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Camera now measuring even fainter Near-Earth Objects

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2015/01/30 07:03 CST

Camera purchased with the support of a 2009 Shoemaker NEO Grant is now on a new telescope providing follow-up measurements for even fainter near-Earth objects.

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Talking to Pluto is hard! Why it takes so long to get data back from New Horizons

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/01/30 09:53 CST | 7 comments

As I write this post, New Horizons is nearing the end of a weeklong optical navigation campaign. The last optical navigation images in the weeklong series will be taken tomorrow, but it will likely take two weeks or more for all the data to get to Earth. Two weeks! Why does it take so long?

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Dawn Journal: Closing in on Ceres

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2015/01/30 08:31 CST | 7 comments

Dawn's chief engineer Marc Rayman gives an update on the mission as it gets ever closer to its next target: The dwarf planet Ceres.

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How NASA's Yearly Budget Request Comes Together
A dance between NASA, the OMB, and the White House.

Posted by Jason Callahan on 2015/01/29 11:48 CST | 1 comments

It takes a year to make, and is the starting point for all coming debate by Congress. It's the President's Budget Request, and understanding how it comes together is an important part of being an effective space advocate.

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Commercial Crew Rivalries: Fun to Watch, Everybody Wins

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/01/28 05:30 CST | 1 comments

Now that Boeing and SpaceX have won the high-profile privilege of carrying astronauts to the ISS, they must start making public appearances as reluctant equals.

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Ceres: Just a little bit closer (and officially better than Hubble)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/01/27 06:26 CST | 5 comments

Last week's Dawn images of Ceres were just slightly less detailed than Hubble's best. This week's are just slightly better.

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A second ringed centaur? Centaurs with rings could be common

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/01/27 12:43 CST | 2 comments

Chiron, which is both a centaur and a comet, may also have rings.

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At last! A slew of OSIRIS images shows fascinating landscapes on Rosetta's comet

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/01/26 11:50 CST | 8 comments

The first results of the Rosetta mission are out in Science magazine. The publication of these papers means that the OSIRIS camera team has finally released a large quantity of closeup images of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, taken in August and September of last year. I explain most of them, with help from my notes from December's American Geophysical Union meeting.

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It's Official: LightSail Test Flight Scheduled for May 2015

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/01/26 04:33 CST | 3 comments

This May, the first of The Planetary Society's two member-funded LightSail spacecraft is slated to hitch a ride to space for a test flight aboard an Atlas V rocket.

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Addressing some common questions about Comet Lovejoy

Posted by Matthew Knight on 2015/01/23 06:19 CST | 1 comments

Lowell Observatory's Matthew Knight addresses several points of confusion that have repeatedly come up in the coverage of Comet Lovejoy.

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Field Report from Mars: Sol 3902 - January 15, 2015

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2015/01/22 05:10 CST

Larry Crumpler gives an update on the status of Opportunity's traverse toward Marathon Valley.

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Fountains of Water Vapor and Ice

Posted by Deepak Dhingra on 2015/01/22 11:22 CST | 2 comments

Deepak Dhingra shares some of the latest research on Enceladus' geysers presented at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in San Francisco last month.

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Curiosity update, sols 814-863: Pahrump Hills Walkabout, part 2

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/01/21 07:24 CST | 5 comments

Curiosity has spent the last two months completing a second circuit of the Pahrump Hills field site, gathering APXS and MAHLI data. The work has been hampered by the loss of the ChemCam focusing laser, but the team is developing a workaround. Over the holidays, the rover downlinked many Gigabits of image data. The rover is now preparing for a drilling campaign.

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The President's 2016 Budget Is Coming
Feb 2nd. Mark your calendars.

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/01/21 06:11 CST

The 2016 budget cycle for NASA kicks off on Feb 2nd, when the White House releases the President's Budget Request. Here's what to look for.

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The Moon, In Depth

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2015/01/20 03:56 CST | 3 comments

Explore a new collection of 3D lunar landscapes.

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New Dawn images of Ceres: comparable to Hubble

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/01/20 09:06 CST | 9 comments

Dawn has captured a series of photos of a rotating Ceres whose resolution is very close to Hubble's, and they show tantalizing surface details.

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Pretty Picture: Comet Lovejoy

Posted by Adam Block on 2015/01/20 08:01 CST | 1 comments

Astrophotgrapher Adam Block shares an image of Comet Lovejoy, which is currently visible with binoculars.

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Sky survey grant helps lead to a space science career

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2015/01/16 01:15 CST

Quan-Zhi Ye was an 18 year-old college student and the principal investigator of the Lulin Sky Survey when he won a 2007 Shoemaker NEO grant. He's now a Ph.D. candidate and provides an update on his work in meteor studies.

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Beagle 2 found?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/01/16 11:04 CST | 5 comments

What happened to Beagle 2? It's been a mystery for 11 years. That mystery appears to have been solved.

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Watch the Incredible 'Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly' of SpaceX's Falcon 9 Rocket

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/01/16 10:01 CST | 13 comments

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has released four images of the company's Falcon 9 rocket impacting its drone ship landing pad in the Atlantic Ocean.

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