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Blog Archive

 

New work with 35-year-old data: Voyagers at Ganymede and Saturn

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/05/25 04:44 CDT

The Voyager data set is a gift to Earth that keeps on giving. This week, I've seen three great new images processed from this old data set.

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Tomorrow morning, watch a new space module inflate—er, expand

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/05/25 01:03 CDT | 2 comments

NASA is set to fill a new space station module called BEAM with air Thursday morning. But does BEAM inflate, or expand?

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The House Makes its Counteroffer on NASA’s Budget
NASA gets another boost in funding, as does Planetary Science and Europa

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2016/05/24 01:22 CDT | 4 comments

Commerce, Justice, and Science—the House of Representatives’ subcommittee that oversees NASA spending—just released details on how they would fund the space agency in 2017. Overall, the news for the space program is very good.

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Mostly smooth sailing in San Luis Obispo: LightSail 2 completes day-in-the-life test

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/05/24 02:41 CDT | 2 comments

The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 spacecraft breezed through a major systems test today, demonstrating the CubeSat can successfully deploy its antenna and solar panels, communicate with the ground, and unfurl its 32-square-meter solar sails in space.

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OSIRIS-REx shipped to Florida for September launch

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/05/23 07:53 CDT

OSIRIS-REx's long journey to an asteroid has begun. The spacecraft departed Colorado on Friday, May 20, travelling aboard an Air Force C-17 to the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at Kennedy Space Center.

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Shuttle tank caps 41-day journey with trip through streets of Los Angeles

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/05/22 01:51 CDT | 1 comments

After a 41-day journey marked by stormy seas, a trip through the Panama Canal and a rescue off the Baja California coast, the last unflown space shuttle external fuel tank has arrived at its new home here in Los Angeles.

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On LightSail 1 launch anniversary, team prepares successor craft for day-in-the-life test

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/05/20 06:32 CDT | 1 comments

One year ago today, LightSail 1 rode an Atlas V rocket into space. Now, the program stands on the brink of another major milestone, as engineers prepare for a full systems test of LightSail 2, a successor CubeSat that will attempt the first controlled solar sail flight in low-Earth orbit.

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Akatsuki begins a productive science mission at Venus

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/05/19 06:02 CDT | 3 comments

Japan's Akatsuki Venus orbiter is well into its science mission, and has already produced surprising science results. The mission, originally planned to last two years, could last as many as five, monitoring Venus' atmosphere over the long term.

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Lockheed Proposes to have Humans Orbiting Mars by 2028
Their new concept shares core values with the Society's report from last year

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2016/05/19 05:30 CDT | 6 comments

Lockheed Martin proposed a system to send humans to orbit Mars in the year 2028—a concept that shares many core values with The Planetary Society's report, Humans Orbiting Mars, we released last year.

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Pretty Pictures of the Cosmos: The Eye of Sauron

Posted by Adam Block on 2016/05/18 12:46 CDT

Astrophotographer Adam Block shares his latest image, this time of a menacing spiral galaxy.

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ExoMars Rover Seeks Exit From Dire Straits

Posted by Anatoly Zak on 2016/05/17 06:16 CDT | 3 comments

The European Space Agency and Roskosmos have admitted the inevitable—the launch of the joint ExoMars-2018 project will have to be postponed for two years to 2020.

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Pictures and video: After dramatic sea rescue, shuttle tank berths safely in San Diego

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/05/16 12:31 CDT

Two-and-a-half days after a dramatic sea rescue, the tugboat crew hauling a space shuttle fuel tank to California bid farewell to some unexpected passengers last night in San Diego.

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Tugboat hauling shuttle tank to California rescues passengers of sunk fishing vessel

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/05/13 07:26 CDT

The crew of the tugboat hauling the last unflown space shuttle external fuel tank to California reports they have rescued four passengers from a fishing boat that sunk off the coast of Mexico.

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Field Report From Mars: Sol 4365 - May 5, 2016

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2016/05/13 10:43 CDT

Opportunity arrived at its current location on sol 4345 to begin investigation of an outcrop on the crest of a ridge near the west end of Marathon Valley.

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Space Exploration: Leaving the Earth to Understand It

Posted by Jake Rosenthal on 2016/05/13 08:00 CDT | 1 comments

Looking back at Earth from beyond helps to give perspective on our place in the cosmos.

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State of NASA Earth Observation

Posted by Anna Scott on 2016/05/12 08:00 CDT | 4 comments

Anna Scott gets us up to speed on NASA's Earth-observing missions nearly 60 years into the satellite age.

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A feast of new OSIRIS photos from comet 67P

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/05/11 04:19 CDT | 2 comments

Last week, the Rosetta mission released a large quantity of science data to the worldwide public, including photos from the mission's close observation phase and the Philae landing.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Sleuths New Site for Smectites

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2016/05/10 08:01 CDT | 2 comments

Opportunity and the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) team pressed on through the Martian winter and spent April sleuthing for clay minerals at the mission’s new site on the southern wall of Marathon Valley.

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All the way to orbit: After 35 years, is the RS-25 still the Ferrari of rocket engines?

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/05/09 06:00 CDT | 21 comments

The RS-25 powered the space shuttle for three decades, and will soon be used on the Space Launch System. Is it still the Ferrari of rocket engines? A deep dive on performance, reliability and the politics of rocket science.

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New lunar mosaics emerge as Surveyor digitization project continues

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/05/06 06:04 CDT

A team of scientists at the University of Arizona continue their efforts to extract data from more than 90,000 images captured during NASA's Surveyor program. In the meantime, new first-look images and an animation have been released.

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