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Blog Archive

 

"Sand" means something different to me than it does to you, probably

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/24 01:28 CST | 2 comments

I had one of those "A-ha" moments last week where I suddenly realized that I had run afoul of a common problem in science communication: when the words I'm using mean something different to me than they do to almost everyone I'm talking to. The confusing word of the week: "sand."

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Planetary Society Hangout: Jan 17th, 2013 - Drilling on Mars with Joel Hurowitz
Thursday, Jan 17th, at noon PST/2000 UT

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/01/17 02:00 CST | 3 comments

Join Emily Lakdawalla and Joel Hurowitz of the MSL Curiosity sample acquisition team to talk about the upcoming "first drill" by the martian rover.

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Pretty picture: new HiRISE view of Curiosity, sol 145

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/16 04:58 CST | 2 comments

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured a new view of Curiosity on Mars on January 2 (sol 145). Curiosity was in the same location as the one from which it shot the sol 137 panorama I posted earlier. You can see the rover's tracks leading all the way back to the landing site!

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Curiosity update, sol 157: Glenelg isn't just a test site anymore; it's a scientific "candy store"

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/15 05:30 CST | 5 comments

The Curiosity mission held a press briefing this morning for the first time since the American Geophysical Union meeting, and it was jam-packed with science. The biggest piece of news is this: it was worth it, scientifically, to go to Glenelg first, before heading to the mountain.

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Curiosity's Scoop Campaign, a Summary

Posted by Stephen Kuhn on 2013/01/08 09:30 CST | 4 comments

Stephen Kuhn is the CHIMRA and the scoop systems lead on the Curiosity rover. He explains what the team was doing at Rocknest, and why it took so long!

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Looking ahead to spacecraft activities in 2013

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/04 01:09 CST | 3 comments

2013 is going to be a busy year in space exploration. Two missions launch to the Moon (LADEE and Chang'E 3), and another two to Mars (MAVEN and India's mission). Curiosity should drive to the Mountain, and Opportunity to the next site on Endeavour's rim. Cassini will be seeing rings and Titan. Others should continue routine operations, except maybe MESSENGER, whose fate after March is not yet decided.

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Planetary Society Weekly Hangout, Thu Jan 3 1200PT/2000UT: Jim Bell

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/02 12:32 CST | 3 comments

Join Emily Lakdawalla and Casey Dreier for a chat with Jim Bell, a scientist who wears many hats. He's the team lead for the Pancam color cameras on the Spirit and Opportunity rovers; he's a member of the Curiosity science team; and he's the esteemed President of the Planetary Society's Board of Directors. We'll talk about the great science being done by both Curiosity and Opportunity, and about what's in store for the future.

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Who is the photographer behind Mars rover photos? Answer from Mark Lemmon

Posted by Mark Lemmon on 2012/12/21 11:10 CST | 2 comments

A Mars imaging scientist answers the question: who is the "photographer" behind images returned from Mars?

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Planetary Radio Live Celebrates Curiosity/Truly Haute Cuisine!
Listen to or watch the webcast recorded Saturday, December 15th, and enjoy a neat little French animation.

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2012/12/20 04:06 CST

Listen to or watch the webcast recorded Saturday, December 15th with MSL Project Manager Richard Cook and Project Scientist John Grotzinger. Bonus: enjoy a neat little French animation.

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Watch Planetary Radio LIVE on Saturday!
Saturday's webcast is all about Curiosity on Mars

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2012/12/15 11:10 CST | 1 comments

Watch the live show at 2pm Pacific on Saturday, December 15 to see Bill Nye, Emily Lakdawalla and the leaders of the Mars Science Laboratory rover mission.

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Planetary Society Hangout Thursday noon PT / 2000 UT: GRAIL's Demise, Curiosity Arrives, and the 2020 Rover Surprise

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2012/12/13 12:15 CST | 3 comments

Join us for our weekly hangout and catch up on GRAIL, Curiosity, and the future Mars rover.

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Curiosity update, sol 117: Progress report from AGU

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/12/05 07:58 CST | 4 comments

Monday was the big Curiosity day at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union. A morning press briefing was followed by an afternoon science session. I traveled to San Francisco briefly just to attend those two events. Here's my notes on the first science reports from the mission.

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Planetary Society Weekly Hangout: present and future rovers

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/12/05 06:56 CST | 3 comments

The Planetary Society has a new weekly Google+ Hangout time slot, Thursdays at noon PT / 1800 UT. This week, Casey Dreier and I talked about the Curiosity kerfuffle and NASA's future rover plans. Here's the archived recording.

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The Curiosity Kerfuffle: the big (and increasing) difference between data and discovery

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/12/03 03:12 CST | 17 comments

I'm in San Francisco, reporting from the American Geophysical Union meeting. This morning, there was a much-anticipated press briefing featuring the latest results from Curiosity.

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More than you probably wanted to know about Curiosity's SAM instrument

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/11/30 12:31 CST | 26 comments

With all the hoopla surrounding the unknown results of the first analysis of a soil sample by Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument, I thought an explainer would be useful. What is SAM, what is it designed to measure, and what is the nature of its results? Here you go.

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One Year Ago

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2012/11/26 04:44 CST

MSL Curiosity left the Earth one year ago today. This is my experience of the launch.

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Pretty Picture: Curiosity on the edge of a geologist's paradise

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/11/26 03:11 CST | 1 comments

On Saturday, while parked for the Thanksgiving holiday at the edge of Glenelg, Curiosity took a lovely panorama pointed to the east and into Glenelg.

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Cosmoquest Science Hour, Wednesday: Curiosity update with Emily and Fraser

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/11/21 05:30 CST | 6 comments

This week's Cosmoquest Astronomy Hour Google+ Hangout at 1600 PST / midnight UTC on Wednesday will feature me and Fraser Cain talking about what Curiosity's been up to, and answering your questions.

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Nifty animation: Dust in the air for Curiosity

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/11/21 11:21 CST

An animation of Curiosity photos shows changes in the weather.

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Planetary Radio Live--Celebrating Curiosity
Leaders of the Mars Science Laboratory mission join Bill Nye and others on stage.

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2012/11/20 04:28 CST

Bill Nye and Planetary Society colleagues welcome mission leaders Richard Cook and John Grotzinger to a live discussion about the Mars Science Laboratory Rover.

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