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Mars Science Laboratory

  1. Mars Science Laboratory Data Suggests Trip to Mars Could Give You Cancer

    Space travel is dangerous, you guys.

    Space travel can be pretty dangerous. The Space Shuttle Challenger or Columbia explosions come to mind, but technical failures aren't the only problem we face. One of the big ones we'll have to confront as we go forward with manned missions is the prospect of major radiation exposure during flight. Thanks to data from the Mars Science Laboratory, researchers have calculated the amount of radiation it received during its trip to Mars. The results? Not great unless you like the idea of having cancer.

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  2. The Mars Curiosity Rover Has Discovered Something “Earthshaking,” But Scientists Can’t Tell Us What It Is Yet

    It Came From Outer Space

    Scientists think they've discovered something quite interesting in the results of a soil sample test conducted by the Curiosity Rover… but they're keeping mum on what that discovery is until they've had a chance to verify the data. Still, that hasn't stopped Mars Science Laboratory's Principal Investigator John Grotzinger from calling those findings "earthshaking" in an interview with NPR, saying "This data is gonna be one for the history books. It's looking really good." Grotzinger, you big tease.

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  3. Curiosity Begins Analysis of Mars Rock Named After Late NASA Engineer

    What better way to honor NASA engineers that have passed away than to name Martian rocks after them? The obvious answer is to then perform science on those rocks. That's what's happened to Jacob Matijevic -- the person -- after he passed away at the end of August. Matijevic had been the surface operations systems chief engineer for the Mars Science Laboratory and the Curiosity rover prior to his death. In a somewhat morbid twist, Curiosity is now performing science on the rock named after the man.

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  4. This Sad Song About the Curiosity Rover Having Self-Esteem Issues Is Here To Ruin You

    Warning: May Contain Feelings

    The Doubleclicks, two-woman nerd band extraordinaire, posted this song this morning to ruin your day. Or to speed up the invention of a method to send hugs through intrastellar radio wave transmissions. Go ahead. Watch. And you thought xkcd's Spirit Rover comic was bad. (By the way, their East Coast Tour starts up soon. Maybe we'll see some of you at their Brooklyn stop?)

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  5. NASA’s “Mohawk Guy” Wins Our Hearts, Is The Best at Being a Meme

    Awwwwww

    A lot of great things have come from Curiosity's mission on mars: Further recognition of human ingenuity, the promise of a better understanding of our universe, some adorable fanart. And then there's Bobak. Flight director Bobak Ferdowsi, seen above sporting a mohawk and a smile that'll make your knees buckle, is practically the new Ridiculously Photogenic Guy he has won the Internet's heart so thoroughly. He's become a meme and a symbol of nerdy hotness, and in the week since the Curiosity rover's landing on Mars he's receives thousands of replies on twitter--as well as a whole lot of marriage proposals.

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  6. NASA’s Curiosity Lands Successfully on Surface of Mars

    In the wee hours of the morning, NASA successfully landed the Curiosity rover on Mars. To rephrase, a one-ton moving laboratory completed that included a detachable heat shield, supersonic parachute, rocket boosters, completed maneuvers that led to a sky crane lowering it to the surface. Just for a moment, let that all sink in. Now that it has landed, images are starting to trickle back from the distant planet.

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  7. Mars Science Laboratory Lifts Off on Trek to the Red Planet

    NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, called Curiosity, blasted off today from Cape Canaveral, FL atop an Atlas V rocket on its way to Mars. The ambitious mission will place the most advanced space rover yet conceived on the red planet, in hopes of discerning whether Mars has ever been home to microbial life. Following today's successful 10 AM launch, the rover will cruise to Mars arriving in August 2012. See video of this morning's launch, after the break.

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  8. NASA Set to Launch Next Mars Rover, Curiosity, This Week

    Though the launch of the new Mars rover, Curiosity, was delayed for two years, that didn't stop what we all hope will be the little rover that could, as NASA is set to launch the rover this week, on Saturday, November 26. Launching from Florida's venerable Cape Canaveral Air Force Station after a one day delay caused by a rocket battery problem, Curiosity will set out to determine if Mars ever supported, or still supports, microbial life. Yes, technically, Curiosity's job is to determine if there is -- or ever was -- alien life.

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