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Blog Archive

 

Curiosity update, sols 896-949: Telegraph Peak, Garden City, and concern about the drill

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/04/10 07:37 CDT | 1 comments

Since I last wrote about Curiosity drilling at Pink Cliffs, the rover has visited and studied two major sites, drilling at one of them. It has also suffered a short in the drill percussion mechanism that presents serious enough risk to warrant a moratorium on drill use until engineers develop a plan to continue to operate it safely.

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To Recover First Stage, Just Read the Instructions

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/04/10 04:01 CDT | 2 comments

SpaceX is gearing up for a second attempt to land the spent first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket on a ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

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Field Report from Mars: Sol 3978 - April 3, 2015

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2015/04/09 10:55 CDT

Larry Crumpler gives an update on Opportunity's exploration of Mars as it approaches the entrance to Marathon Valley.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Finishes First Marathon on Another Planet and Roves On
Sols 3946 - 3976

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2015/04/02 09:37 CDT

On March 24, 2015, after spending several weeks investigating some new rock types along the western rim of Endeavour Crater, Opportunity roved past 42.2 kilometers (26.2 miles) and put the first off-Earth marathon in her rear view mirror, driving the Mars Exploration Rovers mission back into the space history books.

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OSIRIS-REx Begins ATLO (Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations)

Posted by Dante Lauretta on 2015/04/02 12:49 CDT

The OSIRIS-REx mission passed another major milestone. We now have approval to build the spacecraft.

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Dawn Journal: Preparing to Photograph Ceres

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2015/04/01 08:58 CDT | 11 comments

Dawn's Chief Engineer and Mission Director, Marc Rayman, explains why we haven't seen any new images of Ceres—and when we can expect them.

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Field Report from Mars: Sol 3971 - March 26, 2015

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2015/03/28 07:47 CDT | 1 comments

Opportunity reaches a marathon milestone—in more ways than one. Larry Crumpler reports on the current status of the seemingly unstoppable Mars rover.

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In Pictures: One-Year ISS Mission Begins

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/03/28 12:04 CDT | 1 comments

The one-year ISS mission of Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko began with an early morning launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

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LPSC 2015: MESSENGER's low-altitude campaign at Mercury

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/03/25 07:55 CDT | 3 comments

At last week's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, the MESSENGER team held a press briefing to share results from the recent few months of incredibly low-altitude flight over Mercury's surface. The mission will last only about five weeks more.

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Meet NASA's Winning Asteroid Redirect Spacecraft, and the Asteroid It May Visit

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/03/25 05:52 CDT | 6 comments

NASA has decided to pluck a small boulder off a large asteroid, instead of bagging an entire asteroid outright, the agency announced Wednesday.

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One-Year ISS Mission Preview: 28 Experiments, 4 Expeditions and 2 Crew Members

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/03/25 10:13 CDT

This Friday, astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will embark for a one-year mission aboard the International Space Station.

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In Pictures: Expedition 42 Crew Returns to Earth

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/03/12 07:46 CDT

Three International Space Station crew members are back on Earth today following a morning Soyuz landing on the snowy steppes of Kazakhstan.

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What to expect when you're expecting a flyby: Planning your July around New Horizons' Pluto pictures

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/03/10 07:06 CDT | 15 comments

As New Horizons approaches Pluto, when will the images get good? In this explainer, I tell you what images will be coming down from Pluto, when. Mark your calendars!

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LightSail Arrives in Florida; More Launch Details Revealed

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/03/09 04:32 CDT | 4 comments

A cadre of CubeSats including The Planetary Society’s LightSail spacecraft completed a cross-country journey to Florida, where they await installation aboard an Atlas V rocket.

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Mini mission updates: Dawn in orbit; Curiosity short circuit; Rosetta image release; Hayabusa 2 in cruise phase; and more

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/03/06 11:42 CST | 1 comments

Dawn has successfully entered orbit at Ceres, becoming the first mission to orbit a dwarf planet and the first to orbit two different bodies beyond Earth. I also have updates on Curiosity, Rosetta, Mars Express, Hayabusa 2, the Chang'e program, InSIGHT, and OSIRIS-REx.

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Dawn Journal: Ceres Orbit Insertion!

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2015/03/06 10:32 CST | 8 comments

Dawn's Chief Engineer, Marc Rayman, gives an update on the mission's highly anticipated arrival at Ceres.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Discovers New Rock Type, Updates Flight Software
Sols 3918 - 3945

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2015/03/05 12:16 CST

From the discovery of a new rock type to a successful flight software upload that should enable the robot field geologist to regain her long-term, flash memory, Opportunity and her team delivered what turned out to be a hugely productive and memorable 133rd month on the Red Planet.

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Mars Orbiter Mission Methane Sensor for Mars is at work

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/03/04 10:50 CST | 5 comments

After several months of near-silence, ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission has released on Facebook the first data product from its Methane Sensor For Mars. Don't get too excited about methane yet: there is no positive or negative detection. The news here is that the Methane Sensor for Mars is working, systematically gathering data. They also released several new photos of Mars.

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Pluto Science, on the Surface

Posted by Alan Stern on 2015/02/27 02:39 CST | 5 comments

New Horizons' Principal Investigator Alan Stern gives an update on the mission's progress toward Pluto.

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At last, Ceres is a geological world

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/02/25 09:42 CST | 25 comments

I've been resisting all urges to speculate on what kinds of geological features are present on Ceres, until now. Finally, Dawn has gotten close enough that the pictures it has returned show geology: bright spots, flat-floored craters, and enigmatic grooves.

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