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Blog Archive

 

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 | 5 comments

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

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Russia Moves to Support ISS through 2024, Create New Space Station

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/02/26 11:03 CST | 1 comments

The future of the International Space Station is a little clearer this week, following a statement from Russia supporting an extension of the orbiting complex through 2024.

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At last, Ceres is a geological world

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/02/25 09:42 CST | 25 comments

I've been resisting all urges to speculate on what kinds of geological features are present on Ceres, until now. Finally, Dawn has gotten close enough that the pictures it has returned show geology: bright spots, flat-floored craters, and enigmatic grooves.

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Dawn Journal: Ceres' Deepening Mysteries

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2015/02/25 02:00 CST | 15 comments

Even as we discover more about Ceres, some mysteries only deepen. Mission Director Marc Rayman gives an update on Dawn as it moves ever closer to its next target.

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Ask Me Anything (on reddit) About NASA's Budget
11am PST/2pm EST Wednesday, Feb 25th

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/02/24 11:06 CST

Starting at 11am PST/2pm EST on Wednesday, the space policy team at the Society will hold an AMA (Ask Me Anything) about NASA's new budget and the process of space exploration.

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Spacewalk Timelapse Makes Cable Routing Look Fun

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/02/23 03:12 CST

A timelapse video shows two NASA astronauts as they became typical neighborhood cable technicians—except for the fact that they were wearing space suits.

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Clouds and Chasmata

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2015/02/23 10:03 CST | 2 comments

New landscapes from Mars Express.

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Curiosity update, sols 864-895: Drilling at Pink Cliffs

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/02/20 06:59 CST

Curiosity's second drilling campaign at the foot of Mount Sharp is complete. The rover spent about a month near Pink Cliffs, an area at the base of the Pahrump Hills outcrop, drilling and documenting a site named Mojave, where lighter-colored crystals were scattered through a very fine-grained rock.

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How LightSail Holds Its Place in Space

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/02/20 04:00 CST | 3 comments

There are few systems aboard a spacecraft more important than attitude control. This infographic shows how LightSail holds its place in space.

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Why We Write to Congress
(P.S. It's Time to Write to Congress)

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/02/19 10:42 CST

It's time to write to Congress in support of planetary exploration. Why? Because it works.

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Our Global Volunteers: February 2015 Update

Posted by Kate Howells on 2015/02/19 04:45 CST

The Planetary Society has amazing volunteers doing outreach work around the globe. Check out what they've been up to recently!

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Mapping Europa

Posted by Björn Jónsson on 2015/02/18 01:38 CST | 2 comments

Several global maps have been made of Europa, but amateur image processor Björn Jónsson felt they could be improved—so he decided to make a new one.

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