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Field Report from Mars: Sol 4577 - December 9, 2016

Larry Crumpler • December 09, 2016

Opportunity has begun the ascent of the steep slopes here in the inner wall of Endeavour crater after completion of a survey of outcrops close to the crater floor. The goal now is to climb back to the rim, drive south, and arrive at the next major mission target on the rim before the next Martian winter.

Congress Delays Action on NASA's 2017 Budget

Casey Dreier • December 09, 2016

Congress stands ready to punt on NASA's budget, meaning the space program will have to operate on a short budgetary leash until April of next year.

Countdown to the Next NASA Discovery Mission Selection

Van Kane • December 08, 2016

If NASA’s managers hold to their schedule, we will learn sometime this month what NASA’s next planetary mission will be.

European Space Agency Announces Budgetary Commitments

Ruth McAvinia • December 07, 2016

ESA has committed to continuing its ExoMars programme and participation with the International Space Station, but cut funding for its Asteroid Impact Mission.

Ground finale? Deployment test moves LightSail 2 closer to handoff

Jason Davis • December 06, 2016

LightSail 2 successfully demonstrated all of its critical functions during what may have been the CubeSat's final end-to-end systems test at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Review: New book brings artistry of Apollo photos to your living room

Jason Davis • December 05, 2016

Jason Davis reviews a new photo book showcasing a stunning collection of images taken by NASA's Apollo astronauts from 1968 through 1972.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Departs Spirit Mound, Embarks on Toughest Exit Ever

A.J.S. Rayl • December 02, 2016

Opportunity worked along Endeavour Crater's western rim through November, taking pictures, hiking slopes, and finishing work in the depths of Cape Tribulation.

What's the matter with Russia's rockets?

Jason Davis • December 02, 2016

Fifteen Russian rockets have failed in the past 6 years. Of those mishaps, all but two involved upper stages. So what's going on? The problem may actually lie far beyond the country's aerospace industry.

TeamIndus Announces Launch Contract with ISRO

Sandhya Ramesh • December 01, 2016

TeamIndus, India’s only entry for the Google Lunar XPRIZE, just announced their launch contract with ISRO. If successful, TeamIndus would be the first private company from India to land a craft on an extraterrestrial body.

ISS-bound Progress spacecraft fails to reach orbit, breaks apart over southern Siberia

Jason Davis • December 01, 2016

This morning's launch of an uncrewed Russian Progress cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station went awry. Following a third-stage failure, the vehicle reentered Earth's atmosphere and broke apart over southern Siberia in Russia.

Review: Arrival’s surprising message of happiness and hope for humanity

Jason Davis • November 30, 2016

In a review of the new sci-fi film Arrival, Jason Davis says there's a lot to like about the movie's surprising message of happiness and hope for humanity.

Dawn Journal: Maneuvering for Science

Marc Rayman • November 29, 2016

Dawn is completing another elegant spiral around dwarf planet Ceres, maneuvering to its sixth science orbit. Chief Engineer and Mission Manager Marc Rayman brings us his latest update.

Rocket Road Trip: Watch a new video series on NASA's human spaceflight program

Jason Davis • November 28, 2016

The Planetary Society debuts a new, five-part video series on NASA's human spaceflight program. We went on a 10-day, 450-mile journey throughout the southern U.S. to see how the agency is preparing to send humans beyond low-Earth orbit for the first time since 1972.

Pretty Pictures of the Cosmos: The Space Between

Adam Block • November 25, 2016

Award-winning astrophotographer Adam Block shares some of his beautiful photos showcasing interstellar phenomena.

Schiaparelli investigation update; crash site in color from HiRISE

Emily Lakdawalla • November 23, 2016

ESA issued an update on the Schiaparelli landing investigation today, identifying a problem reading from an inertial measurement unit as the proximate cause of the crash. Meanwhile, ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter is operating its science instruments for the first time this week, and HiRISE has released calibrated versions of the Schiaparelli crash site images.

Emily's recommended space books for kids of all ages, 2016

Emily Lakdawalla • November 22, 2016

Emily's eighth annual kids' space book recommendation post includes lots of new books for kids of all ages, 0 to 18.

Subsurface Water Ice in Utopia Planitia, Mars

Cassie Stuurman • November 22, 2016

Martian radar expert Cassie Stuurman explains how the SHARAD instrument aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was used to detect buried ice deposits.

HiRISE coverage of the Opportunity field site, version 1.0

Emily Lakdawalla • November 18, 2016

As she did before for Curiosity, Emily Lakdawalla has searched through the HiRISE image archive for photos of the Opportunity landing site and sorted them all out so that you don't have to.

NASA Under Trump

Casey Dreier • November 18, 2016

NASA under a Trump Administration will be hard times for Earth Science, and human spaceflight to the Moon will likely get renewed focus. However, NASA won't go anywhere if massive cuts to spending are enacted as promised.

Spektr-RG sees (x-ray) light at the end of the tunnel

Anatoly Zak • November 17, 2016

After many years of development, a cutting-edge Russian-German space observatory with little-known contribution from the US is finally approaching the launch pad...or so its scientists say.

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