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Blog Archive

 

Shuttle tank, meet canal: Engineering wonders cross paths in Panama

Jason Davis • April 28, 2016

Two modern engineering marvels crossed paths this week here in Central America, as the last unflown space shuttle external fuel tank passed through the Panama Canal during a multi-week voyage from New Orleans to Los Angeles.

Moonset over Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • April 21, 2016

Enjoy this serene image of a moonset on another world, captured by Curiosity's Mastcam in April 2014 and processed here by Justin Cowart.

Synthesizing DSCOVR-like Images Using Atmospheric and Geophysical Data

Steve Albers • April 20, 2016

Why does our planet look the way it does from space? How does light interacting with land, clouds, water, snow, ice, gases, and various aerosols all come together? One way to learn the answer is to try and synthesize DSCOVR's view from various "building blocks" of geophysical and atmospheric data.

A new angle on Mars for Mars Odyssey

Emily Lakdawalla • April 19, 2016

Mars Odyssey has been in space for 15 years. It flies in a special "sun-synchronous" orbit, crossing the equator at roughly the same local time every day. Over time, the Odyssey mission has changed what that local time of day is, and I just realized something cool about how those changes show up in the geometry of its images.

Curiosity update, sols 1250-1310: Across the Naukluft Plateau

Emily Lakdawalla • April 13, 2016

Curiosity has driven onward from Namib dune across a highstanding unit of rock called the Naukluft Plateau. Despite some frustrating sols lost to a short circuit in the RTG and DSN troubles, the rover has made progress, and performed lots of 3D imaging of weirdly wind-eroded rocks.

Opposition surge comet

Emily Lakdawalla • April 12, 2016

Today, the Rosetta OSIRIS team's Image of the Day is this highly unusual view of the comet with the Sun very nearly behind the spacecraft.

Last unflown space shuttle tank heads seaward for new mission

Jason Davis • April 11, 2016

The last unflown space shuttle external fuel tank was loaded onto a barge at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility Sunday in New Orleans. It will ship to the California Science Center in Los Angeles to be joined with space shuttle Endeavour.

How to Make a Pluto Globe

Sarah Morrison • April 08, 2016

Want to make your own globe of Pluto? Here's how!

In pictures: Russian cargo ship shuffle underway

Jason Davis • March 31, 2016

Russian ISS controllers are in the process of swapping out a trash-filled cargo ship for a new one bearing fresh supplies, following the successful launch of a Progress spacecraft from Kazakhstan today.

LPSC 2016: So. Much. Ceres.

Emily Lakdawalla • March 30, 2016

At last week's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, I enjoyed a large number of talks about Ceres. Now in its Low-Altitude Mapping Orbit, Dawn is showering scientists with high-resolution, color data.

In pictures: Beautiful night launch sends Cygnus on its way

Jason Davis • March 23, 2016

Here's a photo roundup from last night's Atlas V launch, which sent a Cygnus cargo craft on its way to the International Space Station.

A Sunset on Mars: Crafting a scene from archival data

Justin Cowart • March 08, 2016

Ever wanted to stand on Mars and watch a sunset? Unfortunately for many of us, it will never be something that we get to experience in person. But thanks to our robotic emissaries on Mars, and some careful processing of images from NASA's Planetary Data System, we can get a sense of what it’s like.

Mars Express VMC is back online

Emily Lakdawalla • March 04, 2016

Mars Express' Visual Monitoring Camera is taking photos again! The camera was turned on for the first time in six months on Leap Day to take some lovely photos of Mars.

One-year crew all smiles after safe landing in Kazakhstan

Jason Davis • March 01, 2016

Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko are safely back on Earth today after 340 days in space. The one-year crew duo, along with Sergey Volkov, touched down in Kazahkstan Wednesday morning.

Pretty pictures: Cassini views of Titan's poles (with bonus Enceladus)

Emily Lakdawalla • February 25, 2016

Image processing enthusiast Ian Regan produced a pretty view of Titan's lake-filled north pole, now visible to Cassini's cameras in the summer sun.

Virgin Galactic Unveils New SpaceShipTwo

Jason Davis • February 19, 2016

Nearly 16 months after Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo was destroyed in a fatal accident, the company is getting ready to fly again.

In Pictures: Cygnus Takes out the Trash

Jason Davis • February 19, 2016

Early this morning, Scott Kelly and Tim Kopra released a trash-filled Cygnus cargo spacecraft from the International Space Station. Orbital ATK flight controllers will send Cygnus into Earth's atmosphere for a controlled reentry Saturday morning.

Light plays on a Martian crater rim

Emily Lakdawalla • February 16, 2016

Recently, space image processing enthusiast Thomas Appéré noticed that Curiosity had taken five photos of exactly the same spot on the rim of Gale crater, identical but for being taken at different times of day. That spot was due north of the rover, so the rising and lowering Sun illuminates the rounded hummocks of the crater rim differently from early morning to early afternoon.

Curiosity update, sols 1218-1249: Digging in the sand at Bagnold Dunes

Emily Lakdawalla • February 10, 2016

Curiosity has spent the last month sampling and processing dark sand scooped from the side of Namib Dune. The rover has now departed Namib and is preparing to cross the Bagnold dune field, while working to diagnose an anomaly with the CHIMRA sample handling mechanism.

30th anniversary images of Uranian moons

Emily Lakdawalla • February 02, 2016

January 24 was the 30th anniversary of the Voyager flyby of Uranus. Uranian moons have been on my mind ever since New Horizons sent us close-up images of Charon. On the occasion of the anniversary, Ted Stryk produced latest-and-greatest versions of the Voyager views of these worlds.

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