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Blog Archive


Multimedia roundup: Falcon 9 makes dual-satellite delivery run

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/06/15 06:41 CDT

SpaceX placed two communications satellites into orbit today, but the company's attempt to go four-in-a-row on first stage drone ship recoveries fell short.

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Curiosity update, sols 1311-1369: Drilling at Lubango, Okoruso, and Oudam, and a turn to the south

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/06/15 05:24 CDT | 1 comments

Curiosity is at a turning point in its mission to Mount Sharp, both literally and figuratively. Having drilled at three sample sites in 7 weeks, the rover took a left turn, changing its trajectory from a generally westward driving path to a southward one. It is now poised to cross the Bagnold dune field at Murray buttes.

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Scientists play with fire aboard trash-filled cargo spacecraft

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/06/14 05:42 CDT | 1 comments

This afternoon, NASA started a fire aboard a trash-filled cargo spacecraft, but it was all in the name of science. Engineers at the agency's Glenn Research Center are studying how large-scale fires spread in space.

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Nadia Drake: NSF investigating how to shut down Arecibo

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/06/13 03:28 CDT | 8 comments

Reporter Nadia Drake has been following the status of Arecibo very closely, and recently wrote two articles explaining what it means that the National Science Foundation has begun an environmental review process for the giant radio telescope.

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Video: Two talks featuring pretty pictures from space

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/06/10 01:30 CDT | 1 comments

Videos of two recent talks I've given, one intended for a general audience and one aimed at professionals.

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Red Dragon and Planetary Exploration

Posted by Van Kane on 2016/06/10 12:07 CDT | 5 comments

If SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft becomes a standard catalog item that could ordered, the way a launch vehicle is, what might the impact be on planetary exploration?

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LightSail 2 will transmit Morse code from space, and you can make the sound your ringtone

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/06/10 06:30 CDT | 2 comments

The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 (.-.. / ... / ..---) spacecraft will identify itself from orbit using Morse code, and you can make the sound your ringtone.

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What to expect from JunoCam at Jupiter

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/06/09 09:37 CDT | 16 comments

Juno will go in to orbit at Jupiter on July 5 (July 4 in North and South American time zones), and it's carrying a camera that's going to take really awesome photos of Jupiter. But you're going to have to be patient. Emily Lakdawalla explains why.

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Dawn Journal: In the Details

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2016/06/08 06:33 CDT | 6 comments

Dawn is continuing to record the extraordinary sights on dwarf planet Ceres. The experienced explorer is now closer to the alien world than the International Space Station is to Earth.

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Whither the Weather? A Jet Stream Explainer

Posted by Anna Scott on 2016/06/07 11:01 CDT | 4 comments

Jet streams are found in planetary atmospheres throughout our solar system. But what exactly are they?

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Take a look inside the station's new expandable module with astronaut Jeff Williams

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/06/06 12:55 CDT

BEAM, the International Space Station's new expandable habitat module, is open for business. NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka entered the module at 4:47 a.m. EDT (9:47 UTC) this morning.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Scuffs Up Signs of Past Water at Marathon Valley
Sols 4362 - 4391

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2016/06/06 09:24 CDT

Opportunity spent the first half of May digging into an outcrop, taking dozens of panoramic images from her site on the south wall of Marathon Valley at Endeavour Crater’s western rim, and basking in the Martian spring weather.

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Announcing Planetary Radio: Space Policy Edition
New episodes monthly

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2016/06/03 03:46 CDT | 2 comments

Announcing Planetary Radio Extra: Space Policy Edition (PRE:SPE for short)—a new spinoff of Planetary Radio that will delve into the weeds of space policy and politics.

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Follow a space shuttle tank through LA with this timelapse video

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/06/03 08:06 CDT

This timelapse video follows some of the space shuttle external tank's 19-hour journey from Marina del Rey to the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

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What's up in the solar system, June 2016 edition: Juno approaches Jupiter

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/06/01 05:23 CDT | 5 comments

Your monthly roundup of the adventures of the 20+ robots exploring our solar system.

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ExoMars Domino Effect

Posted by Anatoly Zak on 2016/05/30 08:10 CDT | 5 comments

A difficult but necessary decision by ESA and Roskosmos to postpone the launch of the ExoMars rover from 2018 to 2020 raises a question about the fate of other planetary exploration programs in the pipelines of both space agencies.

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BEAM expanded and pressurized: Your news, commentary and tweet roundup

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/05/28 11:18 CDT

BEAM is expanded and pressurized! The International Space Station's newest module, which will serve as a technology demonstrator for in-space expandable habitats, was fully filled with air this afternoon.

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Three-peat! SpaceX sticks another drone ship landing

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/05/27 06:03 CDT | 10 comments

SpaceX continued its impressive string of first stage recoveries today, sticking a Falcon 9 drone ship landing during the successful launch of THAICOM 8, a communications satellite.

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With retry scheduled tomorrow, NASA and Bigelow say BEAM will work—it's just a question of when

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/05/27 03:44 CDT

NASA will try again tomorrow to expand BEAM, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module. During a press teleconference this afternoon, officials said they were confident the module was going to expand—it's just a question of when.

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Lunar Farside Landing Plans

Posted by Phil Stooke on 2016/05/27 06:48 CDT | 1 comments

Phil Stooke describes a research trip to the Regional Planetary Image Facility at the USGS in Flagstaff, where he discovered Jack Schmitt's proposed plans for a farside landing site for Apollo 17.

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