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Blog Archive

 

Dawn Journal: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Marc Rayman • January 03, 2017

Dawn is concluding a remarkable year of exploring dwarf planet Ceres. Chief Engineer and Mission Manager Marc Rayman brings us his latest update.

A company you've never heard of plans to build the world's first private space station

Jason Davis • January 03, 2017

Axiom Space, a recently formed company headed by former ISS program manager Mike Suffredini, plans to send an astronaut to the ISS in 2019 and connect a large multipurpose habitat there in 2020.

Spaceflight in 2017, part 2: Robots beyond Earth orbit

Emily Lakdawalla • December 30, 2016

What's ahead for our intrepid space explorers in 2017? It'll be the end of Cassini, but not before the mission performs great science close to the rings. OSIRIS-REx will fly by Earth, and Chang'e 5 will launch to the Moon, as a host of other spacecraft continue their ongoing missions.

Spaceflight in 2017, part 1: Earth-centric edition

Jason Davis • December 29, 2016

Our preview of spaceflight in 2017 starts with highlights of missions and events happening on and around our home planet.

On Cosmic Discovery and Human Significance

Jake Rosenthal • December 28, 2016

Jake Rosenthal takes us on a tour of the history of discovery of our place in the cosmos.

China outlines its space exploration ambitions

Andrew Jones • December 27, 2016

China released a new white paper on its policy and activities in space, outlining ambitious deep space exploration, human spaceflight and space science projects as major priorities for the years up to 2020 and beyond.

GOES-R: What’s Next?

Heather Hunter • December 23, 2016

After a series of maneuvers in-orbit, GOES-R—now known as GOES-16—has reached its designated location in space. What happens next?

Review: ‘Rogue One’ is Star Wars comfort food

Jason Davis • December 22, 2016

In a review of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Jason Davis says you're more likely to enjoy the film if you embrace it as comfort food—a story line that fits into a larger sequence of Star Wars events you already know.

Winter Solstice: A look at the solar system's north poles

Emily Lakdawalla • December 21, 2016

Today is the solstice, the longest winter night at Earth's north pole, the longest day of summer in the south. To give a little light to northerners in darkness today, please enjoy this gallery of images of (mostly) sunlit north poles across our solar system.

Field Report from Mars: Sol 4588 - December 20, 2016

Larry Crumpler • December 20, 2016

Opportunity continues to climb up the inner crater wall of Endeavour crater, heading south on its journey toward its next valley target.

Planetary discovery over the past quarter century

Steven Hauck • December 20, 2016

2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the creation of what has become one of the primary venues for the publication of research in planetary science: the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. This occasion is a good opportunity to look back at what we have learned in this era of expanded exploration and to try to take a peek at the future.

Connecting with Carl Sagan at the Library of Congress

Mark Hilverda • December 20, 2016

Whether you explore The Seth MacFarlane Collection of the Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan Archive online or at the Library of Congress during a visit to Washington, D.C., you’ll learn something new and have a deeper understanding of Carl Sagan.

These are not my Martians

Mat Kaplan • December 19, 2016

Mat Kaplan explains his beef with the National Geographic Mars documentary-drama series.

Future fear, loathing and predjudice: Star Trek VI turns 25

Jason Davis • December 16, 2016

On the 25th anniversary of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Jason Davis says the societal topics the film explores are still relevant today.

ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter takes in a rarely-imaged view of Phobos

Emily Lakdawalla • December 15, 2016

ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter's science team enjoyed the opportunity in November to test out their science instruments on Mars. One of the tests involved imaging Phobos from an unusual angle.

Lunar orbit beckons: NASA’s next four years of human spaceflight

Jason Davis • December 14, 2016

Our six-part Horizon Goal series concludes with a look at the future of NASA's human spaceflight program. As NASA prepares to set up shop beyond low-Earth orbit for the first time since 1972, are changes coming for the agency's Space Launch System rocket and Orion crew capsule?

Curiosity update, sols 1489-1547: Drilling at Sebina, driving up through Murray, drill problems at Precipice

Emily Lakdawalla • December 12, 2016

It's been a drive-heavy two months for Curiosity. Since my last update, the rover has drilled at a site named Sebina, then traveled about 500 meters to the south across increasingly chunky-looking Murray rocks to a new attempted drill site at Precipice. They were planning to attempt a new drilling technique at Precipice, but encountered a new problem with the drill instead.

Field Report from Mars: Sol 4577 - December 9, 2016

Larry Crumpler • December 09, 2016

Opportunity has begun the ascent of the steep slopes here in the inner wall of Endeavour crater after completion of a survey of outcrops close to the crater floor. The goal now is to climb back to the rim, drive south, and arrive at the next major mission target on the rim before the next Martian winter.

Congress Delays Action on NASA's 2017 Budget

Casey Dreier • December 09, 2016

Congress stands ready to punt on NASA's budget, meaning the space program will have to operate on a short budgetary leash until April of next year.

Countdown to the Next NASA Discovery Mission Selection

Van Kane • December 08, 2016

If NASA’s managers hold to their schedule, we will learn sometime this month what NASA’s next planetary mission will be.

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