Blogs

  • 2011 Planetary Lake Lander Expedition
    A team of scientists has traveled to remote Laguna Negra in the central Andes of Chile to test technologies that could one day be used to explore the lakes of Titan. While the Planetary Lake Lander (PLL) is positioned in its summer home, researchers study the geology of the Leguna Negra basin.
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  • AMASE 2009 Expedition
    In this blog entry, Juan Diego Rodriguez Blanco from the AMASE 2009 team discusses how instruments for future Mars missions are tested on Earth. This year, equipment for ESA's ExoMars mission and NASA's Mars Science Laboratory were put through the ropes on the arctic island of Svalbard.
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  • Astrobiologist Dale Andersen's Field Reports
    In 2008, scientists discovered large conical stromatolites forming beneath the thick perennial ice of Lake Untersee. In his blog from Antarctica, astrobiologist Dale Andersen discusses recent work on this mysterious subglacial lake.
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  • Desert RATS 2010
    NASA's Desert RATS – or Research and Technology Studies – are making their 13th trip to the desert this fall for another round of analog testing. The Earth-based project is helping NASA plan future human missions to locations like Mars where humans will play a scientific role in the search for life in our solar system.
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  • IceBite 2010 Expedition
    NASA´s IceBite team was in Antarctica this month to test a new drill for use on a possible future mission to Mars. In this blog entry, Margarita Marinova describes preparations for the trip to remote University Valley. Team member Andrew Jackson writes about his focus on perchlorate, a compound also in the soil of Mars.
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  • IceBite Blog
    NASA´s IceBite team are studying one of the few spots on Earth where the terrain resembles that of the Phoenix landing site on Mars. The place: a mile above sea level in Antarctica´s Dry Valleys. The goal: to test ice-penetrating drills for future Mars missions. Click 'Ask a Scientist' to ask the science team questions.
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  • Pavilion Lake 2010 Expedition
    Astrobiology Magazine´s field research editor Henry Bortman spent a week alongside members of the Pavilion Lake Research Project (PLRP) in British Columbia, Canada. In Bortman´s sixth and final report, he describes a day trip to collect nasty-smelling microbial slime at nearby lakes.
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  • Preparing for Mars Sample Return
    Astrobiology Magazine´s field research editor Henry Bortman joined members of NASA´s AMASE team and JPL engineers at Mono Lake, California, during a field test of a prototype Mars drilling and sample-caching system. Finally, on Day 4, the weather cleared long enough to conduct outdoor tests.
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  • Testing Spacesuits in Antarctica
    In this field diary, Margarita Marinova takes us on a journey to Antarctica in order to test spacesuits. Testing the suits in harsh environments on Earth can help future explorers, who will need protection when investigating Mars and other places in the solar system.
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  • The Martian Chronicles
    The Martian Chronicles, a multipart series, show the inside story of what it is like to join in a four-year space mission, in preparation for the dramatic landing sequence.
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  • Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea
    An expedition to geysers on the floor of the Indian Ocean is studying how animals there evolve and disperse geographically.
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