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Blogs

Blog Archive

 

Juno is on the way to Jupiter!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/08/05 02:21 CDT

It almost looked like it wasn't going to happen today, but it did! At 16:25 UTC, a huge Atlas V 551 lifted off with the Juno spacecraft and sent it on its way to Jupiter.

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Fun for the whole family: Watch an enormous rocket blast a spacecraft to Jupiter!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/08/04 01:19 CDT

Do you have kids at home for the summer? Treat them to a spectacular fireworks show by tuning in tomorrow morning to watch Juno blast off to Jupiter!

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Mountains rising for Opportunity

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/07/31 10:11 CDT

The views from Opportunity of Endeavour's near and distant rim peaks are getting ever more vertical as Opportunity approaches Cape York.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Closes in on Endeavour as Team Bids Farewell to Spirit

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2011/07/31 11:24 CDT

Opportunity seemed to sail with the wind behind her back toward the western rim of Endeavour Crater this month as the Mars Exploration Rover team shifted gears in preparation for a whole new adventure, taking time out only to bid a final farewell both privately and publicly to Spirit.

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What's up in the solar system in August 2011

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/07/30 05:05 CDT

August is supposed to be a lazy summer vacation month, but there's quite a lot going on in the solar system.

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Phobos-Grunt and Yinghuo-1 have completed thermal vacuum testing

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/07/30 02:20 CDT

The Russian Phobos sample return mission, Phobos-Grunt, has passed a key milestone in its preparation for launch: it successfully completed its thermal vacuum testing in June.

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Dawn Journal: Dawn has arrived!

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2011/07/26 11:55 CDT

After covering 2.8 billion kilometers (1.7 billion miles) on its own, after traveling for nearly four years through the lonely emptiness of interplanetary space, after being bound by the gravity only of the sun, Dawn is finally in orbit around Vesta.

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Opportunity's horizon rises -- and maybe brings Cape York into view

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/07/21 03:12 CDT

For miles and miles of Martian terrain, Opportunity's view forward has contained a distinctive line of hills—the far rim of Endeavour crater.

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Congratulations to the Dawn team on their orbit entry & pretty pictures!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/07/18 05:08 CDT

There's a new orbital mission on the map! As of Friday, the relatively small mass of the asteroid Vesta has finally taken hold of its new artificial satellite, Dawn.

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Congratulations to Russia on the launch of Spektr-R (RadioAstron)

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2011/07/18 02:08 CDT

Good news from Russia today: after 20 years of development they have finally launched their RadioAstron satellite (the official name is Spektr-R) into a high elliptical orbit around Earth.

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Hubble's Millionth Observation

Posted by Bill Nye on 2011/07/05 05:15 CDT

The Hubble Space Telescope has recorded its millionth observation. The planet is designated HAT-P-7b.

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Ever closer to Vesta

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/07/04 09:30 CDT

Here's a photo of Vesta that was released by the Dawn team on Friday. I didn't post it right away because the version of the image in the official release has some bizarre processing artifacts that make it look as though the image had been made by cutting construction paper.

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Latest report from Akatsuki failure review board

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/07/02 08:07 CDT

JAXA held a press conference on June 30 about the latest report from the review board that is charged with finding out what exactly caused Akatsuki's failure to enter orbit at Venus, and what that implies for the possibility of Akatsuki to try again when it returns to Venus in 2015 or 2016.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Roves Back into Record Books, Spirit is Honored

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2011/06/30 12:00 CDT

Opportunity 'burned up' the Meridiani Plains in June as it raced toward its much-anticipated next destination and the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission cruised into the 90th month of what was originally to have been a 90-day tour.

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What's up in the solar system in July 2011

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/06/29 02:35 CDT

Time again for my monthly look at what's going on with the robots exploring the solar system! It'll be a month full of routine activities for our intrepid explorers performing ongoing science at Mercury, Venus, the Moon, Mars, and Saturn.

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Dawn Journal: Closing in on Vesta

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2011/06/27 11:19 CDT

Vesta beckons, and Dawn responds. Now more than halfway through its approach to Vesta, Dawn continues creeping up on the destination it has been pursuing since it began its interplanetary travels.

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Vesta looks pretty battered

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/06/23 01:53 CDT

There was a press briefing on Dawn today at NASA Headquarters, and there are new pictures! Here's what Vesta looked like as of three days ago, when Dawn was only 189,000 kilometers away.

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According to Nature News, Curiosity is going to Gale

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/06/23 12:08 CDT

Nature News is reporting that the Mars Science Laboratory mission has made its recommendation for the landing site for the next great Mars rover, and it's Gale crater.

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How to Wrap a Mars Rover, redux

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/06/21 11:31 CDT

All right, I'll admit it: JPL's video is way, way cooler than mine. Four days of packing Curiosity up for shipping, condensed into under a minute.

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Vesta, now better than Hubble!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/06/17 07:55 CDT

Closer and closer! Vesta is still fuzzy, but as Dawn inexorably draws closer it's beginning to come into focus. The view is now better than anything Hubble has ever returned to Earth.

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