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Dawn Journal: A New Perspective on Ceres

Marc Rayman • February 01, 2017

Dawn has moved into its sixth orbital phase, with a new sun angle that provides an opportunity to gain a new perspective on the asteroid Ceres.

Explorer of Enceladus and Titan

Van Kane • February 01, 2017

For the third time in less than a decade, scientists have proposed a multiple-flyby mission to explore the habitability of Saturn’s ocean moons Titan and Enceladus.

The Winter 2016 issue of The Planetary Report

Donna Stevens • January 27, 2017

The Winter 2016 issue of The Planetary Report is on its way to members’ doors, showcasing the stunning year in pictures.

Let's talk about this whole Moon vs. Mars thing for human spaceflight

Jason Davis • January 26, 2017

NASA's current human spaceflight goal is Mars, but the Trump administration could change that to the Moon. Is that a good idea? Here's an in-depth look at the differences in science gain, the arguments for and against a potential commercial market, and whether or not the technological and operational challenges required to reach the Moon apply to Mars.

Russia’s Proton rocket grounded by poor quality control

Anatoly Zak • January 25, 2017

Russia's workhorse Proton rocket may be grounded until June or July, dealing another blow to the country's launch infrastructure, which has been plagued by brain drain, mismanagement, poor quality control and corruption.

Need a break from Earth? Go stand on Mars with these lovely landscapes

Kevin Gill • January 25, 2017

Amateur space image processor Kevin Gill shares some of his stunning 3D images of Mars, created from real spacecraft data.

A writing sabbatical

Emily Lakdawalla • January 24, 2017

Four years ago, I announced that I was writing a book about Curiosity, describing the mission from its inception through its nominal mission. I am still not done, so am taking a three-month break from other work -- including this blog -- in order to focus and finish. I'm seeking scientists and engineers to serve as guest bloggers.

Amazing photos of tiny moons as Cassini orbits among the rings

Emily Lakdawalla • January 19, 2017

Behold: Daphnis, the tiny, 8-kilometer moon that orbits within a ring gap, gently tugging on the edges of the gap to create delicate scallops.

Here's what history has to say about when Trump's NASA administrator will take office

Jason Davis • January 19, 2017

This Friday, Charles Bolden resigns as NASA administrator after a stint of 2,744 days. Robert Lightfoot, the agency's highest-ranking civil servant, will take over as acting admin. How long will Lightfoot serve? If history serves as a guide, it could be a while.

Want to build on our LightSail work? Here are some resources to get started

Jason Davis • January 13, 2017

The Planetary Society is launching a new webpage showcasing LightSail academic papers, schematics, parts and imagery.

Blitzing Congress for NASA

Bill Gowan • January 12, 2017

Last February, a group called the Space Exploration Alliance held their annual "legislative blitz," walking the halls of Congress to sway lawmakers toward increased support for NASA's 2017 budget.

CYGNSS Launch: The Human Side

John Noonan • January 11, 2017

What is it like behind the scenes before, during, and after the launch of a spacecraft?

Hidden Figures: Triumphant in the theater, sobering after

Emily Lakdawalla • January 10, 2017

Go see Hidden Figures, and bring your kids. Despite its serious subject matter, the movie is joyful, often funny, and, in the end, triumphant.

SpaceX is ready to fly rockets again. An expert talks about the reason a Falcon 9 blew up last year

Jason Davis • January 10, 2017

SpaceX says they fixed a problem with the helium pressurization system that destroyed a Falcon 9 rocket last year. The company pushes the boundaries of rocket science, creating an occasional jaw-dropping fireball in the process. But will the risk-reward equation change when SpaceX starts flying astronauts?

Lucy and Psyche Asteroid Missions

Van Kane • January 09, 2017

Last week, NASA selected its thirteenth and fourteenth missions in its low cost Discovery program.

Saturn's Ring Particles

Judy Schmidt • January 05, 2017

Artist and astrophotographer Judy Schmidt brings us a view from within the rings of Saturn.

NASA is visiting 8 asteroids in 8 years. Here are 8 things to know about the missions

Jason Davis • January 04, 2017

NASA announced two new asteroid missions today named Lucy and Psyche that will fill important gaps in our understanding of how the solar system was formed. Here are eight things to know about the two missions.

Mystery of Russia’s doomed Progress spacecraft may delay next ISS crew launch

Anatoly Zak • January 04, 2017

More than a month after a Progress spacecraft bound for the International Space Station plunged to the ground during a botched launch attempt, investigators are still unable to clear its rocket to carry future ISS crews.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Wraps 2016, Heads into 2017 Toward 13th Anniversary

A.J.S. Rayl • January 04, 2017

As 2016 came to an end and 2017 rang in, Opportunity was working the first leg of the ascent up the rugged western rim of Endeavour Crater on her way to an ancient gully, the next scientific tour de force down the road, and the mission was closing in on its 13th anniversary of surface operations coming up in the New Year.

Dawn Journal: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Marc Rayman • January 03, 2017

Dawn is concluding a remarkable year of exploring dwarf planet Ceres. Chief Engineer and Mission Manager Marc Rayman brings us his latest update.

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