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Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist

blog@planetary.org
+1-626-793-5100

Extended bio
Appearance calendar
and head shots

Emily Lakdawalla is a passionate advocate for the exploration of all of the worlds of our solar system. Through blogs, photos, videos, podcasts, print articles, Twitter, and any other medium she can put her hand to, Emily shares the adventure of space exploration with the world.

Emily holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in geology from Amherst College and a Master of Science degree in planetary geology from Brown University. She came to The Planetary Society in 2001 to oversee a portion of the Society's Red Rover Goes to Mars project, an education and public outreach program on the Mars Exploration Rover mission funded by LEGO. She has been writing and editing the Planetary Society Blog since 2005, reporting on space news, explaining planetary science, and sharing beautiful space photos. She appears weekly on the Society's Planetary Radio podcast, answering listener questions or rounding up the latest space news from the blog.

Emily has been an Administrator of the forum UnmannedSpaceflight.com since 2005, supporting a worldwide community of amateur space image processors. She is also a contributing editor to Sky & Telescope magazine.

She is now writing her first book, tentatively titled Curiosity on Mars: Design, Planning, and the First Mars Year of Operations, due out from Springer-Praxis in 2015. The book will explain the development, design, mission, and science of Curiosity with the same level of technical detail that she delivers in the Planetary Society Blog.

Emily can be reached at blog@planetary.org or @elakdawalla on Twitter.

Latest Blog Posts

Reporting from the 2014 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union

Posted 2014/12/15 11:53 CST | 1 comment

In San Francisco, in an annual tradition, more than 20,000 geologists are descending on the Moscone Center. I'll be attending #AGU14 this week, but you can also watch press briefings and many of the sessions online.

Brief Venus Express update: Not quite dead yet

Posted 2014/12/11 07:06 CST | 1 comment

Venus Express is still alive and talking to Earth, but may fall into Venus' atmosphere in January.

InSight assembly begins

Posted 2014/12/11 10:31 CST | 0 comment

NASA's next Mars lander is becoming real, now under construction at Lockheed Martin.

China plans a Mars rover and orbiter for 2020 launch opportunity

Posted 2014/12/09 10:44 CST | 3 comments

China is moving forward with plans to launch an orbiter and rover to Mars in the 2020 launch opportunity. The Mars program also includes plans for sample return in 2030.

Ceres is round!

Posted 2014/12/05 02:44 CST | 3 comments

Okay, so the fact that Ceres is round is not news. It's still thrilling to see Ceres begin to come into focus as a round world.

The New Horizons science mission to the Pluto-Charon system is about to begin

Posted 2014/12/03 07:40 CST | 6 comments

It's been a long journey, but it's nearly over: New Horizons is just about ready to begin its science mission to Pluto, Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra. I'll remind you of New Horizons' capabilities and simulate how Pluto will appear in optical navigation images.

Hayabusa 2 launches toward asteroid rendezvous

Posted 2014/12/03 12:48 CST | 4 comments

Hayabusa 2 successfully launched on December 3, 2014 at 04:22 UTC, and embarked on its interplanetary journey about two hours later. During the launch, cameras captured video of the spacecraft fairing separation.

Reviews of space-themed books for kids (2014)

Posted 2014/12/02 03:43 CST | 0 comment

It's that time of year again! I have a pile of great space-themed books for kids of all ages to recommend, both fiction and nonfiction.

Older blog posts »

Latest Processed Space Images

Farewell, Rosetta

Farewell, Rosetta

Posted 2014/11/20 | 0 comments

The Philae lander took this photo with its ÇIVA imager just after separating from the Rosetta orbiter, with about 10 meters of empty space between them. The photo includes most of one of Rosetta's solar panels, as well as some dust motes on ÇIVA's optics (producing large circles). This photo has been modified from the original to correct for an incorrect conversion from a higher bit depth to 8-bit mode.

Point Lake, Curiosity sol 302

Point Lake, Curiosity sol 302

Posted 2014/10/23 | 0 comments

Point Lake is a dark, massive unit of rock that caps the Shaler sandstone. Members of the Curiosity team have hotly debated whether Point Lake is an igneous rock (a lava flow) or a sedimentary rock (another sandstone, just darker and more erosion-resistant than the Shaler rock).

The Confidence Hills work area at the edge of Pahrump Hills outcrop, Curiosity sol 777

The Confidence Hills work area at the edge of Pahrump Hills outcrop, Curiosity sol 777

Posted 2014/10/17 | 0 comments

Curiosity took this Navcam panorama of her Confidence Hills work area on sol 777, after completing most of her work there. The two drill holes are at upper left, below the robotic arm turret. The turret is positioned where it was when a fault stopped arm activities on sol 775, with the MAHLI camera pointed toward the drill hole. Near the bottom center is the dump pile, where Curiosity deposited the portion of the Confidence Hills drill tailings that did not pass through the 150-micrometer sieve in the sample handling mechanism. Most of this panorama was taken on sol 777 (October 13), but the images of Mount Sharp were taken on sol 758 (September 23).

More pictures processed by Emily Lakdawalla »

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