Thursday, August 21, 2014

Curiosity and other Mars news from the past two weeks

I'm going to be a good environmentalist and recycle my opening from Rosetta and Siding Spring--comets in the news.
I opened Jupiter-Venus conjunction by musing about how to handle my backlog of space and astronomy stories.
I have all kinds of space news from the past two weeks of Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday, enough for a post every day this week.  In fact, I might just do that.
Tonight, the subject is NASA's exploration of Mars both now and in the future.  Follow over the jump for the latest from Curiosity and video of a test of the LDSD.

First, JPL presents its latest Curiosity Rover Report (Aug. 5, 2014): A Softer Trek to Mount Sharp.

On the second anniversary of landing, NASA's Curiosity rover on Mars is preparing to navigate through a series of sandy valleys on its way to Mount Sharp. The base of Mount Sharp sits 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) from the rover's current position.
New Kerala (India) chimes in with some late news in NASA's Curiosity rover provides clues to Mars' past habitability, dateline Washington, August 8.
NASA's Curiosity rover has completed two Earth years on Mars and has provided detailed analysis of the planet's geology and mineralogy, as well as clues to past habitability.
JPL returns with its post-mortem of LDSD: Supersonic Test Flight (HD).

Ian Clark, principal investigator of the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator, takes us through a play-by-play of NASA’s recent 'flying saucer' Test in Hawaii, using high-definition video shot from cameras on board the test vehicle.
Here's to this technology being used to land a probe on Mars in the future.

That's it for tonight's installment of space and astronomy news.  Stay tuned for more.

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