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Blog Archive

 

OSIRIS-REx Earth flyby: What to Expect

Emily Lakdawalla • September 19, 2017

OSIRIS-REx launched on September 8, 2016. Now, a year later, it's returning to its home to get a second boost on to its destination, the asteroid Bennu. It'll test all its cameras on Earth and the Moon in the 10 days after the flyby.

Cassini: The dying of the light

Emily Lakdawalla • September 15, 2017

Cassini is no more. At 10:31 according to its own clock, its thrusters could no longer hold its radio antenna pointed at Earth, and it turned away. A minute later, it vaporized in Saturn’s atmosphere. Its atoms are part of Saturn now.

Curiosity update, sols 1726-1813: Surveying Vera Rubin Ridge from below

Emily Lakdawalla • September 13, 2017

Curiosity had a productive three months driving along the front of Vera Rubin Ridge, gathering photos and data with its arm instruments, finally driving up on to the ridge on sol 1809.

What to expect during Cassini's final hours

Emily Lakdawalla • September 11, 2017

A timeline of what to expect from the great mission during its final hours.

And then there was one

Jason Davis • September 11, 2017

The end of the Cassini mission is a harbinger for a looming gap in outer planets exploration missions.

Voyager 40th Anniversary: Summer of '79

Paul Schenk • September 08, 2017

Planetary scientist Paul Schenk shares his story of working on the Voyager missions as a JPL intern back in 1979.

Upward bound: Canada's Space Advisory Board provides its recommendations

Kate Howells • September 08, 2017

Canada's Space Advisory Board has provided a clear set of recommendations to advance the country's space program, and The Planetary Society is proud to have played a role in the process.

Curiosity's balky drill: The problem and solutions

Emily Lakdawalla • September 06, 2017

Since December 1, 2016, Curiosity has been unable to drill into rocks because of a serious problem with one of the drill's motors. Emily Lakdawalla thoroughly explains the issues and the path forward for Curiosity.

Planetary Society hosts space policy reception at Australian Embassy

Matt Renninger • September 06, 2017

This year’s International Astronautical Congress (IAC) is being held in Adelaide, Australia. Thanks to the generous support of our members, The Society’s advocacy and outreach capability is rapidly expanding, and we decided to step up our IAC advocacy this year.

Voyager 40th anniversary: Reflecting on the pale blue dot

Emily Lakdawalla • September 05, 2017

Today is the 40th anniversary of the launch of Voyager 1. Four decades later, both spacecraft survive, still producing science, still working on their interstellar missions. On the occasion of the anniversary, we revisit Carl Sagan's reflections on the significance of the Voyager missions.

Your guide to Jim Bridenstine, the new nominee for NASA administrator

Jason Davis • September 01, 2017

The White House announced it will nominate Jim Bridenstine to become NASA's next administrator.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Ventures Deeper into Perseverance

A.J.S. Rayl • September 01, 2017

Along the western rim of Endeavour Crater, Opportunity forged onward in August vicariously taking the Mars Exploration Rovers team – along with a global contingent of mission observers all around Earth – downhill into Perseverance Valley and deeper into a new chapter in this legendary expedition of the Red Planet.

Book Update: The Design and Engineering of Curiosity

Emily Lakdawalla • September 01, 2017

Emily Lakdawalla's first book is now available for pre-order.

A future comes into focus for the Mars Exploration Program

Casey Dreier • August 31, 2017

Casey Dreier says NASA's decision to pursue a Mars sample return mission is good news for Mars fans, Mars scientists and supporters of the decadal survey process.

Voyager 40th anniversary: Revisiting the Voyagers' planetary views

Björn Jónsson • August 30, 2017

Björn Jónsson argues that even now, 40 years after Voyager 1 and 2 were launched, a lot of the data they returned is still of high interest.

NASA considers kicking Mars sample return into high gear

Jason Davis • August 28, 2017

Thus far, no plan has solidified on how to get soil and rock samples from the upcoming Mars 2020 rover back to Earth. That is starting to change.

Voyager 40th Anniversary: Watching an Alien World Turn

Ian Regan • August 28, 2017

In 1979, both Voyager missions captured thousands of photos of Jupiter as frames of movies of the giant planet spinning among its moons. In honor of the mission's 40th launch anniversary, Ian Regan has reprocessed the data to produce stunning new movies.

Voyager 40th anniversary: The Planetary Report's chronicles

Emily Lakdawalla • August 25, 2017

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the Voyager missions, we're making publicly available seven back issues of The Planetary Report that chronicled the grand tour of the giant planets.

Chasing the total solar eclipse at 38,000 feet

Tanya Harrison • August 24, 2017

Where did you venture to view the Great American Eclipse? About 100 people were lucky enough to make the trip of a lifetime for it: 38,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean, courtesy of Alaska Airlines.

Voyager 40th anniversary: The transformation of the solar system

Ted Stryk • August 23, 2017

The Voyager missions transformed most of the large worlds of the solar system from points of light into places to be explored.

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