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Blog Archive


Pretty Pictures of the Cosmos: Special Qualities

Posted by Adam Block on 2015/05/27 11:42 CDT

Award-winning astrophotographer Adam Block shares some images of nebulae and a galaxy with some special qualities to each of them.

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Software Glitch Pauses LightSail Test Mission

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/05/26 04:35 CDT | 38 comments

The Planetary Society’s LightSail test mission has been paused while engineers wait out a suspected software glitch that has silenced the solar sailing spacecraft.

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Here Are the Science Instruments NASA Will Use to Explore Europa

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/05/26 01:01 CDT | 8 comments

NASA just announced the science instruments that will be used to understand the enigmatic ocean moon of Europa. The mission is planned to launch sometime in the early 2020s.

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Real-time sunset on Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/05/24 01:21 CDT | 7 comments

Pause your life for six minutes and watch the Sun set....on Mars. Thank you, Glen Nagle, for this awe-inspiring simulation based on Curiosity's sol 956 sunset images.

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Tons of fun with the latest Ceres image releases from Dawn

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/05/22 04:59 CDT | 20 comments

Fantastic new images of Ceres continue to spill out of the Dawn mission, and armchair scientists all over the world are zooming into them, exploring them, and trying to solve the puzzles that they contain.

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LightSail Update: All Systems Nominal

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/05/21 02:33 CDT | 4 comments

It's been 24 hours since The Planetary Society’s LightSail spacecraft was deposited into space yesterday afternoon. All systems continue to look healthy.

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LightSail Sends First Data Back to Earth

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/05/20 06:19 CDT | 10 comments

LightSail is sending home telemetry following a Wednesday commute to orbit aboard an Atlas V rocket.

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Liftoff! LightSail Sails into Space aboard Atlas V Rocket

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/05/20 10:44 CDT | 4 comments

The first of The Planetary Society’s two LightSail spacecraft is now in space following a late morning launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

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Two Months from Pluto!

Posted by Paul Schenk on 2015/05/19 06:12 CDT | 5 comments

Two months. Eight and half weeks. 58 days. It's a concept almost too difficult to grasp: we are on Pluto's doorstep.

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Rover eyes on rock layers on Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/05/19 04:27 CDT | 2 comments

Digging in to mission image archives yields similar images of layered Martian rocks from very different places.

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[Updated] House NASA Funding Bill Proposes a Fantastic Budget for Planetary Science
Earth Science, Commercial Crew would see cuts

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/05/19 03:25 CDT | 8 comments

The House Appropriations Committee released their vision for NASA's 2016 budget this week, which includes significant increases for the SLS and Planetary Science, but cuts Commercial Crew and Earth Science funds.

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In Pictures: LightSail’s Rocket Rolls to the Launch Pad

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/05/19 12:39 CDT | 3 comments

Pictures of The Planetary Society’s LightSail spacecraft rollout to the launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 41.

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Timeline: LightSail's First Day in Space

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/05/19 04:01 CDT | 1 comments

It's the day before launch at Cape Canaveral. Here's a timeline of events for LightSail's first day in space.

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LightSail Launch Countdown: Ready for Rollout

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/05/18 04:01 CDT

It’s launch week in Cape Canaveral, Florida, where The Planetary Society’s LightSail spacecraft is buttoned up for flight aboard an Atlas V rocket. Liftoff is scheduled Wednesday sometime between 10:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. EDT.

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Unseen latitudes of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko -- revealed!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/05/15 12:11 CDT | 2 comments

A recent Rosetta image has revealed a good part of the comet's previously hidden southern terrain to the public for the first time.

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We Love A Crowd!

Posted by Richard Chute on 2015/05/14 05:43 CDT | 2 comments

This month, at the same time that The Planetary Society is launching the long-anticipated LightSail prototype for a shakedown cruise, we are excited to launch another “first”—our first-ever Kickstarter campaign.

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New Horizons spots Kerberos and Styx

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/05/12 05:56 CDT | 3 comments

New Horizons has now spotted every one of Pluto's satellites...all the ones we know about, that is.

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Due to ion engine failure, PROCYON will not fly by an asteroid

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/05/08 04:23 CDT | 2 comments

PROCYON, the mini-satellite launched with Hayabusa2, will not be able to achieve its planned asteroid flyby due to the failure of its ion engine.

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In Pictures: LightSail, Meet X-37B

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/05/08 04:13 CDT | 1 comments

United Launch Alliance has released photos showing the Air Force's X-37B spaceplane being stacked on its Atlas V at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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Mars Plans Advance (and Occasionally Fade)

Posted by Van Kane on 2015/05/08 04:05 CDT | 13 comments

In the last two months, there has been significant news about the European-Russian 2018 mission and about NASA’s 2020 rover. NASA also has announced that it would like to send a new orbiter to the Red Planet in the early 2020s.

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