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In total eclipse of a star, New Horizons' future flyby target makes its presence known

Emily Lakdawalla • July 19, 2017

The team reported two weeks ago that the first attempts at observing 2014 MU69 were unsuccessful. But in their third try, on July 17, astronomers in Argentina saw the telltale sign of MU69's presence: a stellar wink.

Congress gives NASA's planetary science division some love (and a Mars orbiter)

Jason Davis • July 19, 2017

The House of Representatives proposed $2.1 billion for NASA's planetary science budget, which would be an all-time high. Part of the increase would be used to start work on a new reconnaissance and communications orbiter.

Your Guide to the Great American Eclipse of 2017

Bruce Betts • July 17, 2017

The Moon will totally eclipse the Sun for the first time as seen from the continental United States in more than 40 years on August 21, 2017. What are eclipses, and what's special about this one?

Meet Scott Pace, the National Space Council's new executive secretary

Jason Davis • July 14, 2017

Pace will help develop policies that affect the future of NASA. Here's a guide to this influential new member of the Trump administration.

Back to Mercury! Europe and Japan's BepiColombo mission moves closer to launch

Jason Davis • July 14, 2017

Next year, a pair of probes head to Mercury to answer outstanding questions about our innermost planet, as well as the formation of the solar system.

Space Policy and Advocacy Quarterly Update - July 2017

Casey Dreier • July 11, 2017

The Space Policy and Advocacy team has released its first in a series of regular program updates on our activities, actions, and priorities in our effort to promote space science and exploration in Washington, D.C.

Dawn Journal: Still More Science

Marc Rayman • July 11, 2017

Orbiting the only dwarf planet inside the orbit of Neptune, Dawn is healthy and continuing to carry out its assignments at Ceres, which includes keeping an eye on cosmic rays.

From Member to Member

Casey Dreier • July 10, 2017

When a Society member met with his member of Congress, he told us about it, and we followed up.

How we would explore Uranus or Neptune

Van Kane • July 06, 2017

One fact dominates the planning for any mission to Uranus or Neptune: They lie far from the sun. A newly released NASA report looks at how we can explore these icy giants.

A guide to Cassini's remaining orbits

Emily Lakdawalla • July 05, 2017

Sadly, the Cassini mission ends soon. We're halfway through the "Grand Finale" orbits. Only eleven and a half orbits remain until Cassini meets its fate on September 15. Here's a look at the great mission's final science orbits.

President Trump formed a national space council. Now it needs a NASA administrator

Jason Davis • July 03, 2017

Tomorrow, NASA acting administrator Robert Lightfoot will have served longer than any other temporary head of NASA without having a successor nominated to fill the position.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Sprains ‘Ankle’ but Perseveres on Walkabout

A.J.S. Rayl • July 02, 2017

The autumn skies over Endeavour Crater remained hazy as dust from the summer storms continued to rain down, but Opportunity encountered some unexpected and serious June gloom when her right front steering wheel jammed during the walkabout atop Perseverance Valley.

This giant, flower-shaped starshade creates an artificial eclipse to see distant exoplanets

Jason Rhodes • June 23, 2017

Starshade is a proposed flower-shaped spacecraft that can create an artificial eclipse, allowing space telescopes to spot planets orbiting distant stars.

Planetary Society volunteers host SpaceUp London 2017

Harriet Brettle • June 22, 2017

Earlier this month, The Planetary Society brought together space enthusiasts at Queen Mary University of London for “SpaceUp London 2017”—the first large-scale event organized by Planetary Society volunteers in Europe.

Revisiting the ice giants: NASA study considers Uranus and Neptune missions

Jason Davis • June 21, 2017

Only one spacecraft has ever visited Uranus and Neptune: Voyager 2, in the late 1980s. A new NASA report explores the reasons to go back, and what type of mission might take us there.

When New Horizons' next target passed in front of a star, this scientist was watching from Argentina

Alejandro Soto • June 16, 2017

A team of scientists recently traveled to rural Argentina in the hopes of catching New Horizons' next target—Kuiper Belt object MU 69—crossing in front of a distant star.

Curiosity update, sols 1675-1725: Traverse to Vera Rubin Ridge

Emily Lakdawalla • June 13, 2017

Curiosity has had a busy eight weeks, driving south from the Bagnold Dunes toward Vera Rubin Ridge. The path has steepened and the rover is now rapidly climbing upward with every meter traveled. It's been a productive time for arm instruments, but the drill is still not working.

Did a Planetary Society citizen scientist help find one of Earth’s biggest impact craters?

Jason Davis • June 12, 2017

Scientists have found what appears to be a 250-kilometer-wide crater near the Falkland Islands. Is it ground zero for Earth's largest-ever extinction event?

Despite setbacks, SpaceX continues to gain momentum

Jason Davis • June 09, 2017

SpaceX lost rockets in both 2015 and 2016. But an analysis of Falcon 9 launch data shows the company continues to gain momentum, while making giant strides forward in reusability.

Space station partners weigh in on NASA’s Deep Space Gateway plans

Anatoly Zak • June 08, 2017

In March, NASA officials revealed updated plans for a small space station near the Moon called the Deep Space Gateway. Anatoly Zak reports the plans threw a monkey wrench into years-long planning efforts by NASA’s international partners.

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