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Blog Archive


In Memory of Spirit, and Why Cuteness Matters

Posted by Melissa Rice on 2011/06/15 02:21 CDT

An analysis of "cuteness," and why it matters when talking about science.

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We Roasted and We Toasted...

Posted by Bill Nye on 2011/05/05 02:32 CDT

Last Saturday, April 30, 2011, the Planetary Society roasted and toasted Lou Friedman -- our cofounder and retiring Executive Director.

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Having some fun with Curiosity's pretty face (plus, a conversation about Curiosity with a 4-year-old)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/04/08 12:03 CDT

The photo I took of Curiosity's "face" and posted on Monday seems to have tickled a lot of people. I understand it's the subject of a "Photoshop this Mars rover" challenge at Fark, and a couple of the guys over at have been having a field day with it.

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Encouragement from space for Japan

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/03/22 11:05 CDT

I saw this posted by @Akatsuki_JAXA (the Akatsuki Venus mission's official Twitter identity) and thought it was cute so I'm sharing it here.

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Happy Valentine's Day from Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/14 01:35 CST

I dug around and found something unique: this cool heart-shaped feature on Mars -- my Valentine to you all!

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A Worldwide Game of "Telephone" Distorts NASA Meeting

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2011/01/18 11:48 CST | 1 comments

In the last couple of weeks, media outlets around the world have been reporting that NASA recently convened a private meeting at JPL to identify the worst movies ever made, scientifically speaking. It seemed like a good story. The problem was that it wasn't true.

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1000 Akatsukis; "Faulty valve caused Akatsuki failure"

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/12/27 03:27 CST

In a move that's kind of hard to understand in the wake of the immense public outreach success of the Hayabusa mission, JAXA is closing JAXA i, its public information center in Tokyo today (December 28 in Japan).

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Opportunity drives within 20 meters of Santa Maria, spots alligator's tail

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/12/15 02:40 CST

Today Opportunity has driven to within 20 meters of Santa Maria crater, and the blocks around it are really, really cool-looking. This one is a dead ringer for the severed tail of an alligator.

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In which I report on w00tstock and wonder how to get nerds more excited about real space exploration

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/28 12:19 CDT

(I promise that this post will get around to the subject of space exploration in a couple of paragraphs.)

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A Marathon Day Two at the USA Science & Engineering Festival

Posted by Susan Lendroth on 2010/10/24 10:41 CDT

Day Two of the USA Science & Engineering Festival, and it started with a game of "dodge the marathoners."

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Crack the code for a message from Mars, redux

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/14 07:02 CDT

Waaaay back when Spirit and Opportunity landed on Mars in January 2004, the Planetary Society helped the public participate in the missions with a number of projects, including one where we printed "secret codes" around the edges of the two names-bearing DVDs that were bolted to the Mars Exploration Rover landers.

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Congratulations to the IKAROS team for their "8th Web Creation Award"

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/13 05:07 CDT

This news is a little old but worth mentioning: On September 9, the Japanese solar sail mission, IKAROS, won a Web award in Japan for their work to publicize the mission via Twitter.

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Voyager Mission Status Bulletins: Jupiter and Saturn

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/24 01:27 CDT

Last week I posted a stack of Voyager Mission Status Bulletins, which were once the main resource for space enthusiasts to follow the dramatic events and photos of an in-flight space mission.

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Review: Recess Monkey: The Final Funktier

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/24 12:13 CDT

The Final Funktier is a kids' music album that is (a) delightful for grownups too and (b) features largely space-themed tracks. Win!

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Beyond Earth T-shirt features 23 space missions

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/17 11:19 CDT | 4 comments

Let other geeks have their T-shirts with fictional space explorers -- now you can emblazon your chest with 23 space missions that have really explored space!

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A space calendar in "the cloud"

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/23 05:47 CDT | 3 comments

I've spent today fiddling around with Google Calendar and have created a wholly new calendar of space events for the blog.

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Three things to watch

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/20 05:38 CDT

It's high summer (in the northern hemisphere anyway) and many of you may be seeking shelter from the heat. If you need to collapse on the couch and watch TV, I have three space-y recommendations for you.

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MSL Roves!

Posted by Ryan Anderson on 2010/07/28 04:35 CDT

I'm a little late on this, but I thought I should share the news: MSL now has a good head and neck on its shoulders, and has officially "roved".

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A little chuckle for your Monday morning

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/07/26 11:07 CDT

During Friday's first roll for Curiosity, there was a lot of banter in the Ustream chat room about all the bunny-suited engineers waving at the cameras and mugging for portraits with the rover. One chat room member, "Mirek," said the engineer should -- well, you can see what he requested; just watch the video.

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A brush painting for Hayabusa

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/07/07 03:16 CDT

Upon James Aldridge's return from Japan, he posted several albums worth of amazing photos, including several of their calligraphy instructor, well-known artist Aiko Tanaka, creating a gestural brush painting to commemorate Hayabusa's return.

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