December 10, 2013 |
Mars One is a plucky not-for-profit organization that wants to turn the colonization of Mars into a worldwide reality TV show -- and it appears to be making headway. On Tuesday, Mars One announced it had contracted Lockheed Martin to develop a mission concept study for a Mars lander to be launched in 2018. (Click through the photo gallery above to see an image of the proposed lander). Lockheed Martin is the company that tested and operated the 2007 Phoenix Mars lander for NASA.
December 9, 2013 |
Scientists working on NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission have been somewhat sparing until now when describing exactly how the rocks drilled, gobbled and cooked by the Curiosity rover paint a picture of a life-friendly environment. Well, no more. In a suite of findings announced Monday, the scientists are painting a vivid picture of Gale Crater: filled with a modest lake of water, rich in the chemical ingredients for life, theoretically able to support a whole Martian biosphere based on Earth-like microbes called chemolithoautotrophs.
December 9, 2013 |
Billions of years ago, when early life was just taking hold on Earth, Mars was home to an ancient lake filled with the right chemical ingredients for life to thrive, scientists said Monday. Drilling into dry rock, NASA's Curiosity rover has discovered signs that Gale Crater was once watery, perhaps ringed with ice and snow, and could potentially have hosted an entire Martian biosphere based on a type of microbe found in caves on Earth. Such primitive organisms, called chemolithoautotrophs, feed on chemicals found in rocks and make their own energy.
December 2, 2013 |
The Washington Redskins were eliminated from playoff contention with their 24-17 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday night, and adding to their frustration was an officiating gaffe that's sure to invite NFL scrutiny. With two minutes to play and Washington trailing by a touchdown, the Redskins had a second-and-five at their 36. Robert Griffin III hit Pierre Garcon for a short gain that looked to be just shy of a first down. Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said later that he asked officials for a measurement and was told by them, “You don't have to; it's a first down.” Sure enough, the crew moved the chains to indicate first down, and Griffin ran a first-down-type play, a long pass to tight end Fred Davis that was dropped.
December 2, 2013 |
For the first time in Iceland's modern history, police carried out a fatal shooting early Monday during an exchange of gunfire with a man reported to be firing at cars from his apartment window. Two police officers were wounded in the shootout that followed a 5 a.m. emergency call from neighbors, Euronews quoted an Icelandic news agency as reporting. The 59-year-old victim from eastern Reykjavik, who wasn't immediately identified, was taken to an area hospital where he died of his wounds.
November 28, 2013 |
Move over Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, there's another observance that's looking to share the spotlight this Thursday: Red Planet Day. That's right, Thursday, Nov. 28, marks the 49th anniversary of the launch of Mariner 4, the first spacecraft ever to complete a successful mission to Mars. Roughly eight months after its launch, the flyby probe gave us our first close-up look at the Red Planet. These days, as the Mars rover Curiosity makes wheel tracks all over Gale crater and zaps rocks with its ChemCam laser, this might not seem like a big deal.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 23, 2013 |
Newport Beach residents may soon be one step closer to roasting marshmallows beachside over natural gas-burning fire rings. On Tuesday, the city staff plans to recommend that the City Council approve participation in a pilot project with the South Coast Air Quality Management District to install natural gas fire rings in certain beach areas, while also removing some of the existing wood-fueled fire rings. Currently, 33 fire rings are arranged in the sand near the Balboa Pier and 27 at Corona del Mar State Beach.
November 20, 2013 |
As NASA's MAVEN mission heads toward Mars , scientists say they've discovered highly unusual, light-colored rock on the mostly dark-toned Red Planet - and two teams have dueling ideas of what such pale rock could be. Could it be granite, the stuff found in fancy kitchen counter tops on Earth? Or could it be anorthosite, the rock that characterizes the bright highlands of the moon? Either way, the two papers published in Nature Geoscience indicate that Mars' inner workings may have been more complicated, and its rock collection more diverse, than planetary scientists once thought.
November 19, 2013 |
MAVEN is now on its way to Mars, joining Curiosity and various other predecessors in humanity's effort to figure out the Red Planet. Was there life on this apparently barren world? What happened to make Mars what it is today? MAVEN will look for clues . The launch of the spacecraft Monday and its performance afterward went " flawlessly ," according to the MAVEN team website. Next stop is Mars orbit, to be reached Sept. 22, 2014. What's next for Mars? NASA's InSight is a mission to study the deep interior of the planet.
November 18, 2013 |
[Updated, 10:41 a.m. Nov. 18: Success! The Atlas V rocket, carrying MAVEN on its mission to Mars, lifted off this morning just as the launch window opened. Social media lighted up as the robotic explorer left the launchpad at Cape Canaveral. This is just the first step in a 10-month journey. ] And lift off of the #MAVEN spacecraft on a journey to Mars aboard an #Atlas5 rocket: pic.twitter.com/kbAWwvMoZE - NASA (@NASA) November 18, 2013 MAVEN is on schedule for its launch to Mars today.