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Blog Archive

 

Chang'e 2: The Full Story

Posted by Bill Gray on 2012/08/25 10:55 CDT | 4 comments

An update on China's second lunar orbiter, Chang'e 2, which is now heading for asteroid Toutatis.

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RBSP to explore decades-old radiation belt mysteries

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/08/24 11:01 CDT

NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes will shed new light on the Van Allen Radiation Belts, a dangerous region of space in our planet's backyard.

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Curiosity sol 15 update: Wheel wiggles, arm flexes, and bad news about REMS

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/21 04:26 CDT | 8 comments

Notes from this morning's press conference. Curiosity has successfully steered the corner wheels and deployed and restowed the robotic arm. ChemCam tests went well over the weekend. But one of the two wind speed sensors in REMS appears to have suffered permanent damage during landing.

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NASA Selects InSight Mars 2016 Lander

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/08/20 06:13 CDT | 2 comments

NASA has selected JPL's InSight mission to Mars as its next Discovery mission. The first geophysics mission to Mars, InSight will use a Phoenix-like lander to deploy a seismometer and a heat probe and give us our first detailed insights into the interior of the Red Planet.

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We're going back to Mars in 2016!

Posted by Bill Nye on 2012/08/20 03:57 CDT | 9 comments

Today, NASA announced the newest Discovery-class mission, a Mars lander called InSight. It's not a rover; it's a drill that will go down 5 meters and help us figure out what happens in the core of our neighboring terrestrial planet.

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Curiosity sol 11 update: Decision to drive to "the high thermal inertia unit" and what that means

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/17 06:06 CDT | 8 comments

Some notes from this morning's Curiosity press briefing: the rover will be driving to "Glenelg" to investigate the "high thermal inertia unit." I explain what that means, with psychedelic Odyssey THEMIS images of the landing site.

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Curiosity sol 9 update

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/15 01:21 CDT | 1 comment

An update on Curiosity's status as of sol 9, and a look ahead to the next month or two of commissioning activities.

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Curiosity sol 4: EDL updates, rover ready for software upgrade

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/08/10 05:16 CDT | 3 comments

A recap of the final Curiosity press conference of the week: lots of updates from the entry, descent and landing (EDL) team that safely deposited the rover on Mars, as well as an overview of the rover's R10 software upgrade.

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Curiosity sol 3: First Mastcam color thumbnails down, everything "flawless," "nominal"

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/09 03:25 CDT | 13 comments

Curiosity's third day on Mars has been completed flawlessly, and the first preliminary color view from her Mastcam is lovely.

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Curiosity sol 1 and planned activities for the next few sols

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/07 04:29 CDT | 11 comments

A look at the current status of Curiosity at the beginning of sol 2, and what activities to look forward to over the next few sols.

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Curiosity: Notes from the two day-after-landing press briefings

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/06 07:43 CDT | 7 comments

Notes on Curiosity's physical state, future activities, landing site, and other stuff gleaned from the two press briefings conducted at JPL today.

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We are on Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/06 05:19 CDT | 13 comments

Somehow, it worked. Curiosity has landed on Mars, returning photos of her wheels and her shadow on a flat, pebbled plain.

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Curiosity: Landing minus 11 hours

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/05 01:30 CDT

The Curiosity mission's final pre-landing press briefing wrapped up a short while ago. There wasn't much in the way of news, which is a good thing. Curiosity is healthy. Odyssey is healthy. There's not much left to do but wait.

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Curiosity landing minus two days

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/04 01:17 CDT | 1 comment

I just came out of a press briefing at JPL, on the morning of the day before Curiosity's landing. The panel seemed fairly calm -- anxious, certainly, but the happy kind of anxiety that precedes something that could be great.

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What's up in the Solar System in August 2012

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/08/03 06:03 CDT

Welcome to the monthly roundup of our solar system's envoy of electronic explorers! All eyes are on Curiosity as it approaches Mars this weekend. Who will lend support at the Red Planet?

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Works on a Whim, Team to Stand Down for Curiosity

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2012/08/03 02:29 CDT | 1 comment

Opportunity roved on to new targets near the rim of Endeavour Crater in July, as the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) team prepared to stand down for the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity

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Pretty Panoramas: Opportunity at Whim Creek

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/07/30 01:11 CDT | 2 comments

I know it’s been all Curiosity, all the time on this blog for the last couple of weeks, and that’s not likely to change much for the next couple of weeks. But I don’t want people to forget that there’s another rover exploring Mars’ ancient geology. Opportunity has been taking spectacular photos of Whim Creek and Endeavour Crater this last week.

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Dawn Journal: The long, slow goodbye

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2012/07/26 12:40 CDT | 1 comment

Dawn has completed the final intensive phase of its exploration of Vesta, and it has now begun its gradual departure for Ceres.

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When will we see Curiosity's first images?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/07/23 03:37 CDT | 5 comments

Enough people have asked me when we'll see Curiosity's first images from the surface of Mars that I sought out an answer. The short version: it depends.

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Checking in on NASA's Space Launch System

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/07/11 01:32 CDT | 6 comments

Work continues on the Space Launch System, NASA's next-generation deep space vehicle slated to take humans beyond Earth for the first time since 1972.

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