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A new Chang'e 3 and Yutu image archive

Emily Lakdawalla • December 19, 2014

A treasure trove of newly released images from the Chang'e 3 program includes a photo sequence of a waxing Earth and lots of high-resolution views of rover and lander on the Moon.

NASA Delays Asteroid Redirect Mission Concept Selection until 2015

Jason Davis • December 17, 2014

NASA's efforts to capture a near-Earth asteroid and tow it back to lunar orbit will have to wait a little bit longer for a final mission concept.

SpaceX to Attempt First-Ever Ocean Barge Rocket Landing

Jason Davis • December 17, 2014

Early next year, SpaceX will attempt what no agency or company has done before: land a used rocket stage on a floating ocean platform.

LightSail Completes Testing, Announcement Expected in January

Jason Davis • December 12, 2014

The Planetary Society's LightSail spacecraft successfully completed testing to prepare it for a possible 2015 test flight.

Brief Venus Express update: Not quite dead yet

Emily Lakdawalla • December 11, 2014

Venus Express is still alive and talking to Earth, but may fall into Venus' atmosphere in January.

InSight assembly begins

Emily Lakdawalla • December 11, 2014

NASA's next Mars lander is becoming real, now under construction at Lockheed Martin.

China plans a Mars rover and orbiter for 2020 launch opportunity

Emily Lakdawalla • December 09, 2014

China is moving forward with plans to launch an orbiter and rover to Mars in the 2020 launch opportunity. The Mars program also includes plans for sample return in 2030.

First Look Photographs of Orion's Return to Dry Land

Jason Davis • December 09, 2014

NASA's Orion spacecraft is back on dry land following its offloading from the USS Anchorage late Monday night. Here are some selected photographs by Kevin Baird.

Ceres is round!

Emily Lakdawalla • December 05, 2014

Okay, so the fact that Ceres is round is not news. It's still thrilling to see Ceres begin to come into focus as a round world.

Orion Returns to Earth after Successful Test Flight

Jason Davis • December 05, 2014

NASA’s Orion spacecraft returned safely to Earth this morning after what looked like a flawless four hour, 24-minute test flight.

In Pictures: Orion's Scrub, from the Vehicle Assembly Building

Jason Davis • December 04, 2014

Here are some scenes from launch day, shot from the unique perspective of the Vehicle Assembly Building.

Orion Scrub Report: Sticky Hydrogen Valves

Jason Davis • December 04, 2014

Windy weather and stuck liquid hydrogen valves forced a one-day delay of the maiden voyage of NASA’s Orion spacecraft.

The New Horizons science mission to the Pluto-Charon system is about to begin

Emily Lakdawalla • December 03, 2014

It's been a long journey, but it's nearly over: New Horizons is just about ready to begin its science mission to Pluto, Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra. I'll remind you of New Horizons' capabilities and simulate how Pluto will appear in optical navigation images.

Orion L-1 Report: Go for Launch

Jason Davis • December 03, 2014

The stage is set for NASA’s Orion spacecraft to launch on a two-orbit, four-hour shakedown cruise tomorrow morning. Patrick Air Force Base’s 45th Weather Squadron changed their forecast of an on-time launch to 70 percent—up from the 40 percent chances that marked the start of the week.

Hayabusa2 launches toward asteroid rendezvous

Emily Lakdawalla • December 03, 2014

Hayabusa2 successfully launched on December 3, 2014 at 04:22 UTC, and embarked on its interplanetary journey about two hours later. During the launch, cameras captured video of the spacecraft fairing separation.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Roves from Wdowiak Ridge into Network of Fractures

A.J.S. Rayl • December 03, 2014

Last month, the Earth's longest-lived and most traveled robot on another planet drove into a network of fractures the likes of which the scientists had never seen before on Mars and wound up working there through the end of the month – and then something not completely unexpected happened.

Orion L-2 Report: The Old Gives Way to the New

Jason Davis • December 02, 2014

With less than two days before Orion's maiden voyage, NASA and United Launch Alliance are cautiously optimistic the flight will launch Thursday as scheduled.

Hayabusa2 is about to launch! [UPDATED]

Emily Lakdawalla • December 02, 2014

Hayabusa2's H-IIA rocket has just reached its launchpad! Japan's next asteroid sample return mission was supposed to launch this weekend, but weather has not been good at the Tanegashima launch site and it has been delayed four days already. If the weather holds, it will launch December 3 at 04:22 UT (13:22 JST, or December 2 at 20:22, PT). UPDATED to add links to live webcasts.

Dawn Journal: Looking Ahead at Ceres

Marc Rayman • December 01, 2014

This month, Marc Rayman looks ahead to some upcoming activities for Dawn as it approaches the dwarf planet Ceres.

Field Report from Mars: Sol 3848 — November 20, 2014

Larry Crumpler • November 25, 2014

Larry Crumpler returns with an update on Opportunity's recent activities, and its road ahead.

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