NASA Mars spacecraft reveals a more dynamic Red Planet

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed to scientists slender dark markings -- possibly due to salty water – that advance seasonally down slopes surprisingly close to the Martian equator.

Report: Ancient fresh water lake on Mars could have sustained life

Scientists have found evidence that there was once an ancient lake on Mars that may have been able to support life, in research published today in the journal Science.

Laser instrument on NASA Mars Rover tops 100,000 zaps

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has passed the milestone of 100,000 shots fired by its laser. It uses the laser as one way to check which chemical elements are in rocks and soils.

Mars rover team working to diagnose electrical issue

Science observations by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity have been suspended for a few days while engineers run tests to check possible causes of a voltage change detected on Nov. 17.

Asteroids' close encounters with Mars

For nearly as long as astronomers have been able to observe asteroids, a question has gone unanswered: Why do the surfaces of most asteroids appear redder than meteorites — the remnants of asteroids that have crashed to Earth?

Evidence found for granite on Mars

Researchers now have stronger evidence of granite on Mars and a new theory for how the granite – an igneous rock common on Earth -- could have formed there, according to a new study. The findings suggest a much more geologically complex Mars than previously believed.

Curiosity Rover performs warm reset on Mars

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity experienced an unexpected software reboot (also known as a warm reset) yesterday (11/7/13) during a communications pass as it was sending engineering and science data to the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, for later downlinking to Earth.

Mars Rover Opportunity heads uphill

Earlier this week, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover began climbing "Solander Point," the northern tip of the tallest hill it has encountered in the mission's nearly 10 Earth years on Mars.

Mars crater may actually be ancient supervolcano

Scientists from NASA and the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Ariz., have identified what could be a supervolcano on Mars—the first discovery of its kind. The volcano in question, a vast circular basin on the face of the Red Planet, previously had been classified as an impact crater.

A closer look at Mars reveals new type of impact crater

Lessons from underground nuclear tests and explosive volcanoes may hold the answer to how a category of unusual impact craters formed on Mars. The craters feature a thin-layered outer deposit that extends well beyond the typical range of ejecta, said Nadine Barlow, professor of physics and astronomy at Northern Arizona University.

NASA eyes Mars 2020 Mission

NASA has released its announcement of an open competition for the planetary community to submit proposals for the science and exploration technology instruments that would be carried aboard the agency's next Mars rover, scheduled for launch in July/August of 2020.

Analyzing the diverse landing area of Curiosity on Mars

NASA's Curiosity rover is revealing a great deal about Mars, from long-ago processes in its interior to the current interaction between the Martian surface and atmosphere.

Two generations of windblown sediments on Mars

This colorful scene is situated in the Noctis Labyrinthus region of Mars, perched high on the Tharsis rise in the upper reaches of the Valles Marineris canyon system. Targeting the bright rimmed bedrock knobs, the image also captures the interaction of two distinct types of windblown sediments.

NASA Curiosity Rover detects no methane on Mars

Data from NASA's Curiosity rover has revealed the Martian environment lacks methane. This is a surprise to researchers because previous data reported by U.S. and international scientists indicated positive detections. The roving laboratory performed extensive tests to search for traces of Martian methane.

Upgrade to Mars rovers could aid discovery on more distant worlds

Smart as the Mars Curiosity mission has been about landing and finding its own way on a distant world, the rover is pretty brainless when it comes to doing the science that it was sent 567 million kilometers to carry out. That has to change if future rover missions are to make discoveries further out in the solar system, scientists say.

A radiating beauty on Mars

Exceptional structures deposited and shaped by water and winds adorn these interlocking craters and sculpt radiating patterns in the sands of Mars.

NASA evaluates four candidate sites for 2016 Mars Mission

NASA has narrowed to four the number of potential landing sites for the agency's next mission to the surface of Mars, a 2016 lander to study the planet's interior. The stationary Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander is scheduled to launch in March 2016 and land on Mars six months later.

Will Mars declare independence from Earth?

If China or the US colonized Mars, would its inhabitants eventually declare independence from Earth?

Two moons passing in the Martian night

The larger of the two moons of Mars, Phobos, passes directly in front of the other, Deimos, in a new series of sky-watching images from NASA's Mars rover Curiosity.

Swapping motion-sensing units around Mars

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is switching from one motion-sensing device to a duplicate unit onboard.