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Blog Archive

 

Dawn Journal: Success at Ceres

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2016/03/01 07:04 CST | 25 comments

More than eight years after leaving Earth behind for an ambitious deep space adventure, the Dawn mission has now collected all of the data originally planned. Chief Engineer and Mission Director Marc Rayman brings us an update.

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What's up in solar system exploration: March 2016 edition

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/02/29 02:45 CST | 4 comments

Welcome to my monthly inventory of the 20-plus spacecraft actively exploring our solar system. Highlights of this month include the impending launch of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter and Schiaparelli lander, currently planned for March 14, and the resumption of regular VMC Mars images by Mars Express.

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Meet LightSail 2, The Planetary Society's new solar sailing CubeSat

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/02/29 06:35 CST | 1 comments

The Planetary Society's solar sailing CubeSat has a new designation: LightSail 2. To celebrate the name change, we're releasing a new video showing footage from a late January sail deployment at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

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Curiosity Rover: Design, Planning, and Field Geology on Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/02/26 12:09 CST | 6 comments

Emily is back to work on her Mars Science Laboratory book, which has a new publication date and a new title.

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Atlanta Students Bring Mars to Earth

Posted by Mark Sequeira on 2016/02/26 09:22 CST | 1 comments

A group of students from Georgia, USA, were able to explore Mars through the Mars Express #VMCschools campaign, with a little help from The Planetary Society's image processing tutorials.

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One-year ISS mission draws to a close

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/02/25 03:46 CST

Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko are set to return to Earth next week after their record-breaking, year-long mission aboard the International Space Station.

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

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/02/25 02:13 CST | 4 comments

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.

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Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly alert: SpaceX doesn't expect to stick upcoming rocket landing

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/02/23 12:35 CST

SpaceX is launching the SES-9 communications satellite to geostationary transfer orbit. But the company says a successful first stage drone ship landing is "not expected."

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Virgin Galactic Unveils New SpaceShipTwo

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/02/19 04:19 CST | 3 comments

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

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In Pictures: Cygnus Takes out the Trash

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/02/19 01:08 CST | 1 comments

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.

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UPDATED: ESA activates a new old space camera

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/02/19 10:45 CST | 2 comments

Inspired by the Mars Webcam on Mars Express, ESA's Cluster mission has turned on a camera on the Cluster spacecraft for the first time since their launch more than 15 years ago. UPDATE: It has now acquired images of Earth.

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NASA's New Budget Would Gut Europa But Otherwise Support Planetary Exploration
All these worlds are yours, except for...

Posted by Van Kane on 2016/02/18 08:02 CST | 8 comments

It’s clear that the President’s budget officers really don’t want to fund a mission to Europa. Other than that, the proposed Fiscal Year 2017 budget submitted by the President last week to Congress would be great for planetary exploration.

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SLS Mockup Finds Path through Southern U.S.

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/02/17 12:09 CST

The SLS core stage pathfinder is a 65-meter-long, full-size mockup of the actual rocket's main section. Just like SLS, building, assembling and utilizing the pathfinder involves multiple contractors and NASA centers around the southern U.S.

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Data Dump: NASA's Planetary Science Program By the Numbers
We comb through NASA budget documents so you don't have to

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2016/02/16 08:58 CST | 3 comments

We provide you the gritty budget breakdown by program and mission for NASA's Planetary Science Division.

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Light plays on a Martian crater rim

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/02/16 01:30 CST

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.

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A new hope for a microphone on Mars: Enhancing Mars 2020 science with sound

Posted by Bruce BettsEmily Lakdawalla on 2016/02/15 10:19 CST | 4 comments

When the Mars 2020 rover lands, we may finally hear the first audio recordings from the Martian surface.

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“Upside Down & Inside Out” - OK Go Makes Art at Zero-G

Posted by Erin Greeson on 2016/02/12 08:00 CST

OK Go just dropped their most spectacular - and daring - music video yet, “Upside Down & Inside Out.” Filmed in microgravity over many parabolic flights in Russia, “Upside Down & Inside Out” sets a new precedent for what’s possible as artists consider our future in space.

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The Sea That Has Become Known

Posted by Porter McDonald on 2016/02/12 06:00 CST

Artist Porter McDonald describes his latest painting, Mare Cognitum, which features NASA's Ranger 7 spacecraft.

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Field Report From Mars: Sol 4284 - February 11, 2016

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2016/02/11 07:19 CST

Opportunity is continuing to explore the outcrops Marathon Valley, on the west rim of Endeavour crater.

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Winter Issue of The Planetary Report is Here!

Posted by Donna Stevens on 2016/02/11 08:23 CST

The winter issue of The Planetary Report is at the printer and will be in your mailbox soon if you're a member of The Planetary Society. (And if you're not, join now!)

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