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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 Rover: Design, Planning, and Field Geology on Mars, due out from Springer-Praxis in 2017. 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

Curiosity update, sols 1548-1599: Serious drill brake problem as Curiosity drives through Murray red beds

Posted 2017/02/03 02:21 CST | 0 comment

Since my last update, the Curiosity mission has developed a better understanding of the problem that prevented them from drilling at Precipice, but its intermittent nature has slowed the development of a workable solution that will allow them to use the drill again. In the meantime, the rover has driven onward, making good use of its other instruments.

A writing sabbatical

Posted 2017/01/24 07:43 CST | 5 comments

Four years ago, I announced that I was writing a book about Curiosity, describing the mission from its inception through its nominal mission. I am still not done, so am taking a three-month break from other work -- including this blog -- in order to focus and finish. I'm seeking scientists and engineers to serve as guest bloggers.

Amazing photos of tiny moons as Cassini orbits among the rings

Posted 2017/01/19 12:39 CST | 6 comments

Behold: Daphnis, the tiny, 8-kilometer moon that orbits within a ring gap, gently tugging on the edges of the gap to create delicate scallops.

Hidden Figures: Triumphant in the theater, sobering after

Posted 2017/01/10 06:48 CST | 5 comments

Go see Hidden Figures, and bring your kids. Despite its serious subject matter, the movie is joyful, often funny, and, in the end, triumphant.

Spaceflight in 2017, part 2: Robots beyond Earth orbit

Posted 2016/12/30 12:22 CST | 4 comments

What's ahead for our intrepid space explorers in 2017? It'll be the end of Cassini, but not before the mission performs great science close to the rings. OSIRIS-REx will fly by Earth, and Chang'e 5 will launch to the Moon, as a host of other spacecraft continue their ongoing missions.

Winter Solstice: A look at the solar system's north poles

Posted 2016/12/21 07:00 CST | 2 comments

Today is the solstice, the longest winter night at Earth's north pole, the longest day of summer in the south. To give a little light to northerners in darkness today, please enjoy this gallery of images of (mostly) sunlit north poles across our solar system.

ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter takes in a rarely-imaged view of Phobos

Posted 2016/12/15 04:55 CST | 2 comments

ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter's science team enjoyed the opportunity in November to test out their science instruments on Mars. One of the tests involved imaging Phobos from an unusual angle.

Curiosity update, sols 1489-1547: Drilling at Sebina, driving up through Murray, drill problems at Precipice

Posted 2016/12/12 05:09 CST | 1 comment

It's been a drive-heavy two months for Curiosity. Since my last update, the rover has drilled at a site named Sebina, then traveled about 500 meters to the south across increasingly chunky-looking Murray rocks to a new attempted drill site at Precipice. They were planning to attempt a new drilling technique at Precipice, but encountered a new problem with the drill instead.

Older blog posts »

Latest Processed Space Images

Misery outcrop, Curiosity sol 1591

Misery outcrop, Curiosity sol 1591

Posted 2017/02/03 | 0 comments

Finely laminated rocks of the Murray formation greeted Curiosity at the end of its drive on sol 1591 (January 27, 2017). The bright veins are filled with calcium sulfate.

Views of Curiosity REMS boom 1, sol 1572

Views of Curiosity REMS boom 1, sol 1572

Posted 2017/02/03 | 0 comments

In an effort to diagnose a problem with Curiosity's forward-facing wind sensor, engineers commanded the rover to use its arm-mounted MAHLI camera to take views of all sides of the sensor on sol 1572 (January 7, 2017).

Structures in the Keeler gap

Structures in the Keeler gap

Posted 2017/01/19 | 0 comments

While attempting to image the elusive Daphnis, Cassini took this photo of striking structures on the edges of the Keeler gap on January 16, 2017. It was roughly 25,000 kilometers away from the gap at the time.

More pictures processed by Emily Lakdawalla »

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