• News_Image_372
    NASA´s IceBite team is in Antarctica this month testing a new drill for a possible future mission to Mars. Team member Margarita Marinova will be writing a blog of their activities. If you have a question about the IceBite project, click the 'Ask a Scientist'
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  • News_Image_179
    Members of NASA´s IceBite team will be in Antarctica´s Dry Valleys this month testing a drill developed by Honeybee Robotics for possible use on a future mission to the arctic northern plains of Mars. The IceBreaker drill is designed to obtain samples for analysis of
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  • News_Image_370
    A new study shows that variations in carbon dioxide 40 million years ago were tightly coupled to changes in global temperature. Understanding the relationship between the Earth's climate and carbon dioxide can provide insight into the extent of future global warming caused by the activities
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  • News_Image_369
    New research is causing geologists to rethink the timeline of when animals appeared on the Earth. The fossil record indicates that a large number of animal species appeared during the 'Cambrian Explosion' some 542 million years ago. Now it seems that their appearance may not
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  • News_Image_335
    The primary goal of NASA's upcoming Mars Science Laboratory is to determine whether or not habitable environments for life once existed at its landing site. However, the mission will also provide important data while en route to Mars by monitoring how much radiation living organisms
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  • News_Image_328
    One of the reasons NASA sends so many missions to Mars is because of the planet´s potential for life. Current missions search for factors thought to be necessary for life, such as liquid water and organic molecules, but some scientists now say the search
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  • News_Image_262
    Chemists have uncovered a chemical reaction that could allow scientists to study the ancient atmospheres of Earth and Mars. The technique could yield clues about past life on Earth - and the potential for past life on Mars.
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  • News_Image_368
    In October, a UFO (unidentified 'floating' object) was spotted in Newport News, Virginia. The bizarre blob was not a Halloween prank, and has been identified as a 'magnificient bryozoan.' This species' fossil record spans some 500 million years - but the Newport News specimen is
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  • News_Image_367
    Mars sample return – bringing rocks from Mars back to Earth – has been on NASA´s wish list for decades, and work is underway to develop the necessary technology. Recently a group of scientists field-tested a robotic system that can drill into rocks, collect small
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  • News_Image_365
    A new study shows how Earth's first plants began to colonize the land by forming a partnership with soil fungi. The research is helping scientists better understand mechanisms behind the evolution of life.
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  • News_Image_363
    NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has discovered mineral deposits on a volcanic cone that point to recent and habitable microenvironments for life on Mars. Hydrated silica flanking a volcanic cone indicates the presence of hydrothermal environments like hot springs, which might have been habitats for living
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  • News_Image_364
    NASA's EPOXI spacecraft flew by comet Hartley 2, and the images it captured show a peanut-shaped nucleus with many jets of gas spewing from its surface. Studying comets like Hartley 2 can help astrobiologists determine if comets played a role in the origin of
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  • News_Image_360
    The Earth has plunged into a deep freeze several times in the past, with ice covering the land and sea for millions of years. Researchers are studying how the planet eventually escaped these cold spells, and whether Earth-like planets elsewhere in the galaxy may be
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  • News_Image_165
    River-like gullies are found in various locations on Mars, and many point to these features as proof that liquid water once flowed on the planet's surface. A new study, however, says that frozen carbon dioxide piling up on martian dunes trigger avalanches that carve
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  • News_Image_362
    The most extensive and sensitive planetary census yet performed indicates that one in four Sun-like stars may host planets as small as Earth. The census is of importance to astrobiologists who are trying to determine where to search for habitable, Earth-like worlds.
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