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OSIRIS-REx Earth flyby: What to Expect

Emily Lakdawalla • September 19, 2017

OSIRIS-REx launched on September 8, 2016. Now, a year later, it's returning to its home to get a second boost on to its destination, the asteroid Bennu. It'll test all its cameras on Earth and the Moon in the 10 days after the flyby.

Cassini: The dying of the light

Emily Lakdawalla • September 15, 2017

Cassini is no more. At 10:31 according to its own clock, its thrusters could no longer hold its radio antenna pointed at Earth, and it turned away. A minute later, it vaporized in Saturn’s atmosphere. Its atoms are part of Saturn now.

Curiosity update, sols 1726-1813: Surveying Vera Rubin Ridge from below

Emily Lakdawalla • September 13, 2017

Curiosity had a productive three months driving along the front of Vera Rubin Ridge, gathering photos and data with its arm instruments, finally driving up on to the ridge on sol 1809.

What to expect during Cassini's final hours

Emily Lakdawalla • September 11, 2017

A timeline of what to expect from the great mission during its final hours.

Curiosity's balky drill: The problem and solutions

Emily Lakdawalla • September 06, 2017

Since December 1, 2016, Curiosity has been unable to drill into rocks because of a serious problem with one of the drill's motors. Emily Lakdawalla thoroughly explains the issues and the path forward for Curiosity.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Ventures Deeper into Perseverance

A.J.S. Rayl • September 01, 2017

Along the western rim of Endeavour Crater, Opportunity forged onward in August vicariously taking the Mars Exploration Rovers team – along with a global contingent of mission observers all around Earth – downhill into Perseverance Valley and deeper into a new chapter in this legendary expedition of the Red Planet.

Voyager 40th anniversary: The Planetary Report's chronicles

Emily Lakdawalla • August 25, 2017

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the Voyager missions, we're making publicly available seven back issues of The Planetary Report that chronicled the grand tour of the giant planets.

Celebrating the 40th anniversaries of the Voyager launches

Emily Lakdawalla • August 17, 2017

Sunday, August 20 marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of Voyager 2. Tuesday, September 5, will be the 40th anniversary for Voyager 1. Throughout the next three weeks, we'll be posting new and classic material in honor of the Voyagers. Here's a preview.

Five Earth Years on Mars

Casey Dreier • August 05, 2017

Five (Earth) years ago today, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity landed in a dramatic fashion on the surface of the Red Planet. We look back at a mission that advanced humanity's understanding of Mars and provided a priceless return on a modest investment.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Enters Perseverance Valley, Settles in for Solar Conjunction

A.J.S. Rayl • August 01, 2017

After struggling to get her left front wheel unstuck in June, Opportunity quickly adapted to a new driving strategy and unabashedly cruised into Perseverance Valley in July.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Shoots the Moon on Arrival at Perseverance Valley

A.J.S. Rayl • June 06, 2017

In another dynamic demonstration of what can be achieved when a team works together, Opportunity cruised to the top of Perseverance Valley, shot the moon, and drove into her 160th month of surface operations in May.

Dawn Journal: Adaptations

Marc Rayman • May 30, 2017

On the other side of the solar system, invisible by virtue both of the blinding glare of the sun and by the vastness of the distance, Dawn is continuing its remarkable cosmic adventure.

Here's what you need to know about the Electron rocket, which is set to launch from New Zealand

Jason Davis • May 19, 2017

Rocket Lab's Electron, a light-lift launcher for small satellites, is ready to make its debut test flight from a peninsula in New Zealand.

The anatomy of a delay: Here's a timeline of twists and turns for NASA's SLS and Orion programs

Jason Davis • May 15, 2017

The Space Launch System and Orion won't fly until 2019, and NASA is sticking with its original plan not to include astronauts for the maiden mission. Here is a timeline of some of the programs' major twists and turns over the years.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Closes in on Perseverance Valley

A.J.S. Rayl • May 03, 2017

Opportunity spent the month of April 2017 outside the western rim of Endeavour Crater, cruising toward Cape Byron and Perseverance Valley, the centerpiece of its tenth extended mission.

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