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Blog Archive

 

InSight update, sols 43-83: Instrument placement complete

Emily Lakdawalla • February 20, 2019

InSight has placed its second science instrument on the ground and set it free. Now it's time to bury the heat probe in the soil.

NASA’s Lucy mission gets caught in a fight between rocket companies

Casey Dreier • February 20, 2019

SpaceX says it wants to save NASA money, but its actions could cost taxpayers more in the end.

What to expect when Hayabusa2 collects a sample from Ryugu

Jason Davis • February 19, 2019

More than 4 years after launch and a half year surveying asteroid Ryugu, Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft is ready for sample collection.

What to expect when Beresheet launches to (and lands on) the Moon

Jason Davis • February 18, 2019

Launch day is almost here for the small lunar lander built by Israeli non-profit SpaceIL.

NASA just got its best budget in a decade

Casey Dreier • February 15, 2019

After months of unrelated political turmoil, multiple stop-gap spending bills, and an unprecedented government shutdown, NASA's 2019 budget was finally signed into law.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update Special Report: NASA Declares Opportunity and MER Mission “Complete”

A.J.S. Rayl • February 14, 2019

At around 8 pm February 12, 2019, Pacific Standard Time (PST), the final commands were transmitted to Opportunity, the Mars Exploration Rover that defied all odds

Planetary Radio: 10 Must-Listen Episodes About Space Exploration

MaryLiz Bender • February 13, 2019

The Planetary Society staff has selected our top ten favorite episodes of Planetary Radio. Listen now.

Touchdown for InSight's Heat Probe

Emily Lakdawalla • February 12, 2019

InSight has gone two for two, placing the second of its instruments gently on the Martian ground.

Looking Back at MU69

Emily Lakdawalla • February 08, 2019

A crescent view of MU69 reveals its bizarre shape. Let's look at lots of other fun-shaped space crescents.

Stunning new images show what the Chang'e-4 mission has been up to

Andrew Jones • February 07, 2019

Chang’e-4 is sending home brilliant footage from its various spacecraft, while also being snapped by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Curiosity Update, Sols 2257-2312: Drilling at Rock Hall and Arrival at the Valley of Clay

Emily Lakdawalla • February 06, 2019

Curiosity completed work at Vera Rubin Ridge with an easy drilling activity at Rock Hall. Now it has finally driven on to mineral-rick rocks that were seen from orbit, long before Curiosity arrived. The team plans a lengthy traverse of the clay-bearing unit.

So long, MarCO, and thanks for the radio transmissions

Jason Davis • February 05, 2019

NASA says it does not expect to receive any more transmissions from the MarCO CubeSats that accompanied Insight to Mars last year.

Pretty Pictures of the Cosmos: Sensational Spirals

Adam Block • February 05, 2019

Award-winning astrophotographer Adam Block shares some of his latest galactic treasures.

InSight Milestone: Wind and Thermal Shield Placed Sol 66

Emily Lakdawalla • February 04, 2019

InSight mission has successfully placed the wind and thermal shield over the seismometer. The seismometer will now be shielded from winds and kept warm over the cold Martian nights, so the quality of its data should dramatically increase.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Logs 15th Year in Silence, Team Begins ‘Hail Mary’ Efforts

A.J.S. Rayl • February 02, 2019

As a string of dust storms moved through Meridiani Planum and over Endeavour Crater in January, Opportunity silently wrapped her fifteenth year on the surface of Mars.

OSIRIS-REx stable in Bennu orbit, team refines sample collection plans

Jason Davis • January 30, 2019

The team has yet to find a Bennu sample site that matches their pre-arrival expectations, meaning their plans will probably have to change.

Why are there no stars in most space images?

Emily Lakdawalla • January 28, 2019

Look up at space at night from a dark location and you can see innumerable stars. Why, then, do photos of so many things in space show black space, devoid of stars?

NASA Gets a Three Week Reprieve

Casey Dreier • January 26, 2019

If ever there was an example of how quickly political winds can shift, look no further than the sudden end to a seemingly endless government shutdown on January 25th.

What’s next for China in lunar exploration?

Andrew Jones • January 23, 2019

China has big plans for the future, including lunar sample return, a robotic research base, and potentially human missions.

Israeli Beresheet Moon lander ships to Florida for mid-February launch

Jason Davis • January 22, 2019

Launch is currently set for 19 February, and Beresheet will spend two months traveling to the Moon ahead of touchdown in April.

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