Fountains of Mars

NASA has announced that Curiosity has found signs that water once flowed freely on the red planet. The evidence shows that Curiosity landed near an area that once held rapidly flowing water as evidenced by water-eroded gravel.

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Bradbury on Mars

On August 22, what would have been Ray Bradbury’s 92 birthday, NASA announced that it had named the landing site for the Curiosity rover in the author’s honor: Bradbury Landing. Curiosity landed on Mars on August 6 and took its first drive today.

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Spirit Rover Shutdown

NASA sent the shutdown command to the Mars Spirit Rover on May 25, seven years after the exploration vehicle landed. Spirit was scheduled to operate for approximately three weeks and cover a distance of a couple hundred yards. Instead, it operated for more than five years and covered almost five miles. Spirit made its last transmission on March 22, 2010. Spirit‘s sister craft, Opportunity, is still operating.

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SF on Mars

Filmmaker George Pál (1908-1980) and nineteenth century author Percy Greg (1836-1889) have had craters named for them on Mars. Currently, large craters on Mars are named for scientists who have studied Mars or writers who have contributed to Martian lore. Pál directed the films Destination Moon, When Worlds Collide, The Time Machine, and Atlantis, the Lost Continent, in addition to the Martian film War of the Worlds. Greg wrote the novel Across the Zodiac: The Story of a Wrecked Record. Both craters are located east of Hellas Planitia basin. Pál Crater is about 79 km wide near 110°E, 30°S and Greg is about 68 km wide near 112°E, 38°S. This also marks the first time the IAU has use John Clute and Peter Nichol’s The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction on the list of references cited in planetary nomenclature.

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In Marsport with Isaac

The IAU has officially named an 84-kilometer wide crater located in Noachis Terra on Mars after Isaac Asimov. Asimov Crater can be found at 47.0°S, 355.1°W.

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