Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
Blogs

Blog Archive

 

Snapshots of Science from the 2014 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/03/25 02:45 CDT | 2 comments

Vignettes from dozens of LPSC talks: GRAIL and LADEE at the Moon; ice and craters and conglomerates and organics and gullies on Mars; polar deposits and volatile elements on Mercury; tectonics on Enceladus; and more, until my brain was so full I could barely speak.

Read More »

Fly me to the Moon

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/14 06:31 CST | 4 comments

Video views shot by two doomed spacecraft take us flying across the Moon.

Read More »

How GRAIL will meet its end

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/12/13 05:34 CST | 2 comments

The twin GRAIL spacecraft are nearly out of fuel, and are being directed to a controlled impact near the north pole on the near side of the Moon on December 17. Before the end, though, they did some cool things, including flying within 2000 meters of mountaintops, and catching video of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in flight.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

What's up in the Solar System in August 2012

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/08/03 06:03 CDT

Welcome to the monthly roundup of our solar system's envoy of electronic explorers! All eyes are on Curiosity as it approaches Mars this weekend. Who will lend support at the Red Planet?

Read More »

What's Up in the Solar System in June 2012

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/05/31 07:04 CDT | 2 comments

This month, Opportunity is roving again, while Curiosity approaches Mars; Cassini's finally seeing rings, and will fly by Mimas, Titan, and Tethys; GRAIL has completed its primary mission and is journeying toward the second; Dawn is climbing to the HAMO2 orbit; and a rare transit of Venus is coming up on June 5/6.

Read More »

Good news, bad news: GRAIL science underway, Venus Express suffers storm damage

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/03/08 06:54 CST

Two brief mission updates. First, the good news: NASA announced yesterday that the twin GRAIL spacecraft have begun the science phase of the mission, transmitting precisely timed signals to each other in order to map the Moon's gravity field. The bad news: according to ESA, since the recent solar storm passed Venus, both of Venus Express' star trackers are suddenly unable to detect stars.

Read More »

GRAIL MoonKAM's first (released) video of the Moon

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/02/01 03:49 CST

Here's the first release from MoonKAM, tiny cameras included on both GRAIL spacecraft whose only purpose is public outreach. Classrooms can sign up for opportunities to propose sites to image.

Read More »

Geek craft: GRAIL twins Ebb and Flow in plastic canvas

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/01/25 12:10 CST

Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that after beginning with Dawn last week, I've kept my fingers busy, stitching more spacecraft from plastic canvas. I now have prototypes for GRAIL, New Horizons, and MESSENGER.

Read More »

Ringing in the New Year with two new arrivals to the Moon

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/12/28 05:21 CST

The twin GRAIL spacecraft are nearly at the end of their three-month cruises to the Moon. Currently being discussed is an extended mission for GRAIL that would begin after the June eclipse and last through most of December 2012.

Read More »

GRAIL A and B are on their way to the Moon!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/09/10 09:55 CDT

After some exasperating delays due to pesky and changeable high-level winds, the twin GRAIL spacecraft launched this morning on their trip to the Moon.

Read More »

Here we go again: GRAIL set to launch today

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/09/10 07:02 CDT

GRAIL is trying for launch today at 8:29 PDT / 12:29 UT or 9:08 PDT / 6:08 UT., and here I am at 5:00 am my time ready to watch. As before, I'm watching the feed through Spaceflight Now's GRAIL mission status center.

Read More »

GRAIL update: Next launch attempt planned for Saturday

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/09/08 10:57 CDT

Just a brief update: SpaceflightNow reports no attempt will be made to launch GRAIL tomorrow. The next launch opportunity is Saturday.

Read More »

From the "Just Plain Cool" department: Time-lapse photo of GRAIL's Delta 2 tower rollback

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/09/08 01:01 CDT

The terrific launch photographer Ben Cooper is at the Cape waiting for GRAIL's Delta 2 rocket to take off, and last night he took this very cool photo.

Read More »

How to watch the GRAIL launch on Thursday

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/09/06 01:23 CDT

The twin spacecraft of the GRAIL lunar gravity mission are set to launch side-by-side on a Delta II rocket on Thursday, September 8. Here's all the places where you can find information about the upcoming launch.

Read More »

Nifty GRAIL animation

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/08/25 05:21 CDT

A pair of lunar spacecraft is launching in two weeks, and NASA had their preview press briefing this morning. Notable from that briefing was this spiffy video.

Read More »

GRAIL twins together on their rocket

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/08/18 07:35 CDT

It's the first time I've ever seen anything like this -- two identical spacecraft, side by side on one launch adapter ring.

Read More »

365 Days of Astronomy Podcast: Unmanned Space Exploration in 2011

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/12 10:32 CST

Today the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast aired my contribution, Unmanned Space Exploration in 2011, about what to look forward to in solar system exploration this year.

Read More »

Exciting Times Ahead: 2010 Will Sizzle, and 2011 Will Really Cook!

Posted by Alan Stern on 2009/05/18 03:56 CDT

Today, I'm kicking the week off with a look at the unusually intense confluence of far flung planetary exploration that's just around the corner, starting the middle of next year.

Read More »

Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

LightSail - Flight by Light

Support LightSail!

In 2016, The Planetary Society’s LightSail program will take the technology a step further.

I want to help!

Featured Images

Aillik, Curiosity sol 322

Shaler outcrop, Curiosity sol 316
Wernecke, Curiosity sol 169
Altar Mountain
More Images

Featured Video

View Larger »

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join the New Millennium Committee

Let’s invent the future together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook! Twitter! Google+ and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!