheet with surface dune forms on the floor of an unnamed crater in Terra Cimmeria. More THEMIS Images of the Day by geological topic.  

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HiRISE: Distinctive brightness

This full-resolution image is centered on a bright deposit at the end of a gully channel. The bright deposit does not seem to be present in an image acquired several years earlier than 2009, and is likely to be very … Continue reading

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MRO completes 50,000 orbits

The most data-productive spacecraft yet at Mars swept past its 50,000th orbit this week, continuing to compile the most sharp-eyed global coverage ever accomplished by a camera at the Red Planet. In addition, the spacecraft — NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter … Continue reading

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Opportunity: Pancam scouting to south & west

Sol 4684, March 28, 2017. To evaluate the best route forward, mission controllers directed the Pancam to take filtered images in two directions. Above, is southward, below is to the west. For larger views, click either image; false-color versions by … Continue reading

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Did impact-generated tsunamis make ‘thumbprint terrain’?

Thirty years ago, during a 3-month long visit to the U.S. Geological Survey in Arizona, Francois Costard saw Viking orbiter images of Mars’s northern plains showing strange curving features along the boundary between the Martian northern and southern hemispheres. Costard, … Continue reading

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HiRISE: Valleys on Darwin Crater rim and wall

Valleys on east rim and wall of Darwin Crater imaged by Viking — Viking Image 571B01. Beautiful Mars series.

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MARCI weather report, March 20-26, 2017

Dust-lifting activity on Mars this past week was relatively uneventful compared to that of the previous weeks. Skies above Noachis continued to clear up as dust from the recent regional storm settled out of the atmosphere. Local-scale dust storms continued … Continue reading

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