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Curiosity, Endeavour, and Bill Nye on Your Phone
All these and more on this week's Planetary Radio

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2012/11/07 10:31 CST

This week's Planetary Radio episode presents highlights of the first Curiosity press briefing about the Martian atmosphere, and then takes you to the opening day ceremony for Shuttle Endeavour. You have till Friday, November 9, at 10am Pacific to send your 10th anniversary message to the show and possibly win Bill Nye on your answering machine.

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Huge self-portrait of Curiosity on Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/11/01 07:27 CDT | 9 comments

Curiosity used MAHLI, the scientific camera at the end of the robotic arm, to shoot a huge color portrait of herself sitting on Mars, with Gale's central mountain in the background.

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Getting up to speed with Curiosity as of sol 84, and two awesome mosaics

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/31 07:39 CDT | 6 comments

Curiosity has already spent more than three weeks at Rocknest, working through the very slow process of commissioning the sample handling systems. While parked, she's taken a couple of amazing photo mosaics.

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First science reports from Curiosity's APXS and ChemCam: Petrology on Jake Matijevic

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/12 01:18 CDT | 16 comments

A Curiosity press briefing yesterday gave some of the first results from ChemCam and APXS on the rock "Jake Matijevic." It was a little too much petrology for most people; I do my best to explain.

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Pretty panoramas: Curiosity's scenic views of distant hills

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/11 07:37 CDT | 3 comments

The landscapes that surround Curiosity are picture-postcard beautiful.

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Pretty picture: Late afternoon in Gale Crater

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/09 05:36 CDT | 3 comments

Curiosity shot a lovely panoramic view of the distant rim of Gale crater in the dramatic lighting of late afternoon on sol 49. Damien Bouic has colorized it, and it is beautiful.

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Cosmoquest Astronomy Hour, Wednesday: What's up with Curiosity on Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/09 03:45 CDT | 2 comments

It's becoming a biweekly thing -- join me, Fraser Cain, and now Casey Dreier for an update on Curiosity and a chance for you to get your Curiosity questions answered! The Google+ Hangout is on Wednesday, October 10, at 16:00 PDT / 23:00 UTC.

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Mars Program Update from MEPAG

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/10/05 06:30 CDT | 1 comment

Bruce Betts reports on the status of the current and future Mars program and on acronyms from a meeting of NASA's MEPAG (Mars Exploration Analysis Program Analysis Group).

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Curiosity Update, sol 57: Digging in at Rocknest

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/04 03:27 CDT | 2 comments

Engineers requested that Curiosity be driven to a "nice sandbox" to play in for the first soil sample, and it appears that a sand drift named Rocknest satisfies that requirement.

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Curiosity catches sunspots along with Phobos and Deimos transits

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/03 07:15 CDT | 2 comments

Curiosity has been shooting photos of the Sun as Phobos and Deimos cross its face, and -- as far as I can tell -- captured sunspots as well.

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Beautiful rocks ahead at Glenelg, but first, Curiosity must dig in the sand

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/01 05:31 CDT | 4 comments

A beautiful panoramic view of the varied rocks of Glenelg has been transmitted from Curiosity on Mars. But before going any further, it's time to run the first Martian sand through the soil sampling system.

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What's Up in the Solar System in October 2012

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/28 05:27 CDT | 2 comments

Welcome to my monthly survey of the activities of robots across the solar system! Tomorrow is the equinox at Mars; both Curiosity and Opportunity will be spending the month actively analyzing Martian rocks. It'll be a less active month for Cassini, as Saturn passes through solar conjunction late next month.

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Curiosity Update, Sol 52: Glenelg Ho!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/28 02:28 CDT

Curiosity has pulled up to the edge of Glenelg, its first destination within Gale crater.

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An alien moon, photographed from the surface of an alien world

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/26 12:10 CDT | 8 comments

Curiosity has successfully photographed a crescent Phobos in a bright daylit Martian sky.

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Cosmoquest Science Hour, Wednesday: A virtual field trip to the hills on Curiosity's horizon

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/25 04:50 CDT | 2 comments

I'm hosting this week's Cosmoquest Science Hour, and plan to take viewers on a virtual tour of those mountains on Curiosity's horizon, and show you where Curiosity is likely to go. Join me and Fraser Cain here at 1600 PDT / 2300 UTC Wednesday.

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Curiosity sol 43 update: First science stop

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/19 05:24 CDT | 8 comments

It's now the early hours of sol 44, and JPL held a phone briefing today with the latest news from Curiosity. She's now driven about 300 meters, and has stopped at her first science target, a rock the team has named for the late Jake Matijevic.

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Pretty picture: rocks underfoot at Curiosity's landing site

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/17 02:54 CDT | 4 comments

An amateur-processed mosaic of some intriguing-looking broken rocks along Curiosity's traverse. They were intriguing enough to photograph with the Mastcam -- but not enough to stop and check them out, as Curiosity has already rolled on.

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Curiosity sol 38 update: arm tests done, on the road again, and an important question answered

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/14 06:28 CDT

Curiosity has completed Commissioning Activity Period 2 and is on the road again. I asked Daniel Limonadi to explain a couple of the photos of tests being performed on CHIMRA, and took the opportunity to ask him an amusing question that came up during a previous Google+ Hangout.

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Cosmoquest Astronomy Hour replay: What's up with Curiosity on Mars, with guest: me! (yes, again)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/12 07:00 CDT | 8 comments

Fraser Cain and I had a wide-ranging conversation about Curiosity's recent activities on Mars during the Cosmoquest Astronomy Hour.

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MAHLI sees Curiosity's wheels firmly on Martian ground

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/10 12:39 CDT | 3 comments

MAHLI opened its "eye" on sol 33, seeing Mars clearly for the first time. On sol 34, Curiosity used MAHLI to survey the parts that Mastcam can't see, including a view right underneath the rover.

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