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Blog Archive

 

Planetary Radio celebrates 16 years of PB&J

MaryLiz Bender • December 16, 2018

Planetary Radio host Mat Kaplan has spent sixteen years sharing the “passion, beauty, and joy” of space exploration with the world. We picked our sixteen favorite episodes to share with you.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Spots InSight Hardware on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • December 13, 2018

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has finally spotted the InSight lander, its parachute, and its heat shield resting on the Martian surface. The images confirm the location of InSight's landing site, a little to the north and west of the center of the landing ellipse. The lander is located at 4.499897° N, 135.616000° E.

Go Out and See the Geminid Meteor Shower

Bruce Betts • December 13, 2018

The Geminid meteor shower, which peaks tonight, is usually the best meteor shower of the year,

Chang’e-4 Successfully Enters Lunar Orbit

Luyuan Xu • December 12, 2018

Following a 4.6-day cruise, on 12 December at 8:45 Beijing time (16:45 UTC), the spacecraft arrived in lunar orbit, preparing for a landing in early January.

Mastcam-Z Flight Hardware!

Jim Bell • December 12, 2018

After a more-than-four-year adventure, the flight Mars 2020 rover Mastcam-Z cameras have been fully assembled!

Curiosity Update, Sols 2163-2256: Hard Times Atop Vera Rubin Ridge

Emily Lakdawalla • December 11, 2018

Just after a failed drill attempt at Inverness, Curiosity suffered a serious computer problem. The mission has now recovered by switching computers, and has successfully drilled at Highfield. One last drill site in "red Jura" rocks is planned before leaving Vera Rubin ridge behind.

News brief: OSIRIS-REx finds water on Bennu

Jason Davis • December 10, 2018

OSIRIS-REx team members held a press briefing today at the 2018 American Geophysical Union meeting, and announced that the mission has already found water on asteroid Bennu.

News brief: Voyager 2 has passed beyond the heliopause

Emily Lakdawalla • December 10, 2018

Voyager 2 is now outside the reach of the solar wind, traveling in the interstellar medium. Unlike Voyager 1, Voyager 2 has a working plasma spectrometer so will be doing exciting new science. It is expected to last another 5 to 10 years, though not with all instruments operating.

Liftoff for Chang'e-4!

Emily Lakdawalla • December 07, 2018

At 02:22 local time 8 December (18:22 on 7 December UTC), a Long March 3B lifted off from Xichang Satellite Launch Center, carrying the Chang'e-4 lander and rover toward the Moon.

"We have arrived!" OSIRIS-REx is officially at asteroid Bennu

Jason Davis • December 03, 2018

After a 2-billion-kilometer journey that began in September 2016, NASA's OSIRS-REx spacecraft has arrived at Bennu.

Station crew launches safely for first time since Soyuz accident

Jason Davis • December 03, 2018

NASA's Anne McClain, Canada's David Saint-Jacques, and Russia's Oleg Kononenko are on their way to the ISS.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Team Continues Search for Opportunity’s Signal as Windy Season Begins

A.J.S. Rayl • December 02, 2018

The longest-lived Martian explorer remained silent in November, presumably still sleeping at her site halfway down Perseverance Valley, along the western rim of Endeavour Crater.

After the Success of InSight, It’s Time for NASA to Commit to Mars Sample Return

Casey Dreier • November 28, 2018

In the brief period of public and political goodwill generated by NASA's latest success at the Red Planet, now is the time to secure a commitment for the next steps at Mars: sample return.

New Cameras on Mars!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 27, 2018

There was jubilation when InSight landed, but I'm just as happy to be writing about a distinct InSight event: The flow of raw images sent from Mars, straight to the Web, has begun.

InSight has landed (UPDATED)

Emily Lakdawalla • November 26, 2018

InSight touched down on Mars today, bringing NASA's total of successful Mars landers to 8 and total number of active NASA Mars missions to 6.

Gift Ideas From Space Enthusiasts For Space Enthusiasts

Mark Hilverda • November 23, 2018

We’ve rounded up some space gift ideas and recommendations from several of our staff to help bring some of the cosmos into your holidays.

This Thanksgiving, avoid the politics and talk space instead

Casey Dreier • November 21, 2018

If you're expecting to gather with extended family on Thanksgiving, avoid the politics. Here are some conversation starters to use at the dinner table that everyone can engage in.

Here's where China is looking to land its 2020 Mars rover

Andrew Jones • November 21, 2018

NASA's Mars 2020 rover isn't the only spacecraft heading to Mars in two years.

We're going to Jezero!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 20, 2018

NASA announced this morning the selection of Jezero crater for the landing site of the Mars 2020 mission. Jezero is a 45-kilometer-wide crater that once held a lake, and now holds a spectacular ancient river delta.

NASA's Orion spacecraft makes progress, but are the agency's lunar plans on track?

Jason Davis • November 19, 2018

Orion's service module arrived in Florida, but some space industry experts question whether NASA's human spaceflight plans are realistic.

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