More Evidence for a Wetter, “Volcanier” Mars

Spirit may have settled in for an eternal sleep on Mars but the data she’s sent back is still helping researchers piece together clues for a wetter history of the red planet! The image above, a false-color view from the “Home Plate” region where Spirit now sits,  points to a feature geologists call a “bomb sag”….

Death of a Rover

A wonderful award-winning 45-minute program about the life – and death – of the amazing Mars Exploration Rover, Spirit. From National Geographic TV…check it out.

Watching Over Spirit

As a poignant reminder that Spirit is now officially at rest in its permanent position next to Home Plate, the HiRISE team released this image today showing the sun glinting brightly off the rover’s solar panels, visible to the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter high above. Even though it may have fallen silent, Spirit will always be…

The Sun Sets on Spirit

After seven years on Mars it is now time to say good night to the rover named Spirit. Since becoming irreparably stuck in the soft Martian soil near a low rise dubbed “Home Plate” nearly two years ago, Spirit has weathered a frigid Martian winter that may have damaged its electronics. Attempts to communicate with…

From the LITD Archives: You Are Here

Here’s an image that always blows my mind: it’s our planet as seen by the exploration rover Spirit on March 8, 2004, 63 Martian days into its mission. It’s the first image of Earth taken from the surface of another planet. The official description says: The image is a mosaic of images taken by the…

You Are Here

Here’s an image that always blows my mind: it’s our planet as seen by the exploration rover Spirit on March 8, 2004, 63 Martian days into its mission. It’s the first image of Earth taken from the surface of another planet. The official description says: The image is a mosaic of images taken by the…

This Week in Space

The Discovery crew outlines the upcoming STS-131 mission (scheduled to launch at 6:21am EST tomorrow), new ISS team members blast off to work from Kazakhstan, Toyota teams up with NASA to investigate some out-of-this-world causes to their products’ malfunctions, Spirit settles down for a long [Martian] winter’s nap,  Saturn’s moon Mimas shows off its retro…

Work Well Done

A poignant entry on xkcd.com, a webcomic by Randall Munroe. This is based on the recent news that the rover named Spirit will now officially be a “stationary science platform”. After repeated attempts to dislodge it from its current location, wheels hopelessly embedded in soft sand in a locale called “Troy”, the decision was made…

Dug In

Since November 17 the Mars Exploration Rover team has been attempting to carefully get Spirit out of the sand trap she’s been stuck in since summer….unfortunately there’s no sign of freedom for the rover yet. The photo above, taken on November 28 with Spirit’s Forward HAZCAM camera, shows one of the major difficulties facing the…

A Dusty Sunset

The Spirit rover, still mired in the soft sand, recently took a series of photos showing the sun setting into a dusty Martian sky. I combined the raw images here to create a short animation. Yes, Spirit is still stuck near Home Plate. Its power levels are good but the rover team has not tried…

Martian Lomography

Although not particularly exciting in theme, I like this image a lot for its light and shadow composition. Taken on June 23 by the Spirit rover, this false-color view of the surrounding ground is nicely lit by a setting sun that also creates a glare in the lens. It’s not unlike photos I sometimes get…

Mars Rocks!

I don’t care how commonplace images like these have become over the past decade…it still fascinates me to look at photos of the rocky Martian landscape. Rugged, barren and empty as it is, it’s another planet. Every hill, every rock, every sand dune has never been touched by a person, or perhaps even any living…