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Celebrating the 40th anniversaries of the Voyager launches

Emily Lakdawalla • August 17, 2017

Sunday, August 20 marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of Voyager 2. Tuesday, September 5, will be the 40th anniversary for Voyager 1. Throughout the next three weeks, we'll be posting new and classic material in honor of the Voyagers. Here's a preview.

Could the total solar eclipse reveal a comet?

Karl Battams • August 16, 2017

Next week's solar eclipse will reveal the Sun's corona, nearby bright planets and stars, and, if we get extremely lucky, a comet!

A dispatch from the path of totality: the 2017 solar eclipse in Ravenna, Nebraska

Shane Pekny • August 15, 2017

Ravenna, population 1,400, sits on the plains of central Nebraska, and almost on the center line of the path of totality for the upcoming Great American Eclipse. Nebraska native Shane Pekny reports on how this small town is preparing for the big event.

Bill Nye's top eclipse tip: Protect your eyes

Bill Nye • August 15, 2017

Bill Nye, CEO of The Planetary Society, has some suggestions for staying safe during next week's solar eclipse.

Book Review: Sun Moon Earth

Merc Boyan • August 14, 2017

With the North American Total Solar Eclipse coming on August 21, people across the continent are getting eclipse mania! Astronomer Tyler Nordgren has written a detailed book on eclipses with a special focus on the August 21st event.

Function over form: NASA's Space Launch System gets a new paint job

Jason Davis • August 11, 2017

Last week, NASA revealed an updated design for the Space Launch System, featuring black-and-white checkerboards streaking down each of the vehicle's solid rocket boosters.

Here's what we know about the 12 proposals for NASA's next New Frontiers mission

Van Kane • August 10, 2017

NASA officials are in the process of selecting the agency’s next planetary science mission from a field of 12 competitors.

A space advocate on Capitol Hill: Planetary Society intern shares story

Aaron Campbell • August 08, 2017

Planetary Society intern Aaron Campbell recaps his experience working on Capitol Hill over the course of two summers.

Five Earth Years on Mars

Casey Dreier • August 05, 2017

Five (Earth) years ago today, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity landed in a dramatic fashion on the surface of the Red Planet. We look back at a mission that advanced humanity's understanding of Mars and provided a priceless return on a modest investment.

From space plane to sky crane: How part of a space shuttle landed a rover on Mars

Robert Pearlman • August 05, 2017

Did you know that hardware from one of NASA's retired space shuttle orbiters played a critical role in the landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars five years ago?

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Enters Perseverance Valley, Settles in for Solar Conjunction

A.J.S. Rayl • August 01, 2017

After struggling to get her left front wheel unstuck in June, Opportunity quickly adapted to a new driving strategy and unabashedly cruised into Perseverance Valley in July.

The Senate Makes Its Move: Nearly $200M less for NASA in 2018

Casey Dreier • July 28, 2017

The proposed $19.5 billion would be less than the agency received in 2017, and substantially less than that proposed by the House for the coming year.

Sharing an eclipse with kids

Emily Lakdawalla • July 28, 2017

Here's a simple and safe way to observe a partial eclipse that's appropriate for young children, with no eclipse glasses or other special equipment needed.

Cubes in Space

Julie Seven Sage • July 27, 2017

Aspiring astrophysicist Julie Seven Sage reports from the launch of student-designed CubeSat payloads at NASA's Wallops Flight Center.

HERA team completes 45-day mission to explore asteroid, from Texas

Tim Evans • July 25, 2017

What's it like spending 45 days confined to a habitat at Johnson Space Center simulating a crewed NASA mission to an asteroid? Tim Evans sends us this report.

LightSail 2 updates: Prox-1 mission changes, new launch date

Jason Davis • July 21, 2017

LightSail 2 and Prox-1 are expected to launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy no earlier than April 30, 2018.

In total eclipse of a star, New Horizons' future flyby target makes its presence known

Emily Lakdawalla • July 19, 2017

The team reported two weeks ago that the first attempts at observing 2014 MU69 were unsuccessful. But in their third try, on July 17, astronomers in Argentina saw the telltale sign of MU69's presence: a stellar wink.

Congress gives NASA's planetary science division some love (and a Mars orbiter)

Jason Davis • July 19, 2017

The House of Representatives proposed $2.1 billion for NASA's planetary science budget, which would be an all-time high. Part of the increase would be used to start work on a new reconnaissance and communications orbiter.

Your Guide to the Great American Eclipse of 2017

Bruce Betts • July 17, 2017

The Moon will totally eclipse the Sun for the first time as seen from the continental United States in more than 40 years on August 21, 2017. What are eclipses, and what's special about this one?

Meet Scott Pace, the National Space Council's new executive secretary

Jason Davis • July 14, 2017

Pace will help develop policies that affect the future of NASA. Here's a guide to this influential new member of the Trump administration.

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