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Blog Archive


InSight delivered to Vandenberg launch site

Emily Lakdawalla • March 06, 2018

InSight, NASA's next Mars mission, has arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base in preparation for a May 5 launch.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Logs 5000th Day, Snaps Selfie, and Roves On

A.J.S. Rayl • March 05, 2018

When Opportunity’s 5000th day dawned in February, it was a meaningful milestone for the team, and it led to a personal first for the veteran robot field geologist that has chalked up so many firsts she’s set the standard for Mars rovers.

Hayabusa2 has detected Ryugu!

Emily Lakdawalla • March 01, 2018

In a milestone for the mission, JAXA's Hayabusa2 sample return spacecraft has sighted its destination, asteroid Ryugu.

Curiosity update, sols 1927-1971: Ready to resume drilling

Emily Lakdawalla • February 21, 2018

After a hiatus of nearly 500 sols, Curiosity is ready to attempt drilling into a Mars rock again.

Ten times the solar system reminded us sample collection is hard

Emily Lakdawalla • February 19, 2018

Some of the biggest discoveries we make in planetary science rely on the seemingly simple act of picking up and analyzing pieces of other worlds. When things go awry, scientists and engineers can sometimes squeeze amazing science out of a tough situation.

Preview: Succeed or fail, SpaceX's Falcon Heavy test sure to be a blast

Jason Davis • February 01, 2018

Possible outcomes of next week's test include an explosion or a car launched into orbit around the Sun.

New Horizons prepares for encounter with 2014 MU69

Emily Lakdawalla • January 24, 2018

Throughout 2018, New Horizons will cruise toward its January 1 encounter with 2014 MU69. Preparations for the flyby are nearly complete.

Here's our rolling list of space things affected by the U.S. government shutdown

Jason Davis and Emily Lakdawalla • January 22, 2018

The International Space Station stays open for business; everything else is at least somewhat affected.

Dawn Journal: 4 Billion Miles

Marc Rayman • January 17, 2018

Permanently in residence at dwarf planet Ceres, Dawn is now preparing to add some finishing touches to its mission.

HiRISE image coverage of the Curiosity field site on Mars, Version 4.0

Emily Lakdawalla • January 15, 2018

The latest and greatest update of Emily's list of all the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE images that contain Curiosity hardware, tracks, or traverses.

Curiosity update, sols 1814-1926: Vera Rubin Ridge Walkabout

Emily Lakdawalla • January 06, 2018

Curiosity is climbing across the top of Vera Rubin Ridge, spying varicolored rocks. It's getting closer to being ready to drill again, and has performed a wet chemistry experiment for the first time.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Beats Winter, Wraps 2017, and Heads for 14th Anniversary

A.J.S. Rayl • January 05, 2018

With the Martian winter on the run, Opportunity cruised closer to its 14th anniversary of exploring the Red Planet in December as she deliberated a distinctive “fork in the road” deep in Perseverance Valley and wrapped another record year.

What's Up in Solar System Exploration in 2018

Emily Lakdawalla • December 27, 2017

Three launches to the Moon and one each to Mercury and Mars; two arrivals at near-Earth asteroids; and an approach to an encounter with a distant Kuiper belt object are highlights we anticipate in 2018.

India's Chandrayaan-2 mission preparing for March 2018 launch

Emily Lakdawalla • November 29, 2017

India plans a return to the Moon with an orbiter, lander, and rover on the Chandrayaan-2 mission.

Dawn Journal: Second Extended Mission

Marc Rayman • November 03, 2017

Building on the successes of its primary mission and its first extended mission, NASA has approved the veteran explorer for a second extended mission.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Pops Wheelies Over Etched Rocks in Perseverance

A.J.S. Rayl • November 02, 2017

As brutally cold got even colder at Endeavour Crater in October, the depths of winter gripped Opportunity, and ‘life’ on Mars slowed. But the robot field geologist continued to work on through the doldrums of the season.

Dawn Journal: 10 Years in Space

Marc Rayman • October 04, 2017

A decade after leaving its first home in the solar system, Dawn is healthy and successful at its current residence around Ceres.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Braves Onset of Winter to Picture Perseverance

A.J.S. Rayl • October 02, 2017

The Martian winter began to grip Endeavour Crater in September, slowing Opportunity's pace. But she braved the brutal cold in Perseverance Valley and followed her commands to visually document everything in sight.

Earth flyby tests OSIRIS-REx's cameras

Emily Lakdawalla • September 28, 2017

As expected, OSIRIS-REx's Earth flyby on September 22 was a success. The mission is slowly releasing beautiful images of our home worlds taken by its many cameras following the flyby.

Field Report from Mars: Sol 4857

Larry Crumpler • September 22, 2017

Opportunity is continuing its drive down Perseverance Valley, a possible channel that was cut in the inner wall of the 22 km-diameter Endeavour impact crater on ancient Mars.

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