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Blog Archive


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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Historical PDF: "The Voyager Flights to Jupiter and Saturn"

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/04/20 05:03 CDT

A while ago I posted all 99 issues of the Voyager Mission Status Bulletins in PDF format, and now I have another cool item to add to that collection: NASA EP-191, "The Voyager Flights to Jupiter and Saturn."

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Happy 50th birthday of human spaceflight

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

On April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to see firsthand the blackness of space above our home planet's thin atmosphere. Since there's lots of thoughtful reporting and commentary being posted on this anniversary, I thought it'd be more useful to link to some particularly interesting posts than to add in my comments.

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Uranus and Challenger

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/28 09:21 CST

In the past week there have been 25th anniversaries of two events in 1986, one great, one terrible: the closest approach of Voyager 2 to Uranus on January 24, and the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger upon liftoff on January 28.

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Bye bye, Kodachrome, but "Kodak moments" will live on in space

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/12/31 08:04 CST

This week is the end for Kodachrome film. It's a casualty of the digital revolution.

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Final set of Voyager Mission Status Bulletins: The Voyager 2 Neptune flyby and beyond

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/11/24 06:37 CST

I'm surprised no one's emailed me demanding the last batch of Voyager mission status bulletins! Well, here they are.

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Space Shuttle: Not Designed by Hollywood

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2010/11/02 01:42 CDT

A brief musing on the public opinion of the shuttle when it was first unveiled, and now, as it's about to be retired.

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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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Back to Apollo? Or Time for a Restart?
A Perspective on the Great Space Debate

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2010/07/02 01:23 CDT

To see the bigger picture, it can help to step back a bit from your current position. Sometimes you need to consider the past to inform your vision for the future.

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Jupiter's faded belt: It's happened before, and it'll happen again

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/16 05:07 CDT

When I wrote a post about Jupiter's missing South Equatorial Belt in May, I had three main questions: how long did it take for the belt to go away, has this happened before, and how can a planet as big as Jupiter change its appearance so quickly?

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Venus, and the Moon, and Atlantis, and ISS, and Magellan

Posted by Pam Chadbourne on 2010/05/14 10:41 CDT

Pam Chadbourne, one of the many engineers who made the Magellan Radar Mapper mission possible, sent this note out to Magellan team members this morning, and graciously permitted me to post it here.

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13 things that saved Apollo 13

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/06 01:12 CDT | 1 comments

Universe Today has recently completed a fantastic, thought-provoking series on the near-disaster of the Apollo 13 mission, which unfolded forty years ago last month.

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Spirit: Schrödinger's Rover

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/28 12:01 CDT

Either Spirit is the longest-lived landed Mars mission ever, or she is not. We won't know for certain unless we manage to observe a radio signal from her.

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Hubble turns 20

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/23 03:02 CDT

Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope. It's hard to believe it's been going strong for so many years.

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LROC spots Russian "monument" to International Women's Day

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/19 09:25 CDT

There was a piece of the Lunar-Reconnaissance-Orbiter-spots-the-Lunokhods story that I was intrigued by but just didn't have the time this week to investigate properly.

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Twenty years since Voyager's last view

Posted by Emily LakdawallaCharlene Anderson on 2010/02/12 01:17 CST

On Sunday comes the twentieth anniversary of an iconic image from the Voyager mission: the "Pale Blue Dot" photo of Earth caught in a sunbeam, which was captured by Voyager 1 as part of a Solar System Family Portrait.

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Climb Aboard Apollo 11 Time Machine

Posted by Susan Lendroth on 2009/07/16 01:01 CDT

Grab your bell bottoms and Tang, and travel back to 1969 when Apollo 11's journey to the Moon captivated the world, and Neil Armstrong's and Buzz Aldrin's boot prints in the lunar dust transformed us into a multi-world species.

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