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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Closes in on 11th Anniversary and We Look Back on 2014
Sols 3859 - 3888

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2015/01/07 06:14 CST | 2 comments

With a wonder year of discoveries, historic feats, and bummers in the rear view mirror – and plenty of mettle to continue exploring – Opportunity ended 2014 quietly working in a temporary back-up mode, as her colleagues on Earth ramped up for the mission's marathon adventure to come in 2015.

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2007 Shoemaker Grant Still Yielding Asteroid Science

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2015/01/06 05:15 CST

Telescope purchased in 2007 with the support of a Shoemaker grant is still in service and has worked on over 100 near-Earth asteroids over its 8 years of operation.

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Short updates on Akatsuki and Chang'e missions

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/01/06 02:50 CST | 1 comments

A few recent newspaper articles provide some updates on the status of Japan's Venus mission, Akatsuki, and the service module of China's Chang'e 5 test vehicle, Xiaofei. In brief: Akatsuki still plans to attempt to enter orbit in December of this year, while Chang'e 5 T1 is headed to lunar orbit. Meanwhile, the Chang'e 3 mission has released an interesting image of M101, the Pinwheel Galaxy.

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Stand for Space! Join me in D.C. in February to Blitz Congress
Congressional Blitz for Space, Feb 22nd - 24th, 2015

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/01/05 07:34 CST | 3 comments

Put your passion for space exploration to work. Come with me to D.C. in February and join space advocates from around the country as we descend on Capitol Hill.

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SpaceX Set to Retry Cargo Run, Rocket Stage Landing (Updated)

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/01/05 05:14 CST | 3 comments

SpaceX will attempt to launch a Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station and land a used Falcon 9 rocket stage on an uncrewed spaceport in the Atlantic Ocean.

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Riding With Cassini Through 2014

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2014/12/31 06:13 CST | 1 comments

Video: see some of the sights Cassini saw this year.

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A Look Back at an Amazing Year

Posted by Jennifer Vaughn on 2014/12/31 01:16 CST

As excited as we are to jump into 2015, I want to take time to reflect on the year coming to a close and applaud all that we’ve accomplished working together.

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Planetary exploration in 2015: The Year of the Dwarf Planet

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/12/31 10:49 CST | 8 comments

Looking ahead to what we can expect from Earth's exploration of the rest of the solar system in 2015, there's an obvious theme: Dwarf planets.

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Curiosity results from AGU: Methane is there, and it's variable

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/12/30 04:21 CST | 6 comments

At the American Geophysical Union meeting, the Curiosity mission announced that an instrument had finally definitively detected methane in Mars' atmosphere. It exists at a low background level, but there was a spike to about ten times that, which lasted for a couple of months before disappearing. What that means is unclear.

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Field Report from Mars: Sol 3875 – December 18, 2014

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2014/12/30 03:40 CST | 2 comments

Opportunity is continuing its drives along the rim of Endeavour toward Marathon Valley. Larry Crumpler tells us what to expect as the rover continues its journey.

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HiRISE image coverage of the Curiosity field site on Mars, Version 2.0

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/12/30 02:35 CST | 1 comments

There have been tons and tons of HiRISE images of the Curiosity landing region, and it has taken quite a lot of work for me to find, locate, and catalogue them. This post is a summary of what I've found; after four revisions and updates, it's now version 2.0 of the list.

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New camera improves a California near-Earth asteroid program

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/12/29 04:40 CST

A new camera is improving the efficiency of the Near-Earth Asteroid Program at the Center for Solar System Studies. This update from Shoemaker NEO Grant winner Bob Stephens reveals amazing recent progress using his 2013 Planetary Society grant.

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Dawn Journal: History of Ceres

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2014/12/29 01:25 CST | 14 comments

As Dawn looks toward the new world of Ceres, Mission Director Marc Rayman looks back on Ceres' discovery.

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Get an Up-Close Look at the Lunar Surface with These 3D Apollo Images

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/12/26 03:04 CST | 1 comments

3D images generated by the Apollo Lunar Surface Closeup Camera give you an idea of how it would look to crouch on the lunar surface with your spacesuit faceplate to the soil.

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A Visit to India: New Space Collaborations and New Friendships with Role Models for Women in STEM

Posted by Ellen Stofan on 2014/12/24 11:03 CST

NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan discusses her recent trip to India to speak at the India-U.S. Technology Summit in Delhi and Miranda House a the University of Dehli on women in STEM careers.

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Pretty pictures of the Cosmos: Infinity

Posted by Adam Block on 2014/12/23 11:44 CST

Astrophotographer Adam Block shares four stunning images capturing the expansiveness of the universe.

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Video: Ride along with Orion as It Plummets Back to Earth

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/12/19 05:53 CST

A new NASA video provides an astronaut's-eye video of the final ten minutes of Orion's test flight.

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Random Space Fact Videos
Random Fun for the Holidays

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/12/19 04:24 CST | 2 comments

Enjoy Random Space Fact Videos this holiday season. Each is designed in to give you at least one space fact and one laugh in about one minute. Here are the videos and the background on the concept.

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A new Chang'e 3 and Yutu image archive

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/12/19 02:25 CST

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.

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Here's How Planetary Science Will Spend Its $1.44 Billion in 2015

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/12/19 12:54 CST | 4 comments

The story of NASA's 2015 budget ended on December 16th, when President Barack Obama signed the massive omnibus spending bill into law. NASA's increased budget is locked in, as is the increase to Planetary Science. Here's how Planetary spends its additional money.

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