• Curiosity

    Curiosity Comes To Mars

    With the Mars Science Laboratory—a rover called Curiosity—safely installed in its spacecraft, the Mars Science Laboratory mission set out for the red planet on November 26, 2011, with a projected arrival at Mars on August 5, 2012 PDT. About the size of a small ...MORE »

  • Spirit and Opportunity

    Spirit and Opportunity

    Spirit and Opportunity, the twin Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs), landed on Mars in early 2004. Part of NASA's long-term Mars Exploration Program, the mission has succeeded well beyond the hopes of its creators. Designed to last 90 martian days... MORE »

  • MER Tools

    MER Tools of the Trade

    Powered by a bank of solar cells on its upper surface, each MER has advanced communication capabilities that allow it to keep in touch with orbiting probes and directly with Earth. In addition, Spirit and Opportunity each carry an array of seven tools for... MORE »

  • Early Mars Missions

    Highlights of Early Mars Missions

    In the early 1960s, both the United States and the Soviet Union began trying to get up close and personal with the red planet. NASA's Mariner 4 accomplished the first successful flyby in 1965 and sent back long-anticipated images of the martian surface... MORE »

  • In Search of Martians

    In Search of Martians

    It may be some sort of cosmic joke that the only possible evidence of martian life we've ever found has been sitting around on Earth for the past 13,000 years, hiding inside a baked-potato-sized chunk of rock.MORE »

  • Snowflakes on Mars

    Martian Snowflakes

    Few people look near the sun in the sky; I do. My reward is that sometimes I spot a halo around the sun. At sunset, I sometimes see two bright patches of color on either side of the sun, called sun dogs or parhelia. These phenomena are caused by... MORE »