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Blog Archive

 

First Science Results from Hayabusa2 Mission

Emily Lakdawalla • April 01, 2019

The Hayabusa2 team held a press briefing last week at LPSC to report newly published results on asteroid Ryugu.

What to Expect When Hayabusa2 Blows a Hole in Asteroid Ryugu

Jason Davis • April 01, 2019

The Hayabusa 2 spacecraft will deploy its Small Carry-on Impactor experiment, SCI, on 5 April.

Beresheet Gears up for Lunar Rendezvous

Jason Davis • March 28, 2019

The Israeli spacecraft is set to enter lunar orbit on 4 April at 17:57 UTC (13:57 EDT).

InSight Update, Sol 92: The Mole Did Hit a Rock

Emily Lakdawalla • March 01, 2019

The HP3 mole started hammering itself today, and almost immediately (after just 5 minutes) appears to have encountered a rock. No matter; they'll try again Saturday.

InSight update, sols 43-83: Instrument placement complete

Emily Lakdawalla • February 20, 2019

InSight has placed its second science instrument on the ground and set it free. Now it's time to bury the heat probe in the soil.

NASA’s Lucy mission gets caught in a fight between rocket companies

Casey Dreier • February 20, 2019

SpaceX says it wants to save NASA money, but its actions could cost taxpayers more in the end.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update Special Report: NASA Declares Opportunity and MER Mission “Complete”

A.J.S. Rayl • February 14, 2019

At around 8 pm February 12, 2019, Pacific Standard Time (PST), the final commands were transmitted to Opportunity, the Mars Exploration Rover that defied all odds.

Touchdown for InSight's Heat Probe

Emily Lakdawalla • February 12, 2019

InSight has gone two for two, placing the second of its instruments gently on the Martian ground.

Curiosity Update, Sols 2257-2312: Drilling at Rock Hall and Arrival at the Valley of Clay

Emily Lakdawalla • February 06, 2019

Curiosity completed work at Vera Rubin Ridge with an easy drilling activity at Rock Hall. Now it has finally driven on to mineral-rick rocks that were seen from orbit, long before Curiosity arrived. The team plans a lengthy traverse of the clay-bearing unit.

InSight Milestone: Wind and Thermal Shield Placed Sol 66

Emily Lakdawalla • February 04, 2019

InSight mission has successfully placed the wind and thermal shield over the seismometer. The seismometer will now be shielded from winds and kept warm over the cold Martian nights, so the quality of its data should dramatically increase.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Logs 15th Year in Silence, Team Begins ‘Hail Mary’ Efforts

A.J.S. Rayl • February 02, 2019

As a string of dust storms moved through Meridiani Planum and over Endeavour Crater in January, Opportunity silently wrapped her fifteenth year on the surface of Mars.

InSight Update, sols 25-42: Seismometer sensors working!

Emily Lakdawalla • January 09, 2019

Engineers have leveled the seismometer and made progress on adjusting the position of the tether so that it doesn't interfere for the experiment. Most significantly for the mission, they have balanced the Very Broad Band sensors -- 3 of SEIS’ 6 seismic sensors -- and confirmed that they are generating good data.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Still Silent, Team Still Hopeful

A.J.S. Rayl • January 06, 2019

It’s now been more than six and a half months that the longest-lived robot on another planet has been incommunicado.

MU69 appears as a bi-lobed baby comet in latest New Horizons images

Emily Lakdawalla • January 02, 2019

The latest images downlinked from New Horizons show MU69 to be a textbook example of a contact binary. How do contact binaries form? Updated with images released on 3 January.

Happy New Year! The New Horizons flyby was successful!

Emily Lakdawalla • January 01, 2019

New Horizons has "phoned home" as expected, 4 hours after its closest approach to 2014 MU69. Its brief transmission contained no science data, but gave the scientists welcome news: New Horizons has successfully pulled off the most distant flyby ever.

News brief: OSIRIS-REx arrives in orbit at Bennu

Emily Lakdawalla • December 31, 2018

Today at 19:43 UTC, OSIRIS-REx entered orbit at asteroid Bennu. In so doing, it accomplished both the tightest orbit (at an altitude under 2 kilometers) and the orbit of the smallest object ever. UPDATE: Early science results from OSIRIS-REx discussed at New Horizons MU69 flyby event.

New Horizons fast approaching 2014 MU69

Emily Lakdawalla • December 27, 2018

Unaffected by the shutdown of the U.S. government, New Horizons is still on course for its New Year’s encounter with 2014 MU69 (nicknamed “Ultima Thule”). This post collects the latest images from New Horizons' approach to the tiny Kuiper belt object and will be updated regularly.

Dawn Journal: Final Transmission

Marc Rayman • December 21, 2018

After more than 11 years in deep space, after unveiling the two largest uncharted worlds in the inner solar system, after overcoming myriad daunting obstacles, Dawn's interplanetary adventure has come to an end.

InSight update, sols 1-24: Operations begin, first instrument deployed

Emily Lakdawalla • December 21, 2018

It’s been a busy first three weeks on the InSight mission, and they’ve already achieved a major milestone: placing the seismometer on the ground. They've also gathered a self-portrait and 360-degree panorama.

What to Expect When New Horizons Visits 2014 MU69, Ultima Thule

Emily Lakdawalla • December 17, 2018

New Horizons is rapidly approaching its New Year’s encounter with the most distant world ever visited, 2014 MU69. Closest approach will be at a distance of 3,500 kilometers at about 05:33 on 1 January UTC.

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