Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist
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.
Latest Blog Posts
Posted 2014/11/19 07:50 CST | 0 comment
At Pahrump Hills, Curiosity is becoming the field geologist she was intended to be.
Posted 2014/11/19 01:57 CST | 0 comment
A set of photos released by Mars Orbiter Mission last week completes the set of Mars spacecraft observations of the comet. Now we wait for science results!
Posted 2014/11/17 05:10 CST | 16 comments
This morning ESA released a set of images of the Philae lander taken by the Rosetta orbiter during -- and after -- the lander's first touchdown. The images contain evidence for the spot Philae first touched the comet, and a crucial photo of Philae's position several minutes into its first long bounce.
Posted 2014/11/14 12:33 CST | 18 comments
Emily Lakdawalla gives a status report on Philae from the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt.
Posted 2014/11/13 04:53 CST | 1 comment
I'm just getting up to speed on the news from overnight, which is mostly good: Philae remained in contact with the orbiter (which means the CONSERT radar sounding experiment was working), and it's sitting stably on the surface, although it's not anchored in any way. And they released the first ÇIVA image from the ground!
Posted 2014/11/12 10:21 CST | 16 comments
The landing happened on time just after 16:02 UT today! Philae mission manager Stephan Ulamec said: "Philae is talking to us! The first thing he told us was the harpoons have been fired and rewound. We are sitting on the surface." Those words later turned out not to be true; but we do know at least that Philae survived the landing and is returning good data.
Latest Processed Space Images
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.
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).
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).