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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Enters Marathon Valley, Begins Walkabout

A.J.S. Rayl • August 03, 2015

Nearly seven Earth years after Opportunity set its sites on Endeavour Crater, the rover cruised into Marathon Valley, the once-but-a-dream destination.

Dawn Journal: Descent to HAMO

Marc Rayman • July 30, 2015

With a wonderfully rich bounty of pictures and other observations already secured, Dawn is now on its way to an even better vantage point around dwarf planet Ceres.

Field Report from Mars: Sol 4060 - June 26, 2015

Larry Crumpler • July 29, 2015

Larry Crumpler gives an update on the Opportunity rover's activities in Spirit of St. Louis crater.

Expedition 44 Trio Flies through Solar Panel Glitch, Arrives at Station

Jason Davis • July 22, 2015

A three-person crew is safely aboard the International Space Station following an early morning launch of a Soyuz rocket and spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Broken Bottle Strut Likely Doomed Falcon 9 Rocket, Says Elon Musk

Jason Davis • July 20, 2015

The demise of an ISS-bound Falcon 9 rocket last month was likely caused by a broken liquid helium bottle strut, according to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

OSIRIS-REx – Testing In Progress

Annie Wargetz • July 17, 2015

While the OLA, OCAMS, and REXIS instruments on the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft continue working towards their deliveries, other hardware onsite at Lockheed is undergoing testing prior to installation. The hardware is put through tests here on Earth prior to launching into space.

Report Finds SLS Cost and Schedule Estimates Tight, but on Track

Jason Davis • July 17, 2015

The GAO says NASA is generally doing a good job with cost and schedule estimates for SLS, its new heavy lift rocket. But NASA is also running short on schedule margin as it works to have SLS ready for flight by November 2018.

New Horizons "phones home" after Pluto flyby

Emily Lakdawalla • July 14, 2015

After a wait of more than 22 hours with no communication, New Horizons "phoned home" precisely on schedule after its flyby of Pluto. The signal was received at 00:52:37 UT | 20:52:37 ET | 17:52:37 PT. As planned, New Horizons returned no images with the Phone Home downlink. But every bit of telemetry indicated that the flyby executed successfully.

Three mission updates: Trouble for Dawn at Ceres; A new plan for Juno; OSIRIS-REx coming together

Emily Lakdawalla • July 09, 2015

With all the focus on Pluto it's hard to keep up with all the other space missions currently exploring other planets. Here are brief updates on three of them.

New Horizons "back in action" after safe mode event, ready to resume encounter science

Emily Lakdawalla • July 06, 2015

NASA held a press briefing today to explain the nature and cause of the spacecraft anomaly that halted science on New Horizons for four days as it was on its terminal approach to Pluto. As of the moment that I write this post, New Horizons is not yet performing science observations, but it will resume them tomorrow, July 7.

New Horizons enters safe mode 10 days before Pluto flyby [UPDATED]

Emily Lakdawalla • July 05, 2015

New Horizons decided to put on a little 4th of July drama for the mission's fans. It's currently in safe mode, and it will likely be a day or two before it recovers and returns to science, but it remains on course for the July 14 flyby. Here's the mission update in its entirety.
[UPDATE]: Normal operations are planned to resume July 7.

Pluto's progression: Third-to-last Pluto day before encounter

Emily Lakdawalla • July 03, 2015

Only two days remain until New Horizons' historic encounter with Pluto....two Pluto days, that is. Pluto and Charon rotate together once every 6.4 days, so as New Horizons has approached the pair over the last week, we've been treated to one stately progression of all of their longitudes.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Phones Home after Conjunction Healthy, Ready to Rove

A.J.S. Rayl • July 02, 2015

After three weeks of being in a communications blackout on the other side of the Sun during the Earth-Mars solar conjunction, Opportunity phoned home, reporting that she is healthy and ready to continue her mission.

Dawn Journal: Ceres' Intriguing Geology

Marc Rayman • June 30, 2015

Dawn is continuing to unveil a Ceres of mysteries at the first dwarf planet discovered. Mission Director Marc Rayman gives us an update.

Of Course I Still Love You, Falcon: New SpaceX Ship Ready to Catch Rockets

Jason Davis • June 25, 2015

SpaceX is gearing up for its seventh paid cargo run to the International Space Station, and the third attempt to catch the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship in the ocean.

What to expect when you're expecting a flyby: Planning your July around New Horizons' Pluto Pictures (version 2)

Emily Lakdawalla • June 24, 2015

Three months ago, I posted an article explaining what to expect during the flyby. This is a revised version of the same post, with some errors corrected, the expected sizes of Nix and Hydra updated, and times of press briefings added.

New Horizons update: Resolving features on Charon and seeing in color

Emily Lakdawalla • June 23, 2015

Only about three weeks remain until the flyby — it's getting really close! I almost don't want the anticipation to end. New Horizons is now getting color images and is seeing features on Charon. Deep searches have yielded no new moons.

Philae is awake! What's next for the comet lander's scientific mission?

Emily Lakdawalla • June 17, 2015

I woke up early Sunday morning to the dramatic news: Philae is back! With a few days to consider the telemetry, the Philae team is now talking about the science they hope to do. With comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko approaching perihelion in August, it's going to be an exciting ride.

Tonight I Glimpsed LightSail

Bill Nye • June 14, 2015

Tonight, for the first time, I glimpsed our spacecraft with my own eyes. It was just the faintest pinprick against the bright lights of the big city. But, there it was right on time and exactly per the coordinates.

In Pictures: LightSail’s Final Days in Space

Jason Davis • June 12, 2015

LightSail’s brief stay in orbit is almost over. Here are a few photos and videos of the spacecraft from observers around the world.

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