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Blog Archive


A plea to Mars Science Laboratory team members: write your experiences down

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/07/17 10:04 CDT | 2 comments

In which I beg the people working on Curiosity to write about what happens in the coming weeks, even if you never share those writings publicly.

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Happy LPSC Deadline Day, especially to composers of abstract haiku

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/01/10 06:33 CST

January 10, 2012 was a high-stress day for many in the world of planetary geology: the deadline for submission of abstracts for the 2012 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC). One creative coping mechanism for the stress of completing the LPSC abstract submission process is the tradition of capturing the essence of one's work in the seventeen syllables of the Haiku form.

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Print publications galore!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/11/03 05:27 CDT

November has already been a very good month for me in the print publication realm. I've had published not one, but two, feature articles on Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory rover.

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Eris and embargoes (or: don't fear Ingelfinger!)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/10/12 04:49 CDT | 3 comments

Last Tuesday at the Division of Planetary Sciences meeting Bruno Sicardy presented the results of his research group's observations of a stellar occultation by Eris.

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Sagan and Snooki

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/09/28 12:50 CDT

This image has been making the rounds of Google+ and Facebook today.

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In their own words

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/08/16 08:42 CDT

While doing my daily reading today I was struck by the awesomeness of two recent blog posts. Both were composed not by professional bloggers like me but by professional space explorers, one a scientist and the other an engineer.

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The role of press releases in space news coverage

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/08/11 12:05 CDT

I was not trained as a journalist, so before I started working for the Planetary Society I had no understanding of how much news reporters depend upon press releases to generate story ideas. Did you know that most of the news that you read on the Web or in a newspaper or hear on the radio probably originated as a press release or an arranged press event from somewhere?

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On speculation in today's Dawn press briefing

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/08/02 07:10 CDT

When a spacecraft has visited a new body for the first time, the usual answer to any scientific question is "it's too early to know; we need to study the data more." Scientists are usually very careful to avoid speculation while they're on press panels. But today's press briefing wasn't like that at all.

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This year's Jonathan Eberhart Planetary Sciences Journalism Award recipient!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/05/19 11:56 CDT

I was driving home from the Mars Science Laboratory site selection workshop yesterday when I got a thrilling call informing me that I've been awarded the 2011 Jonathan Eberhart Planetary Sciences Journalism Award.

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The 42nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/03/07 11:16 CST

Science is all about asking questions, coming up with ideas that might explain the answers, and then poking at those ideas to see if they work. Scientists spend much of their time in solitary research working out those ideas. But they also devote big chunks of time to meetings where they pitch their ideas and see what their peers think of them.

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Carnival of Space #162

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/07/13 06:31 CDT

The 162nd Carnival of Space is live over at Skymania, so go check it out!

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Where my stories come from

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/07/08 10:23 CDT

The stories I write about originate in space, of course, but as I was wrestling with what to write about in the couple of weeks before my vacation, it occurred to me that a lot of you might not know what tends to trigger space writers to choose what to write about.

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Across the Generations

Posted by 5thstar on 2009/06/26 05:39 CDT

A group of Japanese astronauts and astronaut applicants, all members of a mailing list called "Astronaut2008," got together in Tokyo.

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I am totally hooked on Scott Maxwell's new Mars Exploration Rover blog

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/01/06 11:57 CST

Scott Maxwell is one of those many guys (and gals) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory who rarely gets his name in the news but who is absolutely indispensable to the success of a space mission. I don't know what his official title is, but whatever it is, it's not as good as the colloquial name given to his position: Rover Driver.

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Europlanet : CoRoT - Preliminary Results

Posted by Doug Ellison on 2007/08/20 03:48 CDT

ESA's planet-hunting satellite COROT bagged its first exoplanet in observations of the star COROT-Exo-1.

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An evening with Dava Sobel

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/10/24 11:05 CDT

I've just come home from Caltech, where I saw author Dava Sobel give a presentation on her latest book, The Planets.

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