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Blog Archive

 

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 3918 - 3945

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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Space Advocates Descend on Capitol Hill
The 2015 Legislative Blitz Was Exhausting, Exhilarating, and a Huge Success

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/03/04 06:52 CST | 2 comments

The Space Exploration Alliance wrapped up its most recent 'legislative blitz' last week. Nearly 70 individuals participated in the democratic process, speaking to nearly 168 difference offices in Congress. Nearly half of those individuals were Planetary Society members.

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Mars Orbiter Mission Methane Sensor for Mars is at work

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/03/04 10:50 CST | 5 comments

After several months of near-silence, ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission has released on Facebook the first data product from its Methane Sensor For Mars. Don't get too excited about methane yet: there is no positive or negative detection. The news here is that the Methane Sensor for Mars is working, systematically gathering data. They also released several new photos of Mars.

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Watch Ceres rotate: A guide to interpreting Dawn's images

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/03/03 02:55 CST | 14 comments

NASA held a press briefing on the Dawn mission yesterday, sharing some new images and early interpretations of them. I see lots of things that intrigue me, and I'm looking forward to Dawn investigating them in more detail. I invite you to check out these photos yourself, and offer you some guidance on things to look for.

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Understanding why our most Earth-like neighbor, Venus, is so different

Posted by Van Kane on 2015/03/02 12:43 CST | 3 comments

Van Kane introduces us to EnVision—a proposed European mission to help improve our understanding of Venus.

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Leonard Nimoy: A Science Fan’s Appreciation

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2015/02/28 12:02 CST | 2 comments

Mat Kaplan pays a heartfelt tribute to a science fiction icon.

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Highlights from our reddit Space Policy AMA
You asked us anything, we answered most of them

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/02/27 06:20 CST

The space policy and advocacy team at The Planetary Society held an AMA (ask me anything) on reddit, here are some of the highlights.

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Pluto Science, on the Surface

Posted by Alan Stern on 2015/02/27 02:39 CST | 4 comments

New Horizons' Principal Investigator Alan Stern gives an update on the mission's progress toward Pluto.

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