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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.