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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.

Field Report from Mars: Sol 4039 - June 4, 2015

Larry Crumpler • June 12, 2015

Larry Crumpler gives an update on the Opportunity rover and plans for its upcoming journey after solar conjunction.

Pretty (Partial) Picture: LightSail Catches a Glimpse of Earth

Jason Davis • June 10, 2015

With the team still trying to download an image from LightSail's second camera, Emily Lakdawalla processed a partial image from the first camera that contains a slice of Earth.

Curiosity update, sols 978-1011: Into Marias Pass; ChemCam back in action; solar conjunction

Emily Lakdawalla • June 10, 2015

It’s been an eventful few weeks for Curiosity on Mars. From sols 981 to 986, Curiosity’s human pilots tried and failed to drive the rover southward; but, retracing their steps to Logan's Run, they quickly found a way up and into a beautiful geological amphitheater named Marias Pass, where they will stay throughout Mars solar conjunction. They also returned ChemCam to normal operations.

LightSail Test Mission Declared Success; First Image Complete

Jason Davis • June 09, 2015

The Planetary Society’s LightSail test mission successfully completed its primary objective of deploying a solar sail in low-Earth orbit.

Sails in Space: Partial Photo, Video and Light Curve (Updated)

Jason Davis • June 08, 2015

It’s official: The sails are out. This afternoon, LightSail mission controllers downlinked a partial image of the spacecraft’s solar sails in space.

Deployment! LightSail Boom Motor Whirrs to Life

Jason Davis • June 07, 2015

LightSail's tiny solar sail deployment motor sprung to life Sunday afternoon, marking an important milestone for The Planetary Society’s nail-biting test mission.

LightSail Drama Continues as Spacecraft Wakes for Second Time

Jason Davis • June 06, 2015

LightSail is back in business, following the second extended outage of the test spacecraft’s mission. The CubeSat checked in at 2:21 p.m. EDT Saturday.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Tours Spirit of St. Louis Crater

A.J.S. Rayl • June 03, 2015

Opportunity spent a mostly merry month of May on Mars touring Spirit of St. Louis Crater, stopping at science targets named in honor of Charles Lindbergh and the incredible flight he took 88 years ago.

LightSail Team Prepares for Sail Deployment

Jason Davis • May 30, 2015

LightSail is almost ready for its moment in the sun. Mission managers are preparing for a manual solar sail deployment this week.

Contact! LightSail Phones Home after 8-Day Silence

Jason Davis • May 30, 2015

The Planetary Society’s LightSail test spacecraft reported for duty this afternoon, heralding the end of an uneasy silence caused by a suspected software glitch.

Dawn Journal: Spiralling Closer to Ceres

Marc Rayman • May 29, 2015

Dawn's Chief Engineer and Mission Director Marc Rayman gives an update as the spacecraft's orbit takes it even closer to the dwarf planet Ceres.

Four mission assembly progress reports: ExoMars TGO, InSight, OSIRIS-REx, and BepiColombo

Emily Lakdawalla • May 28, 2015

2015 has seen few deep-space-craft launches, but 2016 is shaping up to be a banner year with three launches, followed quickly by a fourth in early 2017. All of the missions under development have reported significant milestones recently.

Software Glitch Pauses LightSail Test Mission

Jason Davis • May 26, 2015

The Planetary Society’s LightSail test mission has been paused while engineers wait out a suspected software glitch that has silenced the solar sailing spacecraft.

Here Are the Science Instruments NASA Will Use to Explore Europa

Casey Dreier • May 26, 2015

NASA just announced the science instruments that will be used to understand the enigmatic ocean moon of Europa. The mission is planned to launch sometime in the early 2020s.

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