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MAVEN Status and Extended-Mission Planning

Bruce Jakosky • July 27, 2016

The MAVEN mission to Mars was just approved for a two-year extended mission that runs through September 2018. Now is a good time to take stock of we've learned so far and to describe the plans for the extended mission.

Rosetta end-of-mission plans: Landing site, time selected

Emily Lakdawalla • July 26, 2016

ESA's comet-chasing Rosetta spacecraft is nearing the end of its mission. Last week, ESA announced when and where Rosetta is going to touch down. And tomorrow, it will forever shut down the radio system intended for communicating with the silent Philae lander.

Multimedia recap: Two launches, a landing, a docking, and a berthing

Jason Davis • July 20, 2016

Four days of cargo craft mania came to a close at the International Space Station this morning, as astronauts Kate Rubins and Jeff Williams snagged an approaching SpaceX Dragon vehicle and berthed it to the laboratory's Harmony module.

Mars 2020 rover rolls into final design and fabrication phase

Jason Davis • July 15, 2016

NASA's next Mars rover is rolling off the drawing board and into its final design and fabrication phase, the agency announced today, during a televised event at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory that highlighted some of the mission's technology.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Begins Final Science Campaign in Marathon Valley

A.J.S. Rayl • July 07, 2016

The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission entered its 150th month of surface exploration in June as Opportunity began checking off the last science investigations in Marathon Valley, and the crew on Earth looked ahead to the future past.

Multimedia roundup: Flawless ride to orbit for Expedition 48 crew

Jason Davis • July 06, 2016

Expedition 48 crewmembers Kate Rubins, Takuya Onishi and Anatoly Ivanishin are safely in orbit following an early morning launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Juno has arrived!

Emily Lakdawalla • July 05, 2016

For a second time, NASA has placed a spacecraft into orbit at Jupiter. The spacecraft operated exactly according to plan, and Juno successfully entered orbit today, July 5, 2016, UTC

How to watch Juno's orbit insertion

Emily Lakdawalla • July 01, 2016

The big day is almost here. Juno begins firing its main engine at 20:18 PT / 23:18 ET / 03:18 UT on July 4/5, and the maneuver should be over 35 minutes later at 20:53 / 23:53 / 03:53. Here's how you can follow the mission through its most hazardous event since launch.

What's up in the solar system, July 2016 edition: Juno to enter orbit, NASA missions all extended

Emily Lakdawalla • July 01, 2016

Highlights this month include the impending arrival of Juno at Jupiter, the approval of extended missions for all of NASA's solar system spacecraft, and public data releases from Rosetta, New Horizons, and Cassini.

Juno's first taste of science from Jupiter

Emily Lakdawalla • June 30, 2016

Jupiter is growing in Juno's forward view as the spacecraft approaches for its orbit insertion July 5 (July 4 in the Americas). The mission has released images from JunoCam and sonifications of data from the plasma waves instrument as Juno begins to sense Jupiter.

All about China's new rocket and spaceport, which may see action this Saturday

Jason Davis • June 23, 2016

Sometime between Saturday and Wednesday, China plans to launch a brand new rocket from a brand new launch site, and conduct a small-scale test of its next-generation crew capsule.

Plans for China's farside Chang'e 4 lander science mission taking shape

Emily Lakdawalla • June 22, 2016

The future Chang'e 4 lunar farside landing mission is rapidly taking shape. Now the mission's team is coming to a consensus on the landing location, as well as on the mission's instrument package.

Timeline of Juno Jupiter Orbit Insertion events

Emily Lakdawalla • June 16, 2016

Today NASA held a press briefing and released a press kit for the impending orbit insertion of the Juno spacecraft. The 35-minute orbit insertion burn is scheduled to begin July 5 at 03:18 UTC (July 4 20:18, PDT). Here's a timeline for events relating to orbit insertion.

ExoMars sights Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • June 16, 2016

Today ESA released ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter's first photo of Mars, taken from a distance of 41 million kilometers. It's no more detail than you can get through a pair of a binoculars, just a little taste of what's to come.

Curiosity update, sols 1311-1369: Drilling at Lubango, Okoruso, and Oudam, and a turn to the south

Emily Lakdawalla • June 15, 2016

Curiosity is at a turning point in its mission to Mount Sharp, both literally and figuratively. Having drilled at three sample sites in 7 weeks, the rover took a left turn, changing its trajectory from a generally westward driving path to a southward one. It is now poised to cross the Bagnold dune field at Murray buttes.

What to expect from JunoCam at Jupiter

Emily Lakdawalla • June 09, 2016

Juno will go in to orbit at Jupiter on July 5 (July 4 in North and South American time zones), and it's carrying a camera that's going to take really awesome photos of Jupiter. But you're going to have to be patient. Emily Lakdawalla explains why.

Dawn Journal: In the Details

Marc Rayman • June 08, 2016

Dawn is continuing to record the extraordinary sights on dwarf planet Ceres. The experienced explorer is now closer to the alien world than the International Space Station is to Earth.

Take a look inside the station's new expandable module with astronaut Jeff Williams

Jason Davis • June 06, 2016

BEAM, the International Space Station's new expandable habitat module, is open for business. NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka entered the module at 4:47 a.m. EDT (9:47 UTC) this morning.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Scuffs Up Signs of Past Water at Marathon Valley

A.J.S. Rayl • June 06, 2016

Opportunity spent the first half of May digging into an outcrop, taking dozens of panoramic images from her site on the south wall of Marathon Valley at Endeavour Crater’s western rim, and basking in the Martian spring weather.

What's up in the solar system, June 2016 edition: Juno approaches Jupiter

Emily Lakdawalla • June 01, 2016

Your monthly roundup of the adventures of the 20+ robots exploring our solar system.

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