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Planetary Society Hangout: March 7th, 2013 - What's Going On With Curiosity and a NASA Budget Update
Thursday at noon PST/3pm EST/20:00 UT

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/03/07 12:35 CST | 3 comments

Thursday at noon PST/3pm EST/20:00 UT we check in with Emily Lakdawalla to bring us up to speed with Curiosity's computer problems and we check in on NASA's budget status.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Begins Wrapping Science on Matijevic Hill
Sols 3209 - 3235

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2013/03/06 01:03 CST | 1 comment

As February turned to March, Opportunity was conducting some of its final science investigations on Matijevic Hill, the MER team was making preparations for the robot field geologist's trek south for the next winter, and the Mars Exploration Rovers mission was checking off another month of exploration.

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Will comet Siding Spring make a meteor shower on Mars?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/05 04:34 CST | 6 comments

JPL's Solar System Dynamics group shows that there is still a possibility that C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) could hit Mars. But the uncertainty in its position at that time is large -- the closest approach could happen an hour earlier, or an hour later -- so we're a long way from knowing yet whether it will or (more likely) won't impact.

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Browse Curiosity's data in the Analyst's notebook

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/05 01:29 CST

Last week the Curiosity mission made its first data delivery to the Planetary Data System. The bad news: none of the science camera image data is there yet. The good news: there are lots and lots of other goodies to explore.

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Field Report From Mars: Sol 3220-3236 - March 1, 2013

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2013/03/01 10:27 CST

Opportunity completed the observations of the outcrop noted in the previous report and has now moved back down slope.

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Checking in with the Future of Mars Exploration at NASA

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/02/27 02:17 CST | 4 comments

Reporting from NASA's Mars Exploration Program working group on the latest updates in scientific exploration of the red planet.

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MarsFest 2013: Mars in the Mojave
March 1st - 3rd, 2013

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/02/26 01:14 CST | 1 comment

From March 1st - 3rd I'll be representing the Planetary Society at the 2nd annual MarsFest, located in Death Valley National Park.

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Webcast Tonight! Planetary Scientist and Society President Jim Bell
Watch It Live or Later On Demand

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/02/20 07:59 CST

Professor Bell's topic is "Exploring Mars, the Moon, Asteroids, and Comets with Rovers and Landers," and there is no one better to talk about this subject.

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Curiosity update, sol 193: drilled stuff is in the scoop, ready for analysis

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/20 06:36 CST

There was a press briefing today to announce that Curiosity has completed her last major first-time activity: powder drilled from inside a rock at John Klein successfully made its way into the CHIMRA sample handling mechanism in the turret. Sol 193, then, marks the day that Curiosity is finally ready to start the science mission.

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An evening that brought me very close to Curiosity

Posted by Damia Bouic on 2013/02/15 09:00 CST | 3 comments

Damien Bouic received some well-deserved recognition from the Chemcam team for his great Curiosity image processing work.

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Field Report From Mars: Sol 3215-3219 - February 6-13, 2013

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2013/02/13 10:27 CST

We have been seeing lots of small light-colored veins crossing through the outcrops here on Matijevic Hill, and we have tried to get a handle on the composition of these veins by doing multiple offsets with the APXS. It appears that the small veins are calcium sulfate, as best we can determine.

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JPL's Mohawk Guy Invited to Attend the State of the Union Address, Despite Cuts to Planetary Exploration

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/02/12 01:53 CST | 1 comment

Bobak "Mohawk Guy" Ferdowsi of JPL will join First Lady Michelle Obama as a guest at today's State of the Union address.

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Mars Exploration Rover Update: Opportunity Quietly Completes 9 Years Uncovering More Evidence of Water
Sols 3178 - 3208

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2013/02/06 03:13 CST | 1 comment

With its robot nose to the Martian grindstone, Opportunity completed its ninth year of working on Mars in January, making another significant science discovery in tiny white veins on Matijevic Hill as the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission rolled on into Year 10.

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A new rover self-portrait and a new color image of Curiosity from orbit

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/04 05:40 CST | 7 comments

Curiosity is inching her way through her first use of the drill on a Martian rock. She paused in the proceedings to capture a second Martian "selfie."

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Day Hikes in the Labyrinth of Night

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/02/04 10:02 CST

Noctis Labyrinthus on Mars is an amazing place for an imagined day hike, courtesy of images from Mars Express.

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Columbia, ten years on

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/01 11:47 CST

Remembering Rick Husband, William McCool, Michael Anderson, Kalpana Chawla, David Brown, Laurel Clark, and Ilan Ramon on the tenth anniversary of the loss of the space shuttle Columbia.

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One of my favorite space images of all time: Rosetta was here

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/31 04:58 CST | 10 comments

A conversation on Twitter today reminded me of this photo, which is one of my all-time favorite space images: the view from Rosetta during its Mars flyby.

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Curiosity update, sol 171: Placing the drill

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/29 11:11 CST | 1 comment

They're getting closer and closer to drilling. Curiosity now seems to be positioned in the spot where they plan to be when they execute that long-awaited first drill.

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Weather Report: Mars

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/01/28 10:00 CST | 5 comments

Just like on Earth, clouds and storms often ripple through the Martian atmosphere. You can even check the daily weather report.

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"Sand" means something different to me than it does to you, probably

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/24 01:28 CST | 2 comments

I had one of those "A-ha" moments last week where I suddenly realized that I had run afoul of a common problem in science communication: when the words I'm using mean something different to me than they do to almost everyone I'm talking to. The confusing word of the week: "sand."

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