The Big (yet Hidden) Consequences of Antarctica's Record Heat

The Big (yet Hidden) Consequences of Antarctica's Record Heat

But step into the Martian-like dry valleys and you’ll be treading on a bustling community of tiny organisms, like nematode worms and ultra-hardy water bears and mites.“Really, that's the charismatic megafauna of continental Antarctica,” says evolutionary ecologist Byron Adams of Brigham Young University, who is currently surveying life on the continent.

Space Photos of the Week: Postcards From a Martian Winter

Space Photos of the Week: Postcards From a Martian Winter

Photograph: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of ArizonaThe scale of this photo makes it’s hard to tell how massive these sand dunes are.Photograph: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of ArizonaThis image looks like something seen through a microscope, but no, this is a large swath of Martian terrain.

A New Kind of Space Camp Teaches the Art of Martian Medicine

A New Kind of Space Camp Teaches the Art of Martian Medicine

The couple were both enrolled in the Martian Medical Analogue and Research Simulation, a continuing-education course for medical professionals who wanted to learn about health care in space by pretending to practice medicine in pretend space .Here's how that marital rift came to pass: About seven miles outside of Hanksville, Utah, a man stood inside a grain-silo-like building that he and the crew called the Hab. On the other side of the door stood his wife.

Space Photos of the Week: X-Rays, Binary Stars, and Mars Moles

Space Photos of the Week: X-Rays, Binary Stars, and Mars Moles

Space Photos of the Week: X-Rays, Binary Stars, and Mars Moles. After touching down on the Martian surface, InSight laid research instruments on the ground, including the HP3 instrument, also known as the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package, to begin drilling.

Space Photos of the Week: The Moon Needs Sunscreen

Space Photos of the Week: The Moon Needs Sunscreen

This region on Mars, called Mawrth Vallis, is of extreme interest to scientists who want to study the rich clays and minerals that exist on the Martian surface.

Space Photos of the Week: The Trail of Opportunity and More

Space Photos of the Week: The Trail of Opportunity and More

The Trail of Opportunity and More Eye Candy From Space The long and Martian road: In August 2010, the Opportunity rover looked back and took a photo of its tracks in the Red Planet’s sand.

How Does a 'Martian'-Style Gravity Assist Actually Work?

How Does a 'Martian'-Style Gravity Assist Actually Work?

The first question is easy—a gravity assist (also called a gravity slingshot) is a space maneuver in which a spacecraft gets a speed boost by moving past a planet.

Space Photos of the Week: Packing for Mars

Space Photos of the Week: Packing for Mars

At the south pole, the thawing of water and carbon dioxide ices create odd metallic-looking patterns, while at the north pole, an intricate array of polygons appears when the planet transitions from winter to spring.Enjoying being a temporary Martian?

Watch Live as NASA's InSight Lander Descends to Mars

Watch Live as NASA's InSight Lander Descends to Mars

The 1500-pound robot will enter the planet's atmosphere around 12:00 PST in excess of 12,000 miles per hour, its protective aeroshell shielding it from heat-generating friction and treacherous sandstorms on its descent toward the Martian surface.

NASA Will Land InSight on Mars With Cunning—and Lots of Cork

NASA Will Land InSight on Mars With Cunning—and Lots of Cork

On Monday, November 26th, it will attempt its eighth, when it endeavors to land the $830-million InSight spacecraft on Elysium Planitia, a vast plain just north of the Martian equator.If NASA is successful, InSight (short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport) will be the first mission to investigate Mars' deep interior with thermal probes and seismometry, an approach scientists think will address questions about the red planet's formation and composition.