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What's up in the solar system for the week of April 28

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/04/28 09:56 CDT

I thought it would be fun to start the week by taking stock of what's going on with all the active planetary missions out there.

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Shadows cast from Victoria's capes and bays

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/04/14 03:51 CDT

This is from the "just plain cool" department: An animation of the shadows of Victoria Crater as seen by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, courtesy of Doug Ellison.

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Spirit, seen from space

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/03/24 05:46 CDT

The HiRISE instrument on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter really is a spy camera in space. Check out this sequence of nine images from the HiRISE archives, which Doug Ellison pulled together into an animation covering more than a year of Spirit's mission.

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Mars Climate Sounder Collects 20 Millionth Sounding

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2008/03/10 12:00 CDT

Last week Mars Climate Sounder collected its 20 millionth sounding at Mars. Mars Climate Sounder is scanning without problems, collecting science observations of the atmosphere of Mars. Mars Climate Sounder has now been observing Mars for over 17 months (three quarters of a Mars year and also approximately three quarters of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter primary science mission).

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Finding images from Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/02/06 03:10 CST

There have been so many missions to Mars, which have sent back so much data, that figuring out how to find images of places on Mars can be really overwhelming.

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Have a happy day on Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/02/01 11:36 CST

I thought this was a fun image to kick off the weekend. This isn't the first happy-looking crater to be photographed from Mars, but I really like this one; it's more goofy.

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Mars Exploration Rovers update: Spirit and Opportunity are both still talking to Earth

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2007/07/23 05:04 CDT

Both Spirit and Opportunity are still suffering under incredibly dark skies, but, amazingly, they are both "power-positive," meaning that they are managing to produce enough power from the limited amount of sunlight to keep the batteries fully charged.

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Windows Onto the Abyss: Cave Skylights on Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2007/05/23 10:57 CDT

Today's set of image releases from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE team included this one, of a fairly bland-looking lava plain to the northeast of Arsia Mons. Bland, that is, except for a black spot in the center.

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Millions of soundings yield clues to Mars' weather

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2007/04/03 12:00 CDT

Two months after the start of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's primary science phase, the Mars Climate Sounder instrument has already acquired more than four million soundings, building toward a vast data set on the three-dimensional structure of Mars' atmosphere over the full Martian year of the orbiter's nominal mission.

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Autumn comes to Mars' north pole

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2007/02/18 04:26 CST

It's easy to forget that Mars is another such world with cloudy weather and seasonally varying climate. This lovely image release from the CRISM instrument on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter brings that point home.

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Still no word from Mars Global Surveyor

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2006/11/14 07:59 CST

It's now been nine days since Mars Global Surveyor was last heard from.

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Notes from this morning's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter press conference

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2006/03/08 10:48 CST

They held the usual pre-arrival press conference this morning for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. This press conference typically doesn't convey any information that people who have been paying attention don't already know.

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A launch delay for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/08/09 12:57 CDT

The Space Shuttle couldn't land at Kennedy Space Center today because of concerns about weather, so I have been expecting a launch delay to be announced for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Indeed, a 24-hour delay has just been announced; the new launch date is Thursday, August 11 from 7:50 to 9:35 a.m. EDT (11:50 to 13:35 UTC).

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