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Chilly liftoff sends veteran crew into orbit

Jason Davis • December 19, 2012

Three veteran space travelers are safely in orbit following a 6:12 p.m. (7:12 a.m. EST, 1212 UTC) liftoff from Baikonur, Kazhakstan Wednesday.

Forty years after Apollo 17's final footsteps

Andrew Chaikin • December 14, 2012

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the last human footsteps on the Moon. In my latest video I look back at Apollo 17 and explain why I believe the Moon is the solar system's "jewel in the crown," beckoning us to return.

Orion service module, Ariane development highlight new ESA budget

Jason Davis • November 26, 2012

Representatives from the ESA approved a 10 billion euro budget for 2013-2017 during their Ministerial Council last week in Naples, Italy.

Curiosity, Endeavour, and Bill Nye on Your Phone

Mat Kaplan • November 07, 2012

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.

Mars Program Update from MEPAG

Bruce Betts • October 05, 2012

Bruce Betts reports on the status of the current and future Mars program and on acronyms from a meeting of NASA's MEPAG (Mars Exploration Analysis Program Analysis Group).

SpaceX ready for return to International Space Station

Jason Davis • September 25, 2012

SpaceX is two weeks away from returning to the International Space Station. Following a successful demo flight in May, NASA is entrusting the private spaceflight company with a half-ton of mission-critical station cargo.

A 3D photo album of Endeavour at Edwards Air Force Base

Emily Lakdawalla • September 20, 2012

I drove up to Edwards Air Force Base today to see the shuttle carrier aircraft NASA 905 carry in the space shuttle Endeavour, which will be delivered to Los Angeles tomorrow. I'm not a great photographer but I do have a 3D camera; here's an album.

Pretty Picture: Eagle's Landing

Emily Lakdawalla • September 13, 2012

Amateur image processor Tom Dahl's spectacularly high-resolution version of Buzz Aldrin's panoramic view of the Apollo 11 landing site.

Neil Armstrong changed the world

Bill Nye • August 25, 2012

Neil Armstrong changed the world. He was an excellent engineer and an outstanding pilot. He got the assignment to land a completely novel rocket machine on the Earth’s Moon, because he was the perfect man for the job: He could really fly; he had excellent judgment about the capabilities of his ship; and above all, he had a remarkable ability to keep his wits about him in extraordinarily dangerous situations.

Manned Missions to Mars Aren't Just Sci-Fi

Louis D. Friedman • August 24, 2012

Space exploration is not just valuable to scientists; it is also popular with the public who pays taxes. And why not? The exploration of Mars is not only a search for signs of alien life. It is an exploration of the human future.

Sally Ride, 1951 - 2012

Bill Nye • July 23, 2012

Sally Ride changed the world. We are very sorry to hear of her recent death after a nearly two-year battle with cancer. Dr. Ride was an excellent astronaut, a remarkable educator, and a longtime Planetary Society friend and adviser.

Cosmoquest Science Hangout Wednesday July 18 2300 UTC: Jeff Foust, space industry analyst

Jason Davis • July 18, 2012

I hosted this week's Cosmoquest Science Hangout for Emily, and my guest was space industry analyst Jeff Foust, editor of The Space Review.

Checking in on NASA's Space Launch System

Jason Davis • July 11, 2012

Work continues on the Space Launch System, NASA's next-generation deep space vehicle slated to take humans beyond Earth for the first time since 1972.

A blog that started out as a product review, but turned into something else entirely

Emily Lakdawalla • July 10, 2012

A review of the Aeromax "NASA Junior Astronaut Suit Child Costume," with bonus review of a backyard airplane teeter-totter. But the review took a turn that I was not prepared for.

Birth of a New Moon

Emily Lakdawalla • July 05, 2012

As astronaut Don Pettit prepared for his return to Earth, he tweeted several beautiful shots from the Space Station.

Shenzhou-9 reaches orbit

Jason Davis • June 16, 2012

China’s fourth human spaceflight mission got underway this morning after a Long March 2F rocket blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 10:37 UTC.

China readies three taikonauts for station visit

Jason Davis • June 13, 2012

The stage is set for China’s space program to make history this weekend, as it prepares to send three taikonauts to visit Tiangong-1, the country’s first space station.

Inspiring Neil Armstrong videos

Andrea Carroll • May 30, 2012

Videos capture a conversation between Armstrong and CPA Alex Malley. He speaks in detail about his lunar landing; he talks about our future in space. He holds no punches, and pushes for an innovative future in space

Congratulations to SpaceX

Bill Nye • May 24, 2012

On May 22, the Space-X Falcon rocket with its cargo capsule on top launched from Cape Canaveral and reached orbit ready to dock with the International Space Station. So far everything is going perfectly. It’s a huge step. Congratulations to Space-X, Elon Musk and his team.

Customary International Law: Herding Cats in Zero Gravity

Andrew Rush • May 24, 2012

When it comes to emerging industries like extraterrestrial resource mining, customary international law can seem like attempting to herd cats in zero gravity. Pinning down what is “fair” and “customary” in areas where no man has gone before can seem daunting but it also presents the unique opportunity to shape international custom by establishing them.

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