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Blog Archive

 

LPSC 2015: Philae at comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/03/18 04:05 CDT | 2 comments

In my first post from the 2015 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, I discuss the latest work on Philae images, and some cometary polymers.

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How Do We Know When We Have Collected a Sample of Bennu?

Posted by Kevin Walsh on 2015/03/17 04:19 CDT | 1 comments

A huge amount of effort goes into deciding where to try to collect a sample on Bennu. There are roughly nine months to survey, map and model the asteroid to help make this decision.

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LightSail Featured on CBS Evening News

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/03/16 10:02 CDT | 2 comments

The Planetary Society's LightSail spacecraft made an appearance on national television Monday night during a two-minute segment by CBS Evening News.

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At LPSC this year? Come to this special session on NASA's budget
Tuesday, March 17th, 12pm at the Montgomery Ballroom

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/03/16 11:44 CDT

For those of you who are here at LPSC 2015, we’ve organized a special session at noon on Tuesday, March 17th in the Montgomery Ballroom to bring together representatives from the three major professional organizations that represent planetary scientists to address your questions and concerns about NASA's 2016 budget request.

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Is the Opportunity Rover a Mission 'Whose Time Has Passed'?
No.

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/03/15 08:56 CDT | 11 comments

The NASA Administrator declared that the Opportunity rover is a mission 'whose time has passed' and will be defunded next year. Will Congress act to save it?

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Adding Churyumov-Gerasimenko to my scale comparison of comets and asteroids

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/03/13 05:47 CDT | 4 comments

Having found a color photo of the comet, I finally added Churyumov-Gerasimenko to my scale comparison of comets and asteroids visited by spacecraft.

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If it's March, it must be LPSC

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/03/13 01:09 CDT | 2 comments

Next week is the 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC), and Emily Lakdawalla will be attending to tweet and blog about news from Rosetta; Curiosity; MESSENGER; GRAIL; Chang'e 3; Dawn; New Horizons; Cassini; and more.

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An internal ocean on Ganymede: Hooray for consistency with previous results!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/03/12 07:25 CDT | 8 comments

A newly published paper confirms a subsurface ocean at Ganymede. An ocean there was already suspected from its magnetic field and predicted by geophysics; new Hubble data confirms it, and even says it is in the same place we thought it was before. Such consistency is rare enough in planetary science to be worth celebration.

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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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NASA and Orbital ATK Complete SLS Booster Test (Updated)

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/03/11 11:02 CDT | 1 comments

A blast of fire and smoke lit up the hills of Promontory, Utah this morning as NASA and Orbital ATK completed a test firing of a Space Launch System solid rocket booster.

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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 | 13 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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Interview with an SLS Engineer: How Booster Test May Help Drive Golden Spike for Interplanetary Railroad

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/03/10 02:59 CDT

With NASA and Orbital ATK preparing for an important test tomorrow in Utah, an SLS engineer describes the inner workings of the vehicle's new solid rocket boosters.

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LightSail Arrives in Florida; More Launch Details Revealed

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/03/09 04:32 CDT | 3 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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A Sky Full of Stars

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2015/03/09 08:03 CDT | 3 comments

In pictures of the planets, the stars aren't usually visible. But when they do appear, they're spectacular.

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A First Time for Everything: Blitzing Congress for Space

Posted by Jack KiralyMichael Briganti on 2015/03/06 03:53 CST | 1 comments

There is a first time for everything. Riding a bike, stargazing, and yes, even lobbying Congress. Jack Kiraly describes his first Legislative Blitz with Michael Briganti and Casey Dreier on Capitol Hill last week.

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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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Seeing Ceres: Then and Now

Posted by Paul Gilster on 2015/03/06 09:33 CST | 1 comments

Technology writer Paul Gilster shares his interest in how we depict astronomical objects, focusing on the dwarf planet Ceres.

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Venus From 33 Years Ago, and Why We Need to Explore

Posted by Ted Stryk on 2015/03/05 02:41 CST | 1 comments

Thirty-three years ago today, Venera 14 plunged through the thick Venusian atmosphere to the surface. Ted Styrk shares some of his processed images from the Venera lander missions to Venus—and makes a plea for us to return.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Discovers New Rock Type, Updates Flight Software
Sols 3818 - 3845

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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