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Blog Archive

 

Serene Saturn (or the “Glutton for Punishment” mosaic)

Ian Regan • November 08, 2016

A week ago Saturday I decided -- against my better judgment -- to tackle this monster of a mosaic. I call it the "Glutton for Punishment" mosaic.

Rosetta in the Rearview: What Have We Learned?

John Noonan • November 07, 2016

Just over a month ago the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft finished its mission by spectacularly diving into the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. How did it observations influence and alter our ideas about the typical formation and lifetime of a comet?

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Scales Spirit Mound, Takes Shot at Schiaparelli

A.J.S. Rayl • November 05, 2016

Opportunity spent the month of October on Spirit Mound studying the rich yet familiar geology at the first science stop on its 10th extended mission – pausing only to take a shot at freeze-framing part of the descent of Europe’s Schiaparelli lander.

Stressed about the election? Take a beautiful video tour of the International Space Station

Jason Davis • November 04, 2016

As the stressful election season draws to a close, a stunning new video tour of the International Space Station offers a reminder of what humans can do when we put aside our differences and work together.

Capturing Martian Weather in Motion

Justin Cowart • November 04, 2016

Still images of Mars often give a false impression that Mars is a dead planet—but time-lapse imaging from the European Mars Express spacecraft reveals the planet as it really is.

Long March 5 launch blasts China into age of space station and deep space exploration

Andrew Jones • November 03, 2016

Today, China launched its largest rocket yet, the Long March 5, from the new coastal launch center on Hainan Island. The launch is a major step forward on the country's path to deep space.

Juno update: 53.5-day orbits for the foreseeable future, more Marble Movie

Emily Lakdawalla • November 03, 2016

Juno may be staying in its 53.5-day orbit for quite a while. Here's a list of the future dates of the next 20 close approaches to Jupiter if the mission stays in that orbit, as well as the latest, near-final version of JunoCam's "Marble Movie."

An international outpost near the Moon gets closer to reality

Anatoly Zak • November 03, 2016

International Space Station (ISS) project partners are inching ever closer toward an agreement to begin the development of a new human outpost in the vicinity of the Moon. If successful, the cis-lunar space station (a space station in the vicinity of the Moon) will be the largest international space project to date, influencing the direction of human space flight for decades to come.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 4535 - October 26, 2016

Larry Crumpler • November 02, 2016

Opportunity is currently finishing up observations of its first outcrop target of its 10th extended mission plan.

The flexible path to Mars: SLS, Orion and NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission

Jason Davis • November 02, 2016

Since 2011, a once-in-a-generation transformation has been sweeping through NASA's human spaceflight centers in preparation for the era of SLS and Orion. How have the programs fared, and what first steps is NASA taking as it prepares for the journey to Mars?

What's up in the solar system, November 2016 edition: Cassini takes a leap, ExoMars starts science, Long March 5 launch

Emily Lakdawalla • November 01, 2016

Cassini is going to make a major change to its orbit, getting much close to Saturn, setting up 20 "F-ring" orbits. ExoMars will get two science orbits before beginning aerobraking. Long March 5 will have its first launch, while many Earth-observing missions, including Himawari-9 and GOES-R, will go up. But Juno science is on hold.

Dawn Journal: 5th Mapping Orbit

Marc Rayman • November 01, 2016

Dawn just completed another successful observation campaign at Ceres from its latest mapping orbit. Mission Director and Chief Engineer Marc Rayman brings us his monthly update.

Dynamics of Exoplanet Systems

Erika Nesvold • October 31, 2016

At this year’s Division for Planetary Sciences/European Planetary Science Congress meeting, the Exoplanet Dynamics session was packed full of talks on tightly-packed multi-planet systems and their instabilities.

Kate Rubins, NASA's DNA sequencing scientist, returning to Earth

Jason Davis • October 28, 2016

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins is returning to Earth from the International Space Station. During her mission, she became the first person to sequence DNA in space.

Schiaparelli crash site imaged by HiRISE

Emily Lakdawalla • October 27, 2016

Following up the detection of the Schiaparelli crash site by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter CTX, the higher-resolution HiRISE camera has now definitively identified the locations of lander impact site, parachute with backshell, and heat shield impact site on the Martian surface.

DPS/EPSC update on New Horizons at the Pluto system and beyond

Emily Lakdawalla • October 25, 2016

Last week's Division for Planetary Sciences/European Planetary Science Congress meeting was chock-full of science from New Horizons at Pluto.

Likely Schiaparelli crash site imaged by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Emily Lakdawalla • October 21, 2016

Just a day after the arrival of ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter and its lander Schiaparelli, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has taken a photo of the landing site with its Context Camera, and things do not look good.

Remembering Ewen Whitaker, the "careful and caring" scientist who found Surveyors 1 and 3

Jason Davis • October 21, 2016

Ewen Whitaker was one of the founding members of the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, one of the world's first research institutions dedicated to studying the moon and planets.

ExoMars: Schiaparelli Analysis to Continue

Ruth McAvinia • October 20, 2016

The fate of the ExoMars lander, Schiaparelli, remains uncertain. European Space Agency mission controllers had been optimistic on Wednesday night that a definitive answer would be known by Thursday morning’s news briefing. However, although some more details have been made public about the lander’s descent, it is not yet clear whether it hit the martian surface at a speed it could not survive.

Brief update: Opportunity's attempt to image Schiaparelli unsuccessful

Emily Lakdawalla • October 19, 2016

Today, the Opportunity rover attempted a difficult, never-before-possible feat: to shoot a photo of an arriving Mars lander from the Martian surface. Unfortunately, that attempt seems not to have succeeded. Opportunity has now returned the images from the observation attempt, but Schiaparelli is not visible.

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