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How Does NASA's Ban on Russian Contact Affect Curiosity?

Casey Dreier • April 04, 2014

Earlier this week, NASA announced that it was cutting off ties with Russia, except for activities relating to the ISS. This raised questions about Russian participation on NASA's science missions, particularly the Russian experiment on the Curiosity rover.

Moonwalking

Bill Dunford • March 18, 2014

Get an astronaut's view into several lunar craters.

Checking in on Chang'e 3 and Yutu from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter: Yep, still there!

Emily Lakdawalla • March 04, 2014

Seeing hardware that was built by human hands sitting on the surface of another planet never, ever gets old. Today, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera team released two new images of Chang'e 3 and Yutu on the Moon.

Pretty pictures of terraced craters on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • February 27, 2014

Check out this unusual crater on Mars. It's not a very big one, less than 500 meters in diameter, and yet it has two rings. Most craters on Mars this size are simple bowl shapes. What's going on here?

A Spin Through the Inner Solar System

Bill Dunford • February 24, 2014

Animated maps of the planets show the spheres in motion.

Intro Astronomy Class 3: Telescopes, the Moon

Bruce Betts • February 21, 2014

Explore optical, radio, and space telescopes and the Moon in the video of class 3 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

LADEE spotted by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter!

Emily Lakdawalla • January 29, 2014

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has managed to snap a photo of the other current lunar orbiter, LADEE, at the Moon.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Diviner maps geologic context of Chang'e 3 landing site

Emily Lakdawalla • January 08, 2014

The LRO Diviner Lunar Radiometer has been mapping the entire Moon on a nearly continuous basis since July, 2009. The Diviner team has produced maps of the thermal behavior and and a range of derived quantities at Chang’e 3 landing site that are described in this post.

What's up in planetary missions in 2014

Emily Lakdawalla • December 31, 2013

With the New Year upon us, what can we look forward to in 2014? For me, the main event of 2014 is that ESA's Rosetta mission finally -- finally! -- catches up to the comet it has been chasing for a decade. We will lose LADEE, gain two Mars orbiters, and launch Hayabusa2. The year begins with an amazing 24 spacecraft exploring or cruising toward various planetary destinations.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spies Chang'e 3 and Yutu

Emily Lakdawalla • December 30, 2013

As promised, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's sharp eyes spotted the Chang'e 3 lander and Yutu rover on the lunar surface on December 25. The hardware shows up as a few bright pixels throwing long, dark shadows, clearly visible in a before-and-after comparison.

Chang'e 3 and LADEE updates -- and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, too, for good measure

Emily Lakdawalla • December 05, 2013

Chang'e 3 is just about to land on the Moon, and the LADEE orbiter has begun a new science mission there, while Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is still producing amazing images.

Somewhere Over the Bay of Rainbows

Bill Dunford • December 02, 2013

Pay a visit to the Chang'e 3 lunar landing site.

ARTEMIS Mission Update

Jasper S. Halekas • November 14, 2013

ARTEMIS is a mission that retasked two probes from the 5-spacecraft Heliophysics constellation THEMIS to study the interaction of the Moon with the space plasma environment.

The Strangest Place on the Moon?

Bill Dunford • October 21, 2013

A closer look at the odd lunar feature called "Ina."

LADEE has finally left Earth

Emily Lakdawalla • October 02, 2013

When LADEE launched on September 6, it launched into Earth orbit. Today, it is finally on a path that will take it to its October 6 lunar orbit insertion. Its operation is continuing normally in the face of the U.S. government's shutdown yesterday, as is that of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Go LADEE!

Mat Kaplan • September 10, 2013

Listen to or watch the recording of our live celebration for LADEE as the spacecraft blasted off for the moon.

The Walls of the Pit

Bill Dunford • August 26, 2013

A deep lunar crater exposes some of the Moon's secrets.

Shadowland

Bill Dunford • August 05, 2013

Seasons, sunlight, and shadow at the Moon's north pole

Terra Cognita

Bill Dunford • July 29, 2013

Pushing back the frontier, and filling in the blank spaces on the map.

Planetary Radio: Don't Step in That Puddle!

Mat Kaplan • July 01, 2013

The Planetary Science Institute's Amanda Hendrix is the guest for our July 1 episode. She finds water in the least likely places, including Luna.

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