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Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Images Beresheet Impact Site

Emily Lakdawalla • May 16, 2019

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has successfully imaged the impact site of the Beresheet lander, which made a really good run at performing the first privately funded Moon landing on 11 April, but crashed after the failure of its main engine.

Chang’e-4 may have discovered material from the Moon’s mantle

Andrew Jones • May 15, 2019

The first science results from the unprecedented Chang’e-4 lunar far side mission are in. The mission’s Yutu-2 rover, deployed from the lander shortly after the Chang’e-4 landing on 3 January, has, with the help of the Queqiao relay satellite, returned data which suggests it has discovered material derived from the Moon’s mantle.

Here's a Roundup of Recent OSIRIS-REx Postcards from Bennu

Jason Davis • May 15, 2019

NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is currently sweeping arcs between the asteroid's north and south poles.

China’s SmallSat Lunar Mission Longjiang-2 to Deorbit on 31 July

Emily Lakdawalla • May 14, 2019

According to amateur spacecraft tracker Daniel Estévez, Longjiang-2 will crash into the Moon on 31 July after more than a year in lunar orbit.

A Crash Program or Modest Proposal?

Casey Dreier • May 13, 2019

The White House released a long-awaited supplemental budget request for NASA today. It proposes an additional $1.6 billion for an accelerated human spaceflight effort to land on the Moon in 2024. This boosts the President's budget request for NASA to $22.6 billion in fiscal year 2020, which is approximately $1.1 billion or 5% more than the amount provided by Congress last year.

LightSail 2 set to launch next month aboard SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket

Jason Davis • May 13, 2019

The Planetary Society's solar sail spacecraft will lift off 22 June 2019 on a mission to demonstrate the power of sunlight for propulsion.

Hearing Recap: Keeping Our Sights on Mars

Brendan Curry • May 09, 2019

Highlights from the hearing, 'Keeping our Sights on Mars: A Review of NASA's Deep Space Plans' held on May 8th in the House of Representatives.

LightSail 2 Integrated with Prox-1 Carrier Spacecraft

Jason Davis • May 09, 2019

The Planetary Society's solar sailing CubeSat is officially on the road to launch.

Mars Used to Have Water, But We Can't Explain How

Kaushik Mitra • May 07, 2019

Although we have acquired compelling evidence of flowing liquid water on early Mars, the fundamental question about how water could be stable under Martian atmospheric conditions remains unsolved.

Here’s an Update on Hayabusa2’s Crater-Creating Explosion

Jason Davis • May 03, 2019

Hayabusa2's SCI experiment fell toward Ryugu for 40 minutes before detonating about 300 meters above the surface.

Accuracy Can Be Fun!

Emily Lakdawalla • May 01, 2019

Last week, designer Thomas Romer of Chop Shop Studio launched a Kickstarter to support the creation of a new product: Planetary Blocks. Emily Lakdawalla worked closely with Chop Shop to create an accurate and fun block set.

Chandrayaan-2 Launch Delayed until July

Jason Davis • April 30, 2019

India's combination lunar orbiter, lander, and rover spacecraft was previously scheduled to lift off in May.

The Planetary Society Announces 2019 Call for Proposals for Shoemaker NEO Grant Program

Bruce Betts • April 29, 2019

Our grants fund amateur observers, underfunded professional observers, and observers in developing countries who make vital contributions to NEO research.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: The Final Report

A.J.S. Rayl • April 26, 2019

It’s a fall afternoon at Endeavour Crater. The summer winds finally lost their energy and the dust storm season is over. But there are no more signals coming from Earth. No more comm sessions with the orbiters. Nothing like it used to be.

What Can We Learn from a Failed Return to the Moon?

Casey Dreier • April 26, 2019

Thirty years ago, President George H.W. Bush announced an ambitious program to return humans to the Moon. It failed. Today the Trump Administration wants the same thing. Can a failed lunar return effort help this one succeed?

Curiosity Update, Sols 2313-2387: Two New Drill Holes Despite Memory Problems

Emily Lakdawalla • April 25, 2019

The Curiosity team is touring Glen Torridon, the Valley of Clay, south of Vera Rubin Ridge, happily photographing everything and zapping rocks. It’s clearly a delight for the team to be in a place they’ve been hoping to reach for 7 years.

How Your Donations are Helping Planetary Society Asteroid Hunters

Jason Davis • April 25, 2019

Each year, we ask our Shoemaker NEO Grant winners to help us tell the world about their work. Here's what they said.

InSight Detects Some Very Small Marsquakes

Emily Lakdawalla • April 23, 2019

InSight has finally detected its first Marsquakes, but so far, none have been large enough to produce good science. Still, it’s great news that the seismometer is producing sensible data.

HiRISE Team Overcomes Imaging Glitches as Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Eyes another Decade in Orbit

Alfred McEwen • April 23, 2019

Blurred images and battery issues are no longer an immediate problem.

Chang’e-4 Updates: Yutu-2 Roves into Overtime, Returns More Images

Andrew Jones • April 22, 2019

China’s Chang’e-4 lander and Yutu-2 rover are continuing to function well and have completed their fourth lunar day.

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