Mars or Bust! Curiosity Lifts Off This Pale Blue Dot Bound for the Red Planet

  The Mars Science Laboratory, aka Curiosity, successfully launched this morning at 10:02am EST. The MSL is a nuclear powered exploratory robot outfitted with loads of experiments and investigative tools. I am looking forward to Curiosity’s arrival on the red planet and its findings. It’s too bad that I am not teaching Kim Stanley Robinson’sContinue reading “Mars or Bust! Curiosity Lifts Off This Pale Blue Dot Bound for the Red Planet”

Mars Science Laboratory, T Minus 19 Hours and Counting Until Launch

The launch clock on NASA’s and JPL’s Mars Science Laboratory (aka: Curiosity) website is progressing toward a launch tomorrow. Hopefully, the weather holds out and the launch is successfully on-time as planned at 10:02AM EST. You can watch the launch tomorrow here (there are other videos and information about Curiosity on this website, too).

Detecting Radiation on the Surface of Another Planet for the First Time, Curiosity on Mars 2012

Over the Thanksgiving holiday 2011, NASA will launch the new Mars exploration robot Curiosity for an expected arrival on the the red planet in 2012. One of the missions for Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity is to measure the radiation on the surface of Mars for the duration of its operational life. Donald M. Hassler, Ph. D., ScienceContinue reading “Detecting Radiation on the Surface of Another Planet for the First Time, Curiosity on Mars 2012”

Mars Rover Spirit Completes Mission, Silence Follows Winters

Spirit, the little NASA rover robot that got stuck in the sands of Mars after a long, arduous mission and yet soldiered on collecting data until harsh winters silenced its digital voice, has unfortunately shuffled off this mortal coil and gone to the resting place of other good electrical helpmates of humanity. Read about Spirit’sContinue reading “Mars Rover Spirit Completes Mission, Silence Follows Winters”

Mars and Beyond, Thinking Big

My students are watching Walt Disney’s Mars and Beyond in class today. They will write a response to the film over the weekend that will be one element of their second essay assignment–constructing a narrative of our solar system. As many times as I’ve seen Mars and Beyond, it never ceases to amaze me howContinue reading “Mars and Beyond, Thinking Big”