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Blogs

Blog Archive

 

Shoemaker NEO Grant Winners Announced: Saving the World

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2015/04/15 01:03 CDT

The six winners of the 2015 Shoemaker NEO Grants will use the grants to upgrade their observatories to improve their abilities to study potentially dangerous asteroids.

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Dragon Launches to Station, but Falcon Doesn't Stick Landing

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/04/14 03:53 CDT | 5 comments

SpaceX's ISS-bound Dragon spacecraft is in orbit, but the drone ship landing of the company's Falcon 9 rocket was unsuccessful.

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Artist's Drive: A Sol 950 Colorized Postcard

Posted by Damia Bouic on 2015/04/14 02:15 CDT | 1 comments

Amateur image processor Damia Bouic shares the process behind creating stunning panoramas with Curiosity images.

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United Launch Alliance Pulls Back Curtain on New Rocket

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/04/13 07:00 CDT | 6 comments

ULA revealed its new Vulcan rocket system today, an Atlas and Delta mashup the company says will increase power, lower costs and broaden mission capabilities.

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PROCYON update: Asteroid 2000 DP107 target selected, ion engine stopped

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/04/13 12:15 CDT | 3 comments

PROCYON (PRoximate Object Close flYby with Optical Navigation) is a microsatellite that launched on December 3 as a secondary payload with Hayabusa 2. The mission has now selected their asteroid flyby target -- a binary asteroid named 2000 DP107 -- but is reporting a problem with their ion engines.

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LightSail Launch Delayed until at least May 20

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/04/13 10:40 CDT

The Planetary Society’s LightSail spacecraft will have to wait at least two more weeks before setting sail on its maiden voyage.

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Planetary Defense Conference: Steps to Prevent Asteroid Impact

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2015/04/13 07:23 CDT | 1 comments

From Italy, Bruce Betts gives background and information at the start of the Planetary Defense Conference, which addresses the asteroid threat. Bruce summarizes steps to prevent asteroid impact.

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NASA's Mission to Europa May Get More Interesting Still

Posted by Van Kane on 2015/04/11 04:08 CDT | 7 comments

NASA officials have asked their European counterparts if they would like to propose contributing a small probe to NASA's Europa mission planned for the mid-2020s.

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Curiosity update, sols 896-949: Telegraph Peak, Garden City, and concern about the drill

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/04/10 07:37 CDT | 1 comments

Since I last wrote about Curiosity drilling at Pink Cliffs, the rover has visited and studied two major sites, drilling at one of them. It has also suffered a short in the drill percussion mechanism that presents serious enough risk to warrant a moratorium on drill use until engineers develop a plan to continue to operate it safely.

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To Recover First Stage, Just Read the Instructions

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/04/10 04:01 CDT | 2 comments

SpaceX is gearing up for a second attempt to land the spent first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket on a ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

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Field Report from Mars: Sol 3978 - April 3, 2015

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2015/04/09 10:55 CDT

Larry Crumpler gives an update on Opportunity's exploration of Mars as it approaches the entrance to Marathon Valley.

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A moon with atmosphere

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/04/08 01:27 CDT | 10 comments

What is the solar system moon with the densest atmosphere? Most space fans know that the answer is Titan. A few of you might know that Triton's is the next densest. But what's the third? Fourth? Do any other moons even have atmospheres? In fact, they do; and one such atmosphere has just been discovered.

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Discovery Lives

Posted by Jason Callahan on 2015/04/08 01:05 CDT | 7 comments

Last month teams of scientists from around the United States submitted proposals for the thirteenth mission in NASA’s Discovery program. Jason Callahan discusses this latest round of proposals.

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Mars, In Depth

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2015/04/07 12:44 CDT | 5 comments

See the latest three-dimensional landscapes captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

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Planetary Report: The Spring Equinox 2015 Issue

Posted by Donna Stevens on 2015/04/05 04:10 CDT

The Planetary Report's editor, Donna Stevens, brings you the first issue of 2015!

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A Love Letter to Science Education

Posted by Whitney Pratz on 2015/04/03 06:37 CDT | 2 comments

The Planetary Society Operations Assistant Whitney Pratz reports from the National Science Teacher Association Conference and on the development of our youth education and outreach program, Planetary Kids.

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Pretty Cassini pictures: animation of Iapetus' north pole, and other fun

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/04/03 04:35 CDT | 4 comments

Now that Cassini has returned to Saturn's equatorial plane, it has lots of opportunities to observe Saturn's moons. For about a week, Cassini has been taking regular sets of images of Iapetus, which I've assembled into an animation.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Finishes First Marathon on Another Planet and Roves On
Sols 3946 - 3976

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2015/04/02 09:37 CDT

On March 24, 2015, after spending several weeks investigating some new rock types along the western rim of Endeavour Crater, Opportunity roved past 42.2 kilometers (26.2 miles) and put the first off-Earth marathon in her rear view mirror, driving the Mars Exploration Rovers mission back into the space history books.

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OSIRIS-REx Begins ATLO (Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations)

Posted by Dante Lauretta on 2015/04/02 12:49 CDT

The OSIRIS-REx mission passed another major milestone. We now have approval to build the spacecraft.

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A New Path to Mars?
A new workshop suggests humans to the Mars system might be affordable after all

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/04/02 06:04 CDT | 39 comments

A new advocacy initiative for the Society: let's get humans to Mars.

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