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Vesta, a revelation

Posted by Pablo Gutierrez-Marques on 2011/08/09 12:19 CDT

I have to admit it: three months ago I did not understand why space science is important. This is a pretty bold statement coming from a practicing aerospace engineer, but recent events have corrected this lack of understanding, and I am not embarrassed to correct myself in this blog. But let us not get ahead of the story.

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A visit with Curiosity

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/07/11 02:32 CDT

I had an amazing opportunity back in April: an invitation to go inside the fabled Spacecraft Assembly Facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to see the next Mars rover up close.

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Observing at the WIYN

Posted by Meg Schwamb on 2011/06/08 02:43 CDT

On May 5 and 6, I had a run on the WIYN (Wisconsin-Indiana-Yale-NOAO) telescope, a 3.5 m telescope, the second largest telescope on Kitt Peak in Arizona.

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A rare direct hit from a meteorite

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/05/09 12:21 CDT

Meteorites hit Earth all the time, but they almost never score direct hits on human-built structures (or humans, for that matter). Once in a while, though, direct hits do happen, and it looks like this recent event in Poland was the real thing.

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Shuttle LIFE is go for launch with Endeavour!

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2011/04/29 04:02 CDT

The Planetary Society's Shuttle LIFE experiment is now go for launch on Endeavour's STS-134 mission. I came down to Florida for the loading of our tiny sample tubes into the CREST-1 (Commercial Reusable Experiments for Science & Technology) payload block.

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Happy Earth Day!

Posted by Bill Nye on 2011/04/22 02:30 CDT | 1 comments

The Earth is important, and sometimes we need a reminder as to just how fragile it is.

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Face-to-face with Curiosity

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/04/04 04:54 CDT

I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity today for a face-to-face visit with one of the biggest celebrities in my world: Curiosity, the next Mars rover. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory gave members of the media a chance to suit up in the white coveralls known as "bunny suits" and enter the Spacecraft Assembly Facility, the clean room in which Curiosity is being assembled and prepared for launch.

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Nick Schneider: Notes on an earthquake

Posted by Nick Schneider on 2011/03/16 10:39 CDT

I was heading south to Tokyo with Seiko and Ishi, two students from the conference. We were planning a dinner together, maybe catching the nighttime skyline from the top of Tokyo Tower. I dozed off as the train flew silently through the countryside. Next thing I knew, Seiko was shaking me awake saying "Earthquake! Earthquake."

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My day with Hawking and Aldrin

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2011/02/02 12:12 CST

I was very fortunate to be able to meet with Stephen Hawking and Buzz Aldrin over lunch at Hawking's temporary home in Pasadena this week. We got together to discuss views on the future of human space exploration.

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"A genuinely weird experience": A video of Steve Squyres explaining a photo of Steve Squyres

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/12 10:09 CST

In a lovely talk, in his uncommonly engaging way, Steve Squyres presents the portrait of him that now hangs in the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

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Discovery Launch Scrubbed, Again

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2010/11/05 02:54 CDT

The launch has been scrubbed once again due to a critical hydrogen leak detected once fueling had been underway for a while.

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Space Shuttle: Not Designed by Hollywood

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2010/11/02 01:42 CDT

A brief musing on the public opinion of the shuttle when it was first unveiled, and now, as it's about to be retired.

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There is something about the space shuttle...

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2010/11/01 06:48 CDT

Mat Kaplan relays his experiences and thoughts as he makes his way to the Kennedy Space Center to witness the launch of the shuttle Discovery.

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Field trip to Piton

Posted by Rosaly Lopes on 2010/10/07 05:22 CDT

Rosaly Lopes relates her time at a workshop in Piton.

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Expedition to Piton volcano, Reunion Island

Posted by Rosaly Lopes on 2010/10/02 11:05 CDT

It so happens that there is a Calderas Workshop going on the same week as DPS and I was invited to talk about planetary calderas. I chose several on Venus, Mars and Io to focus on.

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A brush painting for Hayabusa

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/07/07 03:16 CDT

Upon James Aldridge's return from Japan, he posted several albums worth of amazing photos, including several of their calligraphy instructor, well-known artist Aiko Tanaka, creating a gestural brush painting to commemorate Hayabusa's return.

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A moment in time

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/06 05:39 CDT

On Mars, at 15:00 local true solar time on May 2, a solitary rover gazed southward across her own dusty deck and snapped three photos, actually three sets of three photos, which were combined to make this view.

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Anticipating the end of Hayabusa

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/23 02:08 CDT

A successful sample return for the Hayabusa mission will mean the fiery death of Mr. Hayabusa himself. The poignancy of this is not lost upon the people in Japan who are following the mission.

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Happy 3rd anniversary of the Spirit landing!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/08/26 02:03 CDT

"Third anniversary?" some of you may be asking. "Hasn't it been more like five years since Spirit landed?" Five Earth years, yes. But today is the third anniversary of the landing, measured in Mars years.

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Deep Inside Europa

Posted by 5thstar on 2009/06/23 07:48 CDT

In 1995, 572 astronaut applicants were narrowed down to 125 based on their resumes and English scores, then down to 48 based on paper exams and brief medical checks. These 48 candidates went through a week of comprehensive medical checks and job interviews.

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