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The Science of “Bennu’s Journey”

Dante Lauretta • November 25, 2014

The OSIRIS-REx project released Bennu’s Journey, a movie describing one possible history of our target asteroid – Bennu. The animation is among the most highly detailed productions created by Goddard’s Conceptual Image Laboratory.

Hunting Binary Asteroids

Bruce Betts • November 07, 2014

Thanks to The Planetary Society’s Shoemaker NEO Grant program, a new telescope has been brought to bear focusing on searching for and understanding the properties of binary asteroid systems.

Dawn Journal: Ion thrusting (or not)

Marc Rayman • November 02, 2014

Marc Rayman gives the latest update on the Dawn mission, focusing this time on the performance of its ion propulsion system.

Collaboration Between OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa2

Dante Lauretta • October 20, 2014

The University of Arizona (UA) hosted representatives of the Hayabusa2 asteroid sample return mission to explore opportunities for collaboration with the OSIRIS-REx team.

What did Dawn learn at Vesta?

Emily Lakdawalla • October 09, 2014

It's now been two years since Dawn wrapped up its work at the second-largest asteroid. What else did we get from the Vesta encounter besides great photos? Recently, I asked Dawn's deputy project scientist, Carol Raymond, for help in summarizing a few of the big things Dawn taught us.

All That is Known About Bennu

Dante Lauretta • September 24, 2014

The OSIRIS-REx Design Reference Asteroid (DRA) document is now available to the public. The DRA is a compilation of all that is known about the OSIRIS-REx mission target, asteroid (101955) Bennu.

Last Chance to Fly Your Name to Asteroid Bennu

Bruce Betts • September 22, 2014

You have just until September 30, 2014 at 23:59 Pacific time, to submit your name, and to tell your friends and family to submit their names, to fly to asteroid Bennu and back on board NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission.

Pretty pictures: Vesta's dark material

Emily Lakdawalla • September 05, 2014

More masterful processing of Dawn Vesta images by Björn Jónsson, including Aelia crater and some mysterious dark splats near Fulvia crater.

Submit Predictions to Fly in an Asteroid Time Capsule

Bruce Betts • September 02, 2014

You have four weeks left (until September 30, 2014) to submit names to send to an asteroid, and now you can also separately submit space exploration predictions or images to send in a time capsule to and from that same asteroid. Both sets of information will fly etched on microchips on board the NASA OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.

Dawn Journal: From HAMO to LAMO and Beyond

Marc Rayman • September 02, 2014

Marc Rayman updates us on the Dawn mission, its plans from high to low altitude mapping orbits at Ceres, and what the intrepid spacecraft will pursue next.

Dark mountain on Vesta: Aricia Tholus

Emily Lakdawalla • July 28, 2014

Newly processed images of one of the more puzzling features on the surface of Vesta: a dark mountain named Aricia Tholus.

The Osirian Asteroid Family

Dante Lauretta • July 28, 2014

The asteroid community recently gathered in Helsinki, Finland for the 12th Asteroids, Comets, and Meteors Conference. As this meeting showed, one of the hottest topics in asteroid science is the study of asteroid families.

I've been asteroided! (274860) Emilylakdawalla

Emily Lakdawalla • July 16, 2014

What a great piece of news to receive upon returning home from vacation! There is now a small piece of the solar system named for me: asteroid 274860 has been formally named "Emilylakdawalla" by the International Astronomical Union. Here is everything I've been able to learn about my namesake asteroid.

Dawn Journal: Survey Orbit at Ceres

Marc Rayman • June 03, 2014

This month Dawn's mission director Marc Rayman continues the preview of how Dawn will explore Ceres, this time in its survey orbit.

The Planetary Society Supports NASA's Asteroid Initiative

Casey Dreier • May 27, 2014

The Planetary Society strongly supports NASA's asteroid initiative, including the goal of redirecting an asteroid to the vicinity of the Moon. But an independent cost estimate is needed, and needed soon.

New Horizons: Updates From the April 2014 Science Team Meeting

Simon Porter • May 07, 2014

New Horizons team member Simon Porter reports on the state of the mission and Pluto system science from the recent science team meeting at the Applied Physics Laboratory.

Asteroid Workshop Streamed Public Lectures This Week

Bruce Betts • May 05, 2014

There is an asteroid threat and space debris workshop in Scotland this week that Planetary Society support helped lead to, and that will include two public lectures you can tune into live.

Highlights From OSIRIS-REx Science Team Meeting #6

Dante Lauretta • April 30, 2014

The OSIRIS-REx Science Team gathered at the University of Arizona from April 22–24, 2014 for their sixth meeting. Principal Investigator Dante Lauretta discusses a few of the highlights.

Green Bank Telescope Helps Out an Old Friend

Tania Burchell • April 28, 2014

The Green Bank Telescope has been called into emergency service to play radar ping-pong on a close-by asteroid with Arecibo Observatory’s 100-meter William E. Gordon radio telescope.

Spitzer Space Telescope Observations of Bennu

Dante Lauretta • April 24, 2014

What can studying the thermal emission of Bennu with the Spitzer Space Telescope tell us about its physical properties?

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