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Commander Dave Scott's Masursky Lecture from LPSC 2014

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/04/04 03:21 CDT | 5 comments

A video of Apollo astronaut David Scott's lecture to the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. His talk was an absolute treat: funny, educational, engaging, full of joy at his adventure, though at the end, a little angry that we've not sent more humans back. It's well worth 45 minutes of your time.

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NASA's LADEE Spacecraft to Fly Through an Eclipse, Crash into the Lunar Surface on April 21st
It's end-game for NASA's latest lunar mission

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/04/04 01:13 CDT | 1 comments

LADEE, NASA's latest robotic lunar spacecraft, will reach its planned end-of-mission on April 21st, when it will crash on the far side of the Moon.

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How Does NASA's Ban on Russian Contact Affect Curiosity?

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/04/04 12:11 CDT | 4 comments

Earlier this week, NASA announced that it was cutting off ties with Russia, except for activities relating to the ISS. This raised questions about Russian participation on NASA's science missions, particularly the Russian experiment on the Curiosity rover.

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Update on the search for planets in the Alpha Centauri system

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/04/04 10:29 CDT | 1 comments

Update from Debra Fischer and her team on the intriguing results of their observations of the main Alpha Centauri stars, as well as future plans.

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Fireworks in the Earth's Sky Sent from the Moon: Reflections from LPSC 2014

Posted by Deepak Dhingra on 2014/04/03 07:00 CDT

Deepak Dhingra reports on presentations from this year's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference focusing on how impacts on the Moon have affected Earth.

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Great new image of Curiosity from HiRISE, just across Dingo Gap

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/04/03 06:26 CDT

A Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE image taken on February 10 shows Curiosity having just made deep, dark tracks across the Dingo Gap dune.

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Discovery Missions for an Icy Moon with Active Plumes

Posted by Van Kane on 2014/04/02 07:31 CDT | 8 comments

In December, scientists announced the discovery of possible plumes of water being ejected from Jupiters’s moon Europa. If confirmed, Europa would be the second moon with confirmed plumes after Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Two Discovery mission proposals for Enceladus suggest the types of missions that may be proposed for Europa.

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More excitement in the outermost solar system: 2013 FY27, a new dwarf planet

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/04/02 10:49 CDT | 7 comments

On the heels of last weeks reports of a second Sedna and a ringed Centaur comes a third cool outer solar system discovery: A new, likely large member of the Kuiper belt. With an absolute magnitude of about 3.0, the new object currently known as 2013 FY27 is the tenth brightest object beyond Neptune .

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Dawn Journal: Orbital Trajectories

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2014/04/01 09:48 CDT | 3 comments

Marc Rayman updates us on Dawn's status and explains how the spacecraft is actually getting closer to Earth at the moment as it moves deeper into the asteroid belt.

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LPSC 2014: The Curious Case of Active Volcanism on Venus

Posted by Constantine Tsang on 2014/04/01 12:10 CDT | 4 comments

She’s alive! She’s alive! Or is she? A little more than a week ago, at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 2014, evidence was presented that Venus was geologically active, not in the recent past, like 100,000 years ago, but right now.

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LPSC 2014: Titan's Land of Lakes

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/03/31 07:44 CDT | 2 comments

Report from a varied session on Titan's lakes at this year's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

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Comet Siding Spring Mars encounter: Cosmic bully spotted by ESA and NASA

Posted by ESA Mars Express Team on 2014/03/31 05:46 CDT | 1 comments

Hubble has taken some great new images of our 'friend,' Comet Siding Spring, due to pass by Mars at less than 136,000 km on October 19 – less than half the distance between Earth and our moon.

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The Future of Human Spaceflight – A Public Forum

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2014/03/31 05:37 CDT | 10 comments

A panel of three former astronauts will discuss the future of human spaceflight at a public event at the California Institute of Technology's Beckman Auditorium, Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 at 8 pm.

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Curiosity update, sols 570-583: Arrival at Kimberley and preparation for an arm workout

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/03/28 03:00 CDT | 3 comments

Some arm faults caused delays on Curiosity's approach to Kimberley, but the rover is now parked at its north edge, examining the "striated unit" up close with arm-mounted instruments.

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Returning Explorers

Posted by Achim Vollhardt on 2014/03/28 01:25 CDT | 3 comments

ICE has been on a journey for over 30 years around our sun. While the owner has decided not to bring the ship back to its home port, a group of radio amateurs tries to find out how ICE is doing.

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The Passing of Warren Ashley
CSUDH Distance Learning Pioneer and Planetary Society Partner

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/03/27 12:43 CDT

Warren Ashley, pioneer of distance learning at CSUDH, passed away March 21, 2014. His idea led to the partnership between CSUDH and The Planetary Society to produce an online Introductory Astronomy course.

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A Report from the First Hearing on the 2015 NASA Budget
The House Space Subcommittee Gets First Crack at the President's Budget

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/03/27 12:07 CDT | 4 comments

An animated NASA Administrator defended the commercial crew program as the fastest way to return to American access to low-Earth orbit in a hearing before the House Space Subcommittee today.

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Hangout on Air: Why yesterday was a good day for Solar System Science

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/03/27 11:52 CDT

On Wednesday, March 26, two important discoveries in the outer solar system were announced: the discovery of the second confirmed member of the Inner Oort Cloud (2012 VP113) and the discovery of rings around the planetesimal Chariklo. In a Hangout on Air, a rag-tag group of planetary scientists and astronomers active on Twitter talked about the discoveries.

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Comet spotted! Rosetta's first sight of Churymov-Gerasimenko since wakeup

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/03/27 09:58 CDT | 2 comments

Rosetta has turned on its cameras and sighted its comet for the first time since waking from hibernation. Next activity: waking the Philae lander.

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A Centaur’s shadow reveals bright rings

Posted by Alex Parker on 2014/03/27 09:28 CDT | 7 comments

Yesterday, a team of astronomers announced that they discovered a set of planet-like rings around Chariklo, an asteroid-like body that currently resides in the unstable region between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus.

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