NASA images of Mars reveal largest canyon in the solar system

Valles Marineris on Mars is 10 times longer and three times deeper than Earth's Grand Canyon.

  • The HiRISE instrument aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured high-resolution images of Valles Marineris.
  • Valles Marineris stretches roughly 2,500 miles across the Martian surface, and was likely formed by geologic faulting caused by volcanic activity.
  • NASA's Perseverance rover is set to land on Mars in February 2021, where it will search for signs of ancient life.
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Michio Kaku: 3 mind-blowing predictions about the future

What lies in store for humanity? Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku explains how different life will be for your ancestors—and maybe your future self, if the timing works out.

  • Carl Sagan believed humanity needed to become a multi-planet species as an insurance policy against the next huge catastrophe on Earth. Now, Elon Musk is working to see that mission through, starting with a colony of a million humans on Mars. Where will our species go next?
  • Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku looks decades into the future and makes three bold predictions about human space travel, the potential of 'brain net', and our coming victory over cancer.
  • "[I]n the future, the word 'tumor' will disappear from the English language," says Kaku. "We will have years of warning that there is a colony of cancer cells growing in our body. And our descendants will wonder: How could we fear cancer so much?"
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Meet the robot 'dog' NASA is sending to Mars

Boston Dynamics' notorious robot goes on an interplanetary mission.

  • NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory announces the deployment of a robotic "dog" for Mars exploration.
  • The robot is a modified Boston Dynamics cyberdog familiar to the internet from YouTube videos over the last few years.
  • The bot will be autonomous and smart enough to explore Martian caves that may one day provide shelter for human visitors to the Red Planet.
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This 'brine electrolyzer' can mine oxygen, hydrogen from water on Mars

Scientists at Washington University are patenting a new electrolyzer designed for frigid Martian water.

  • Mars explorers will need more oxygen and hydrogen than they can carry to the Red Planet.
  • Martian water may be able to provide these elements, but it is extremely salty water.
  • The new method can pull oxygen and hydrogen for breathing and fuel from Martian brine.
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Zircon in a meteorite opens the door on Mars’ past

Zircons in a Martian meteorite widens the possible timeframe for life on Mars.

Credit: Deng, et al./University of Copenhagen
  • A meteorite from Mars unexpectedly contains zircons that reveal the planets history.
  • The rock likely comes from one of the solar system's tallest volcanoes.
  • Analyzing the zirconium required smashing some very expensive rock.
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