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Blog Archive

 

Swan Song

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/09/25 03:51 CDT | 16 comments

The final moments of a lunar orbiter, as told in a song composed by the moon itself.

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Bill Nye 'Dancing With the Stars' Update

Posted by Abigail Fraeman on 2013/09/25 01:52 CDT

We're two weeks in to ‘Dancing with the Stars’ season 17, and Bill Nye has shown that, true to his TV-theme song lyric, "science rules" in the eyes of the audience.

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Europe Will Select Its Next Major Science Mission in November

Posted by Van Kane on 2013/09/25 01:22 CDT | 2 comments

The European Space Agency will announce two major science missions this November, one of which is likely to be devoted to solar system exploration.

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Voyager: A Tribute

Posted by Stephen J. Pyne on 2013/09/25 11:15 CDT | 2 comments

The Voyagers were special when they launched. They have become more so thanks to their longevity, the breadth of their discoveries, the cultural payload they carried, and the sheer audacity of their quest.

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Dawn on Mars: Waypoint 1 Mysteries

Posted by Dawn Sumner on 2013/09/24 06:38 CDT

Dawn Sumner describes the preparations for maximizing the science at Curiosity's short stop at "Waypoint 1" from sols 385 to 401.

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A Russian Guide to Wednesday's Союз Старт (Soyuz Launch)

Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/09/24 11:28 CDT | 6 comments

Follow along with Roscosmos during the launch of Soyuz TMA-10M using this list of common Russian flight terms.

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Touching the Stars
Conversations with Lou Friedman and Gregory Benford about the starships in our future.

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/09/24 10:29 CDT

Two new programs about renewed interest in the technologies that will enable humanity to cross the interstellar gulf. Lou Friedman talks with Mat from the 100-Year Starship Symposium, while physicist and science fiction author Gregory Benford is Mat's guest for a webcast.

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More fancy Phobos and Deimos photography by Curiosity

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/24 10:19 CDT

Curiosity looked up after dark and captured more cool photos of Mars' moons. They include Phobos and Deimos passing in the night, and Phobos entering Mars' shadow.

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Photos and Video of India's Mars Orbiter Mission, proceeding toward October 28 launch

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/23 01:33 CDT | 1 comments

Indian media reported over the weekend that the Mars Orbiter Mission has passed some senior review, and has been approved to proceed toward a launch date of October 28, a week later than previously planned.

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Cygnus Aborts Station Approach, Will Retry Tuesday

Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/09/22 05:46 CDT

The private spacecraft Cygnus was forced to abort its first attempt to berth with the International Space Station Sunday morning due to a software glitch.

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Plutonium-238 is Crucial for Space Exploration – and it's Running Out
The Planetary Society works to maintain plutonium availability for deep space missions

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/09/20 11:29 CDT | 3 comments

Plutonium-238 provides electricity to deep space missions, but NASA only has a little bit left. A new article in Wired highlights the disastrous consequences of no plutonium for use in space, something the Planetary Society is currently fighting for in Washington, D.C.

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The Deep Impact Mission is officially over

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/20 11:10 CDT | 1 comments

Efforts to regain contact with Deep Impact have been ended. The last contact with the spacecraft was on August 8, 2013.

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Book Review: Rock Star: Adventures of a Meteorite Man, by Geoff Notkin

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/20 10:41 CDT | 3 comments

Rock Star -- the memoir of television "Meteorite Man" Geoff Notkin -- is a life's journey full of joy, wonder, and fun, and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

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Field Report From Mars: Sol 3431 - September 18, 2013

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2013/09/18 11:27 CDT | 2 comments

On sol 3425 Opportunity "waded ashore" at Solander Point after crossing a sea of sand between here and Cape York. Cape York was an "island" remnant of the rim of Endeavour crater that Opportunity left back in May. Since then it has been driving south to the next largest and mountainous remnant of the crater rim, Solander Point.

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ICE is returning to Earth; but do we have the will to regain control?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/18 05:37 CDT | 8 comments

After a journey of more than 30 years, ICE is coming back to Earth next year. But do we know how to regain control of it, and can we find the means to do so?

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Antares and Cygnus blast off to International Space Station

Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/09/18 11:09 CDT | 1 comments

Orbital Sciences Corporation's Antares rocket lifted off from the Virginia coast this morning, successfully carrying the first operational Cygnus resupply spacecraft into orbit.

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Working Together - Scientists & Historians, Professionals & Amateurs

Posted by Fran Bagenal on 2013/09/18 10:53 CDT

From October 6 to 11, two divisions of the American Astronomical Society - Planetary Science and History - are meeting together for a combined annual conference. There will be several opportunities for the public to participate: a free public talk, several webcast lectures, a special online event for the Juno flyby of Earth, and a pro-am workshop on how amateur astronomers can contribute to planetary science.

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Mission Leader Bruce Jakosky's MAVEN Prepares for Mars
Exploring the Red Planet's Climate History

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/09/17 11:06 CDT

Pay attention! This Mars orbiter, headed for launch in November, is a terrific science mission, as Mat Kaplan learned in a recent workshop, and in this week's Planetary Radio.

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Riding Along With Mars Express

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/09/16 06:03 CDT | 1 comments

Take a spin around the Red Planet with the trusty orbiter.

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Cygnus ready to spread its wings, fly to ISS

Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/09/16 01:43 CDT

Orbital Sciences Corporation's Cygnus spacecraft will launch to the International Space Station Wednesday atop an Antares rocket.

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