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A patriotic return to space

Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/07/03 07:03 CDT

When Space Shuttle Discovery launched on its 1988 return-to-flight mission, it was a big moment for NASA and America.

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Dark No More: Exploring the Far Side of the Moon

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/04/29 02:11 CDT | 3 comments

The first human beings to see the mysterious "dark" side of the moon were not astronauts.

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Awesome interactive solar system exploration history infographic

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/04/25 11:26 CDT | 2 comments

Check out this absolutely wonderful infographic, produced by Olaf Frohn, that summarizes the entire history of solar system exploration.

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Vermin of the Sky
The Society's Long History with Asteroids

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2013/02/19 12:05 CST | 3 comments

Executive Director Emeritus Louis Friedman writes about Asteroid programs of The Planetary Society.

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Galileo Messengers: Cruise to Venus, Earth, Gaspra, Earth, Ida, and almost to Jupiter

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/05 08:40 CST | 2 comments

It's taken me a year to face the emotionally draining task of reading and writing about Galileo's cruise phase as chronicled in the mission's newsletters.

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Blast from the past: Mariner 4's images of Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/12/10 09:15 CST | 5 comments

While hunting for photos to use in a presentation, I came across a couple of different amateur takes on the Mariner 4 photo catalog.

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Visiting Viking at Seattle's Museum of Flight

Posted by Tom Dahl on 2012/11/14 03:03 CST

One of the nicest aerospace museums in the United States is the Museum of Flight, outside Seattle, Washington. I traveled cross-country in order to visit the "Flight Capsule 3" Viking lander, a backup unit that was never completed. Its partially built state exposes its internal structures, making it a boon to study.

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A Night To Remember: Celebrating Carl Sagan
The Planetary Society's glorious tribute to Dr. Sagan, with some of his best friends.

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2012/11/13 10:02 CST | 1 comments

On the evening of November 9, which would have been Carl Sagan's 78th birthday, the Planetary Society brought together some of his best friends to share their memories. We were also joined by four young scientists whose career choices were influenced by Car.

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Join Our Sagan Celebration
Watch our live webcast from Pasadena Friday, November 9, at 7:00pm Pacific

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2012/11/09 12:24 CST | 2 comments

The Planetary Society has invited a few friends of Carl Sagan's to a celebration of his birth and his legacy. Watch the live webcast featuring physicist Kip Thorne, Contact Executive Producer Lynda Obst and much more!

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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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An unheralded anniversary
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Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/28 11:57 CDT | 16 comments

Yesterday, August 27th, 2012, was, in a sense, the 50th anniversary of interplanetary travel. Fifty years ago yesterday, Mariner 2 launched toward Venus, and became the first object to leave Earth and travel to another world.

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Curiosity's landing site named for Ray Bradbury

Posted by Jim Bell on 2012/08/22 04:32 CDT | 1 comments

Ray Bradbury explored Mars, and the future of humanity, through words and ideas--vehicles of the imagination. He was a visionary author and, through his writings and lectures, was a direct or indirect mentor to so many of us involved with designing, building, and operating the actual space vehicles of today. I think it is so fitting, then, that the MSL team has memorialized Ray's contributions to the exploration of the planets -- and especially Mars -- by naming Curiosity's landing site in his honor.

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Transit of Venus June 5: Why Should You Care and How to Observe

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/06/02 01:56 CDT | 2 comments

A rare astronomical event occurs June 5/6. Find out why you should care and how to observe it.

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New views of Lunokhod 1 and Luna 17 from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/03/14 08:47 CDT

It is always thrilling to see relics of human exploration out there on other worlds. Today, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera team posted some new photos of two defunct spacecraft: the Luna 17 lander and the Lunokhod 1 rover. I've posted images of the two craft before, but the ones released today are much better.

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Blast from the past: The Galileo Messenger

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/01/20 10:42 CST

From 1981 to 1997, the Galileo mission published an approximately quarterly newsletter called the Galileo Messenger. It eventually ran to 45 issues, until the end of the Prime Mission. The first 20 were published before Galileo ever got off the ground. That period is the subject of this post.

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Steno's principles and planetary geology

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/01/11 12:29 CST

The Google Doodle for January 11, 2012 celebrates Nicholas Steno, one of the founding fathers of modern geology, on the occasion of his 374th birthday. This article describes Steno's set of rules that guide geologists in reading rocks to tell the story of how a place came to be and how the rules are currently used in geology.

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Curiosity, from a 1935 perspective

Posted by Jason Davis on 2011/12/03 01:49 CST

With a new rover, Curiosity, on its way to Mars, Jason Davis takes a look at what we knew - or thought we knew - about the planet back in 1935.

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365 Days of Astronomy Celebrates Sagan's Birthday

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2011/11/10 02:09 CST

The 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast celebrated Carl Sagan's birthday yesterday by reposting my conversation with Ann Druyan, Sagan's Co-creator and life-partner. Links inside.

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The fish that sent us to the moon

Posted by Jason Davis on 2011/10/20 06:16 CDT

The tale of NASA's Super Guppy aircraft, which ferried parts of America's space program to their launch pads.

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In Focus retrospective on the shuttle program

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/07/01 10:22 CDT

Since jumping from the Boston Globe to the Atlantic with his signature galleries of striking images, Alan Taylor has continued to regularly feature space-themed photos. This week his In Focus feature looks back at the shuttle program with 61 images -- check it out!

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