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'Everything about this flyby is tougher': New Horizons just over 100 days from Ultima Thule

Jason Davis • September 19, 2018

On Jan. 1, NASA's New Horizons will perform a high-risk, high-reward flyby of an ancient world on the outskirts of the solar system.

Programming note: Emily Lakdawalla speaking tour of New Zealand 23 September - 1 October

Emily Lakdawalla • September 19, 2018

Attention Kiwi space fans! I’m embarking shortly on a speaking tour of New Zealand. I hope to meet lots of Planetary Society members and supporters, and sign a few copies of my book.

The September Equinox 2018 Issue of The Planetary Report Is Out!

Emily Lakdawalla • September 18, 2018

With my first issue of The Planetary Report as editor, I am taking the magazine open-access. Return to Mercury features articles by Elsa Montagnon on BepiColombo and by Long Xiao on the Chang'e-4 and -5 landers.

Voyage to Mercury

Elsa Montagnon • September 18, 2018

Elsa Montagnon details the challenges of delivering BepiColombo’s two spacecraft from Earth to Mercury.

Farside Landing and Nearside Sample Return

Long Xiao • September 18, 2018

Long Xiao previews two ambitious Chinese lunar missions, one of which will make the first-ever landing on the far side of the Moon.

Chandrayaan-2

Sriram Bhiravarasu • September 18, 2018

Sriram Bhiravarasu anticipates India’s 2019 lunar venture with an orbiter, lander, and rover.

Why Start A Space Program?

Casey Dreier • September 18, 2018

Casey Dreier observes the genesis of a new space agency in Australia, and how The Planetary Society helped make it happen.

Where We Are

Emily Lakdawalla • September 18, 2018

Emily Lakdawalla introduces an at-a-glance spacecraft locator to The Planetary Report.

A New Era for Canada-U.S. Space Cooperation?

Kate Howells • September 14, 2018

On 7 September, down the street from the NAFTA meetings in Washington D.C., the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars hosted a meeting of many thought leaders from both countries to discuss a point of uncertainty in the Canada-United States relationship: collaboration in space.

Feast your eyes on comet 67P's surface, with depth cues added

Mattias Malmer • September 14, 2018

Mattias Malmer made it a little easier to figure out what Philae really saw in 2014.

Hayabusa2 stops short of close approach on first touchdown rehearsal

Emily Lakdawalla • September 13, 2018

Hayabusa2 didn’t quite make it down to its intended 60-meter distance from asteroid Ryugu yesterday. There is nothing wrong with the spacecraft; it’s healthy and returning to its home position. The team will adjust parameters and give it another try in the future.

Goodbye, Delta II rocket

Jason Davis • September 11, 2018

This Saturday, the final Delta II rocket will launch NASA's ICESat-2 spacecraft into orbit.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: NASA Focuses on Recovering Opportunity as Storm Diminishes and Dust Settles

A.J.S. Rayl • September 09, 2018

The dust raising power of the storms that wrapped Mars in a cloud in June and July diminished in August. Meanwhile, on Earth, the Opportunity team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory reviewed recovery plans, conducted additional simulations, and began wrapping the month with newfound reasons to believe Opportunity can emerge from her hibernation.

Curiosity update, sols 2093-2162: Three tries to successful drill atop Vera Rubin Ridge

Emily Lakdawalla • September 06, 2018

Heedless of the (now-dissipating) dust storm, Curiosity has achieved its first successful drill into rocks that form the Vera Rubin ridge, and is hopefully on the way to a second. It took three attempts for Curiosity to find a soft enough spot, with Voyageurs and Ailsa Craig being too tough, but Stoer proved obligingly soft on sol 2136.

Orion's third flight will haul two pieces of a space station to lunar orbit

Jason Davis • September 06, 2018

NASA is planning for a 30-day mission to lunar orbit in 2024.

Dawn Journal: A Bit of Perspective

Marc Rayman • September 05, 2018

Like its human colleagues, Dawn started out on Earth, but now its permanent residence in the solar system, Ceres, is far, far away. Let's bring this cosmic landscape into perspective.

Dawn Journal: Denouement

Marc Rayman • September 04, 2018

A fantastic story of adventure, exploration and discovery is reaching its denouement. In the final phase of its long and productive deep-space mission, Dawn is operating flawlessly in orbit around dwarf planet Ceres.

OSIRIS-REx and New Horizons catch first sight of their targets

Emily Lakdawalla • August 29, 2018

Both OSIRIS-REx and New Horizons achieved first light on their still-distant targets this week. Between now and the end of 2018, Bennu and 2014 MU69 will turn from points of light into places.

Hayabusa2 prepares to collect samples, leave Planetary Society names on Ryugu

Jason Davis • August 28, 2018

The names were collected by the Society in 2013, and are stored on target markers that will be dropped on the asteroid.

Hayabusa2 Team Announces Ryugu Landing Sites, Initial Science Survey Results

Emily Lakdawalla • August 24, 2018

Two months after arrival, the team has reported some preliminary facts about Ryugu. They also announced the selection of candidate landing sites for the spacecraft sample collection, for the German-built MASCOT hopper, and for the MINERVA-II microrovers

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