Jake Matijevic, a mathematician-turned-rover-engineer who played an important role in the design of the Mars Science Laboratory, now appears in Wikipedia as "Jake Matijevic (rock). Who was Jake and what's so important about this rock that he would be honored in this way?
Spacecrafts from the U.S. have photographed strange formations on Mars that look like ancient ruins of buildings. NASA has spent many years debunking the images, but after looking at them, you must decide for yourself if these structures are natural or made artificially.
This was a week when it was probably more fun to be on Mars than on Earth, and other than reports from the red planet and from the London Olympics, there was limited bandwidth for additional news. But we found it, nonetheless, for this quiz.
By sending space probes to the edge of the solar system, by collecting Moon rocks and comet dust, by landing probes on Mars to dig for soils and search for signs of life, we are in constant exchange with outer space.
The Mars race is about human survival and understanding our place in a vast and terrifyingly beautiful universe. And the stories of its athletes (mathletes?) should be world-class, because they accomplish near-impossible tasks on a cosmic scale -- the hardest sport you could ever compete in.
About eight months ago, a NASA Atlas V rocket launched the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity toward its August 5 encounter with the Red Planet. Now, just a few weeks before the rover is set to land, people are starting to get nervous and excited.