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Blog Archive

 

What did Dawn learn at Vesta?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/10/09 03:53 CDT | 11 comments

It's now been two years since Dawn wrapped up its work at the second-largest asteroid. What else did we get from the Vesta encounter besides great photos? Recently, I asked Dawn's deputy project scientist, Carol Raymond, for help in summarizing a few of the big things Dawn taught us.

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Mars Orbiter Mission shifts orbit to take cover from Siding Spring

Posted by Srinivas Laxman on 2014/10/09 11:23 CDT

With only 10 days remaining until the arrival of Comet Siding Spring at Mars, ISRO has shielded the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) from the comet. On Tuesday MOM’s orbit was altered so as to move it behind the Red Planet when the comet arrives. MOM will carry out observations of the comet and its Mars Colour Camera will click images of it.

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New global Mars image from Mars Orbiter Mission features Gale crater

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/10/07 11:58 CDT | 4 comments

ISRO has released a second global image of Mars from the Mars Colour Camera on Mars Orbiter Mission, and smack dab in the center of it is Gale crater, home to Curiosity.

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Comet Siding Spring: Exciting times

Posted by Karl Battams on 2014/10/06 03:11 CDT | 5 comments

We're now less than two weeks away from Comet Siding Spring buzzing ridiculously close to Mars, and the excitement is building - in both good and bad ways...

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Two Eclipses in October

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/10/06 01:09 CDT

October 2014 brings big sky fun: a total lunar and partial solar eclipse, both visible from North America. The lunar eclipse will also be visible from most areas around the Pacific Ocean. Here is info on how to observe these eclipses.

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A Clearer Impression of Degas Crater

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2014/10/06 09:31 CDT | 2 comments

MESSENGER is revealing the first planet in sharp detail.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Gets Extension, Returns Killer Panoramas, and Roves onto Mystery Rocks
Sols 3770 - 3799

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2014/10/04 10:15 CDT | 1 comments

While the winds of Martian spring blew through Meridiani Planum in September, Opportunity reformatted its Flash memory then continued exploring Wdowiak Ridge on the western rim of Endeavour Crater. Even though the Flash-related issues soon returned, the robot field geologist hardly seemed to notice as it sent home two spectacular panoramas, presented the scientists with a rocky Martian mystery, and delivered yet another September to remember for the mission. And that's not all.

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How Richard Nixon Changed NASA
John Logsdon's new book shows how the post-Apollo era was defined by Richard Nixon

Posted by Jason Callahan on 2014/10/04 10:03 CDT | 7 comments

The end of the Moon race raised the question: what, if anything, was next for NASA? The decisions made by President Nixon in the aftermath of Apollo still impact the space program today.

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Orion's Ride to Space is at the Launch Site. Why So Early?

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/10/03 03:28 CDT | 9 comments

On Tuesday, Orion's massive Delta IV Heavy rocket rolled from its Horizontal Integration Facility out to the launch site. Launch is still eight weeks away. Why so early?

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Preparing for A-MAVEN Science!

Posted by Karl Battams on 2014/10/03 10:56 CDT | 3 comments

How can we use MAVEN to learn about Comet Siding Spring, passing very close by Mars this month?

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Mattias Malmer's amazing 3D views of Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/10/02 01:14 CDT | 5 comments

I'm thrilled to be able to share with you all a spectacular set of images of Rosetta's comet, produced from NavCam data by a master space image processing enthusiast.

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Happy Fiscal Year 2015! Though NASA Still Doesn't Have a Budget
Congress extends 2014 funding for a few months during election season

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/10/01 11:25 CDT | 1 comments

Congress passed a stopgap spending bill before taking off to campaign for re-election, keeping NASA's 2015 budget in limbo for another two months.

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Mars Orbiter Mission activates all science instruments as NASA, ISRO form joint Mars working group

Posted by Srinivas Laxman on 2014/10/01 11:19 CDT | 1 comments

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) began its science activities fully on Wednesday with all five science instruments being activated. And on Tuesday, an ISRO-NASA Mars working group was formed which will "seek to identify and implement scientific and technological goals that NASA and ISRO have in common regarding Mars exploration."

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More LightSail Day-in-the-Life Multimedia, and a Community Image Processing Challenge

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/09/30 01:07 CDT | 2 comments

We have more multimedia from LightSail's day-in-the-life test, as well as a request for some community image processing help.

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Planetary Society President Testifies Before Congress

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/09/29 11:38 CDT | 2 comments

Society President Dr. Jim Bell provided expert testimony at a September hearing on the state (and fate) of planetary science.

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Brief mission update: Hayabusa 2 has a launch date!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/09/29 11:28 CDT | 1 comments

JAXA announced the launch date for their Hayabusa 2 asteroid sample return mission today: November 30 at 13:24:48 Japan standard time (04:24:48 UT / November 29 at 20:24:48 PST)

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Curiosity update, sols 748-763: Driving and Drilling at Pahrump Hills

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/09/29 05:57 CDT | 10 comments

The biggest news on Curiosity of late is that the rover has drilled her fourth full drill hole on Mars! Drilling happened at a site called "Confidence Hills" on sol 759. But before she did that, she took a long series of amazing photos of rock formations at Jubilee Pass, Panamint Butte, and Upheaval Dome.

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Mars Orbiter Mission delivers on promise of global views of Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/09/29 11:15 CDT | 18 comments

Ever since I first learned about the capabilities of Mars Orbiter Mission's small payload of science instruments, I have been anticipating one type of data in particular: global color views of Mars captured in a single 2000-pixel-square frame. Just days after entering orbit, Mars Orbiter Mission has delivered on that promise.

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Dawn Journal: 7 Years of Interplanetary Travel

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2014/09/27 07:43 CDT | 6 comments

Marc Rayman gives us an update on the Dawn mission, heading to Ceres, on the 7th anniversary of its launch.

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Using Lasers to Lock Down Exoplanet Hunting

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/09/26 05:59 CDT

The Planetary Society is launching a new collaboration with Yale exoplanet hunter Debra Fischer and her team, the Exoplanets Laser project. We will support the purchase of an advanced, ultra stable laser to be used in a complex system they are designing to push radial velocity exoplanet hunting to a whole whole new level.

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