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Blog Archive

 

What to Expect when LightSail 2 Launches into Space

Jason Davis • June 17, 2019

Our preview guide outlines the LightSail 2 mission from start to finish.

Reconstructing the Cost of the One Giant Leap

Casey Dreier • June 16, 2019

How much did Project Apollo cost? Planetary Society experts answered that question by revisiting primary sources and reconstructing Apollo's entire cost history from 1960 - 1973.

LightSail 2 Launch Viewing: Tips & Tricks

Justin Foley • June 15, 2019

LightSail 2 is launching on the next SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It is one payload of many on the mission known collectively as STP-2. Space Test Program (STP) is a crucial part of the US Air Force’s development of advanced technologies in space.

Where We Are

Emily Lakdawalla • June 11, 2019

The last quarter has seen few changes in the roster of planetary exploration spacecraft. SpaceIL’s lunar lander Beresheet is now on the lunar surface. Its descent on 11 April seemed to go nearly perfectly. Unfortunately, a cascade of events shortly before its planned landing caused it to hit the ground too fast, and it did not survive.

The June Solstice 2019 Issue of The Planetary Report Is Out!

Emily Lakdawalla • June 10, 2019

Two feature articles bring you the excitement and science of exploring two very different representatives of the solar system's smaller worlds.

Your Impact

The Planetary Society • June 10, 2019

The first of two new columns rounds up all the ways Society members are making a difference for space.

Treasure Hunting With Hayabusa2

Makoto Yoshikawa and Elizabeth Tasker • June 10, 2019

IN THE EARLY hours of 22 February, light was just beginning to brighten the campus of JAXA’s Institute of Space and Astronautical Sciences (ISAS) in Kanagawa, Japan. It should have been a quiet time, but the Hayabusa2 control room was packed with people. We were about to land on an asteroid.

Rosetta’s Ancient Comet

Martin Rubin and Cecilia Tubiana • June 10, 2019

Rosetta is a European Space Agency mission with contributions from its member states and NASA. Operating such a complex mission with its 11 instruments and Philae lander is a success story in itself, but Rosetta’s greatest success is the science it delivered.

Apollo 11 Little West Crater Panorama

Mike Constantine • June 10, 2019

Apollo 11’S landing on 20 July 1969 was the day humans first set foot on another world. For the risky, challenging endeavor, NASA sought a smooth landing site, one lacking craters or mountains.

LightSail 2 Has a New Launch Date!

Richard Chute • June 07, 2019

The official launch date is now no earlier than June 24th, and the launch window still opens at 11:30 p.m. eastern time.

What's the Difference between LightSail 1 and LightSail 2?

Jason Davis • June 05, 2019

While LightSail 1 and 2 look nearly identical at a glance, there are a few important hardware differences between the two spacecraft.

Hayabusa2 drops second target marker, targets artificial crater for sample collection

Jason Davis • June 04, 2019

The reflective softball-sized sphere will give the spacecraft a visual guide during a second potential sample collection.

How to Send a Camera to Mars

Tina Seeger • June 04, 2019

The next Martian explorer, Mars 2020, currently exists as a robotic skeleton at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Teams across the world are working diligently to construct the instruments that will adorn the rover, inside and out, and thereby give it the tools it needs to explore.

Getting an Opportunity to Give Your Presentation

Kate Howells • May 30, 2019

Want to give a presentation on behalf of The Planetary Society in your community? We have tips and tricks for you!

ESA Prepares for ExoMars Rover 2020 Launch at Mars and on Earth

Emily Lakdawalla • May 30, 2019

Preparations for the ExoMars rover mission are in their final stages. ESA made two announcements today: ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter is shifting orbit, and they officially opened a new Rover Operations Control Centre (ROCC) in Turin, Italy.

LightSail 2 Arrives in Florida

Jason Davis • May 30, 2019

Next Stop: Space!

The People Have Voted on 2007 OR10's Future Name!

Meg Schwamb • May 29, 2019

Gonggong is the fan favorite name for this icy distant world, but the International Astronomical Union's (IAU) Committee for Small-Body Nomenclature has the final say.

Curiosity Gazes Upon Noctilucent Clouds Over Gale Crater

Emily Lakdawalla • May 28, 2019

Wispy clouds of stunning beauty fly over Curiosity every evening.

Organizing a Watch Party

Kate Howells • May 22, 2019

Watch parties are a fun and informal way to bring together space fans and the public to experience the excitement of space exploration.

LightSail Launch Event

Richard Chute • May 21, 2019

LightSail 2’s launch window opens on June 22, and we are finalizing plans for our launch viewing celebrations. Once we have finished coordinating the details with the Air Force’s STP-2 mission team and the Kennedy Space Center, we will share them with all of our members and backers so that you can join us in person or remotely via the internet.

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