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Blogs

Blog Archive

 

Canadian Mars Analogue Mission: Field Report, Week 1

Posted by Tanya Harrison on 2014/08/20 11:02 CDT | 1 comment

Tanya Harrison reports on Canada's efforts to simulate a Mars sample return mission here on Earth.

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Curiosity wheel damage: The problem and solutions

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/08/19 08:21 CDT | 15 comments

Now that a Tiger Team has assessed the nature and causes of damage to Curiosity's wheels, I can finally answer your frequently-asked questions about what wheel damage means for the mission, and why it wasn't anticipated.

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New Postcards from Mars

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2014/08/18 10:34 CDT | 6 comments

The latest snaphots from the "Mars Webcam" include something special.

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Field Report From Mars: Sol 3753 – August 15, 2014

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2014/08/18 09:46 CDT | 2 comments

Opportunity just completed its first drives upslope on its long journey toward the crest of the highest rim segment of Endeavour crater, “Cape Tribulation.” Larry Crumpler gives us an update on what to expect next from the little rover that could.

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Interstellar Dust Grains Found by Stardust@home
(and The Planetary Society Helped)

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/08/15 06:04 CDT | 2 comments

Seven possible interstellar dust grains have been found by Stardust@home, a citizen scientist project that The Planetary Society helped out early on. The dust grains would be the first ever examples of contemporary interstellar dust.

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The OCO-2 First Light Spectra

Posted by David Crisp on 2014/08/15 01:27 CDT

Dr. David Crisp explains how NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) works, and what its first light spectra tells his team about the spacecraft’s performance.

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Finding my way around comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/08/15 12:30 CDT | 26 comments

Rosetta has nearly completed its first funky three-cornered orbit in front of the comet. Each day we're getting views of the nucleus from more directions. I step you through Churyumov-Gerasimenko's geography.

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Data From the Rescued ISEE-3 Spacecraft Have a New Internet Home

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/08/14 03:00 CDT

"A Spacecraft for All" is a new website by Google Creative Labs that will host citizen science data from the ISEE-3 Reboot Project.

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Mars orbiters plan for their October encounter with comet Siding Spring

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/08/13 06:00 CDT | 1 comment

Now that we have reasonable confidence that our Mars orbiters will be safe from the close passage of comet Siding Spring, we are free to be excited about the opportunity that the encounter represents. At a community workshop on August 11, representatives from Mars missions shared their plans for great comet science.

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Three Major Volcanic Eruptions Observed On Io in the Span of Two Weeks

Posted by Jason Perry on 2014/08/12 09:40 CDT | 1 comment

Jason Perry brings us a report on recent ground-based observations that shed new light on the most powerful of Io’s volcanic eruptions.

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LightSail Prepares for Its Day-in-the-Life Test

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/08/12 08:14 CDT

LightSail-A's radio system has been fixed, and the spacecraft is now preparing for its August 20 day-in-the-life test.

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Mars 2020 Instruments – A Plan for Sample Return

Posted by Van Kane on 2014/08/08 04:45 CDT | 11 comments

Van Kane gives us a tour of the instruments selected for the Mars 2020 rover.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Sets Historic Distance Record and Roves On
Sols 3710-3739

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2014/08/08 12:13 CDT

It's official: Opportunity has traveled farther and lived longer than any other vehicle on another planet, driving to a place in history with an out-of-this-world distinction no one even imagined when the robot field geologist left Earth 11 years ago.

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Twinkling worlds in motion: New Horizons' first optical navigation images of Pluto and Charon

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/08/07 02:31 CDT | 9 comments

What's that in the distance? A binary star? Those are two little round worlds dancing in circles, whirling around a point in space located between the two of them. It's Pluto and Charon, clearly separated by New Horizons' camera.

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Comet Siding Spring: Risk Assessment

Posted by Karl Battams on 2014/08/07 01:29 CDT | 6 comments

On October 19, 2014, Comet Siding Spring is going to have an extremely close encounter with the planet Mars. The bottom line: it seems most likely that our Martian spacecraft will be absolutely fine.

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Watch a Recap of LightSail's Live LightSail Launch Announcement

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/08/07 10:14 CDT

Watch a recap of The Planetary Society's live LightSail Launch Announcement, which took place July 9 at the KPCC Crawford Family Forum.

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Rosetta's Big Day

Posted by Stuart Atkinson on 2014/08/06 05:46 CDT | 4 comments

Stuart Atkinson muses on the difference between the Europe of today and the Europe of a century ago in the context of Rosetta's momentous arrival at comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

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The Planetary Society Applauds ESA for Rosetta's Successful Comet Rendezvous

Posted by Jennifer Vaughn on 2014/08/06 05:28 CDT | 1 comment

The Planetary Society congratulates the European Space Agency on its Rosetta spacecraft arriving at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta is the first spacecraft to orbit a comet.

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Rendezvous with a crazy world

Posted by Daniel Fischer on 2014/08/06 01:27 CDT | 1 comment

Beaming scientists all around, spectacular images on large TV screens, and the best - or at least most exciting - yet to come: such was the extraordinary scene at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, today as the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft reached its cometary destination.

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"We're at the comet!" Rosetta has arrived at comet 67P

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/08/06 04:58 CDT | 9 comments

After a journey of more than a decade, Rosetta has finally arrived at comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Confirmation of the successful rocket firing came at about 9:30 UTC via a webcast from ESA's Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany.

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