The Overprotection of Mars?
Moffett Field CA (SPX) Nov 19, 2013 – A recent commentary paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience argues that planetary protection policies and practices designed to guard solar system bodies from biological contamination from spacecraft need to be re-evaluated because they are “unnecessarily inhibiting” a more ambitious agenda to search for life on Mars. In the paper, called The Overprotection of Mars, co-authors Alb … more
Researchers develop algorithm to identify individual grains of Mars soil
Baton Rouge LA (SPX) Nov 19, 2013 – Researchers develop algorithm to identify individual grains in planetary regolith. Instruments on the Curiosity Mars rover not only measure the chemistry of rocks, elemental abundances of soils and wind speeds, but also take an incredible number of images from both mast-mounted cameras and up-close imaging systems mounted to robotic arms. The process of analyzing soil images can be dauntin … more
Martian moon samples will have bits of Mars
Providence RI (SPX) Nov 13, 2013 – A planned mission to return a sample from the Martian moon Phobos will likely be a twofer, according to a study by Brown University geologists. The study helps to confirm the idea that the surface of Phobos contains tons of dust, soil, and rock blown off the Martian surface by large projectile impacts. Phobos’ orbital path plows through occasional plumes of Martian debris, meaning the tiny … more