Landers / Rovers

Blogs about landers and rovers

Skrinkle Haven on Mars (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS)

Images captured by the Mars Rover Perseverance in an area nicknamed Skrinkle Haven in Jezero Crater on Mars indicate the presence of a river that flowed into that crater in ancient times. The surprise is that the layers of sediments and pebbles that form what was called a curvilinear unit suggest that that river was deeper and more powerful than all other ancient Martian rivers identified so far. A hill nicknamed Pinestand about 450 meters from Skrinkle Haven may have been formed by a powerful river but scientists are assessing other explanations as well.

The surface of the Moon and the Earth in the background as seen by the Hakuto-R lander shortly before the attempted Moonlanding (Image courtesy ispace)

It was night in Tokyo when the Hakuto-R lander of the Japanese company ispace inc. attempted the Moon landing. Shortly before the touchdown, the team at the mission control center lost contact with Hakuto-R, and the last phase of the maneuver was followed only through a simulation based on the braking programming. After more than half an hour of trying to reconnect with the lander, company founder and CEO Takeshi Hakamada had to admit that he had to assume that the Moon landing could not be completed.

The Hakuto-R Moon lander and the Lunar Flashlight nanosatellite blasting off atop a Falcon 9 rocket (Image SpaceX)

A little while ago, ispace’s Hakuto-R Moon lander and NASA’s CubeSat-class nanosatellite Lunar Flashlight blasted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral. After about 46 minutes, Hakuto-R successfully separated from the rocket’s last stage, and about 7 minutes later, Lunar Flashlight separated as well. Hakuto-R also carries two small rovers built by the United Arab Emirates and Japan. The route of what is called Hakuto-R Mission 1 will take about five months to get the lander to the Moon, where it will attempt a landing while the nanosatellite Lunar Flashlight will enter lunar orbit in about four months in search of water ice on its surface.

The "Wildcat Ridge" outcrop on Mars (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS)

NASA’s Mars Rover Perseverance collected rock samples in an outcrop that was named “Wildcat Ridge” in the Jezero Crater on Mars. The analyzes show a geological variety that includes a mudstone that contains organic compounds. These results indicate that the rocks in that area are very different from those found on the crater floor, which were igneous rocks that form underground from volcanic magma and on the surface during volcanic activity. These are very interesting samples considering the mission in the design phase that will aim to bring them back to Earth to conduct in-depth analyzes.

An area of Gale Crater (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

NASA has released the results of data analysis recently collected by its Mars Rover Curiosity during its ascent of Mount Sharp on Mars. After spending years in areas of Gale Crater that surround the zone where there were still many traces of the ancient presence of water, Curiosity started traveling in a transition zone from a clay-rich region to one full of sulfate salt. The interest in that area is given by the fact that it shows the traces of the great climatic changes that transformed a planet that, when it was young, was similar to the Earth into today’s red planet.