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OSIRIS-REx launch preview

Emily Lakdawalla • August 17, 2016

Launch day is coming for NASA's next interplanetary explorer! OSIRIS-REx is on schedule for launch on September 8, 2016 at 19:05 EDT (16:05 PDT, 23:05 UTC) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. OSIRIS-REx is the first NASA planetary launch since MAVEN in 2013, and will be the last until InSight in 2018.

Gullies on Mars: Wet or Dry (Ice)?

Tanya Harrison • August 17, 2016

Martian gullies were in the spotlight last week thanks to a NASA press release stating they were "likely not formed by liquid water" based on spectral results. But how does this stack up against their morphology?

Juno’s other ‘cameras’

Anna Scott • August 16, 2016

Juno’s science goals are to understand the origin and interior of Jupiter, focusing specifically on its atmosphere and magnetic field. Cameras can help answer some of these questions.

Russia may lower its ISS crew complement from three to two

Jason Davis • August 15, 2016

A Russian newspaper report, confirmed today by NASA, says Roscosmos may lower its ISS cosmonaut complement from three to two.

Photos: OSIRIS-REx prepares for launch

Emily Lakdawalla • August 15, 2016

Only 24 days remain until the opening of OSIRIS-REx's launch period, and final preparations are underway. There is a lot to do in the final months before a launch, but things seem to be going well.

Curiosity update, sols 1373-1427: Driving up to Murray buttes, drilling at Marimba

Emily Lakdawalla • August 11, 2016

Curiosity has now covered most of the flat ground that lay between the Naukluft plateau and the Murray buttes. The mission took only 11 days to complete drilling work at Marimba, despite a recurrence of a problematic short in the drill. The rover is ready to drive in among the buttes, shooting spectacular photos along the way.

The Many Names of WFIRST

Jason Rhodes • August 10, 2016

NASA’s next big “flagship” astronomy mission, following the ambitious James Webb Space Telescope due to be launched in 2018, is currently known as the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)—but it's had a slew of different names.

Yutu is NOT dead (probably)

Emily Lakdawalla • August 10, 2016

Despite what you may have read on other websites last week, China's Yutu lunar rover is probably still functional on the surface of the Moon.

JunoCam raw data from the Juno approach movie

Emily Lakdawalla • August 09, 2016

As it approached Jupiter from June 12 to 29, JunoCam captured an animation of the major moons orbiting the planet. The mission released a processed version of the animation on the day of orbit insertion, but took a few weeks to release the raw image data. I've prepared a page hosting all the raw data, and share a few processed versions.

Half the Park is After Dark: Stargazers Celebrate U.S. National Parks Centennial

CaLisa Lee • August 08, 2016

On August 25th, 2016, the U.S. National Park Service is celebrating its Centennial. That’s 100 years of protecting the lands and the night skies so that people from around the world and all walks of life can come and see the stars!

Back to school: LightSail 2 and Prox-1 provide unique experience for university students

Jason Davis • August 08, 2016

From Cal Poly to Georgia Tech, university students working on SmallSat projects gain critical real-world spaceflight experience, preparing them for promising careers in the space industry.

We’re building the STEAM Team!

Kate Howells • August 05, 2016

We know, as well as you do, that if we want to see a great future – one where humans explore, understand, and benefit from space – we need to invest right now in the people who will be leading the way. To empower the world’s youth, we need to educate them. And to educate them, we need to inspire them.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Nears End of Marathon Valley Tour, Team Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Viking

A.J.S. Rayl • August 03, 2016

Despite the intensifying rancor and ugliness of the U.S. Presidential campaigns on Earth, as the spring Sun shined down on Meridiani Planum in July, all was right with the world at Endeavour Crater.

On A Mission to Explore! Choosing A Theme for Our Membership Experience

Mark Hilverda • August 02, 2016

Selecting a theme for our reinvented membership experience involved hundreds of people from staff to members. Here's the process that created the names for the new membership levels.

Hubble Series 1: How to Find Hubble Data

Judy Schmidt • August 02, 2016

Processing Hubble data presents a host of challenges, and the first of these has nothing to do with processing at all.

‘Apollo on steroids’: The rise and fall of NASA’s Constellation moon program

Jason Davis • August 01, 2016

In part 2 of our series on the evolution of NASA's Journey to Mars, Michael Griffin gives the Constellation moon program a new look in an attempt to shorten America's International Space Station access gap after the space shuttles retire. But by 2009, the program is behind schedule and over budget.

Dawn Journal: Staying at Ceres

Marc Rayman • July 30, 2016

The official end of Dawn's prime mission was June 30, but the valiant adventurer began its "extended mission" of performing more Ceres observations without missing a beat.

What's up in the solar system, August 2016 edition: Juno to get Jupiter close-ups, Rosetta descending, road-tripping rovers

Emily Lakdawalla • July 29, 2016

This month we'll finally see JunoCam's first high-resolution images of Jupiter. We'll also see OSIRIS-REx making progress toward its September 8 launch. Both rovers are road-tripping at Mars, while ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter has completed a major mid-course correction ahead of its October arrival.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 4410 - June 20, 2016

Larry Crumpler • July 28, 2016

Opportunity is finishing up its activities in Marathon Valley, getting ready to hit the road again.

Summer 2016 issue of The Planetary Report

Donna Stevens • July 27, 2016

The Summer 2016 issue of The Planetary Report is in the mail! Planetary Society members who want a head start on reading can access the electronic version.

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