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Blog Archive

 

Dawn Journal: 5th Mapping Orbit

Marc Rayman • November 01, 2016

Dawn just completed another successful observation campaign at Ceres from its latest mapping orbit. Mission Director and Chief Engineer Marc Rayman brings us his monthly update.

Dynamics of Exoplanet Systems

Erika Nesvold • October 31, 2016

At this year’s Division for Planetary Sciences/European Planetary Science Congress meeting, the Exoplanet Dynamics session was packed full of talks on tightly-packed multi-planet systems and their instabilities.

Kate Rubins, NASA's DNA sequencing scientist, returning to Earth

Jason Davis • October 28, 2016

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins is returning to Earth from the International Space Station. During her mission, she became the first person to sequence DNA in space.

Schiaparelli crash site imaged by HiRISE

Emily Lakdawalla • October 27, 2016

Following up the detection of the Schiaparelli crash site by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter CTX, the higher-resolution HiRISE camera has now definitively identified the locations of lander impact site, parachute with backshell, and heat shield impact site on the Martian surface.

DPS/EPSC update on New Horizons at the Pluto system and beyond

Emily Lakdawalla • October 25, 2016

Last week's Division for Planetary Sciences/European Planetary Science Congress meeting was chock-full of science from New Horizons at Pluto.

Likely Schiaparelli crash site imaged by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Emily Lakdawalla • October 21, 2016

Just a day after the arrival of ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter and its lander Schiaparelli, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has taken a photo of the landing site with its Context Camera, and things do not look good.

Remembering Ewen Whitaker, the "careful and caring" scientist who found Surveyors 1 and 3

Jason Davis • October 21, 2016

Ewen Whitaker was one of the founding members of the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, one of the world's first research institutions dedicated to studying the moon and planets.

ExoMars: Schiaparelli Analysis to Continue

Ruth McAvinia • October 20, 2016

The fate of the ExoMars lander, Schiaparelli, remains uncertain. European Space Agency mission controllers had been optimistic on Wednesday night that a definitive answer would be known by Thursday morning’s news briefing. However, although some more details have been made public about the lander’s descent, it is not yet clear whether it hit the martian surface at a speed it could not survive.

Brief update: Opportunity's attempt to image Schiaparelli unsuccessful

Emily Lakdawalla • October 19, 2016

Today, the Opportunity rover attempted a difficult, never-before-possible feat: to shoot a photo of an arriving Mars lander from the Martian surface. Unfortunately, that attempt seems not to have succeeded. Opportunity has now returned the images from the observation attempt, but Schiaparelli is not visible.

ExoMars: Long day’s journey into uncertainty

Ruth McAvinia • October 19, 2016

Trace Gas Orbit is successfully in orbit at Mars, but the fate of the Schiaparelli lander is uncertain.

Fall Issue of The Planetary Report is Here!

Donna Stevens • October 19, 2016

From the innermost planet to the farthest reaches of our Solar System, this issue of The Planetary Report spans it all!

DPS/EPSC update: 2007 OR10 has a moon!

Emily Lakdawalla • October 19, 2016

The third-largest object known beyond Neptune, 2007 OR10, has a moon. The discovery was reported in a poster by Gábor Marton, Csaba Kiss, and Thomas Mueller at the joint meeting of the European Planetary Science Congress and the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society (DPS/EPSC) on Monday.

Rapidly Rotating Regular Satellites and Tides

Darin Ragozzine • October 17, 2016

Pluto’s small moons have unusual rotation rates and states. Now we know a moon of another dwarf planet does as well. Is there a connection?

Juno to delay planned burn

Emily Lakdawalla • October 16, 2016

The Juno mission posted a status report late Friday afternoon, indicating that they will not perform the originally planned period reduction maneuver during their next perijove (closest approach to Jupiter) on October 19. The delay changes the start date of the science mission and also all the future dates of Juno's perijoves.

ExoMars update: Timeline for separation and orbit insertion

Emily Lakdawalla • October 14, 2016

Schiaparelli is GO for landing, and ExoMars TGO is GO for orbit insertion! When to expect ExoMars events: Schiaparelli separation, final trajectory maneuvers, landing events, orbit insertion, and press briefings.

How should America feel about China's space ambitions?

Jason Davis • October 14, 2016

China is sending two astronauts on a month-long mission to the country's new space station. What are China's long-term space goals? Does the narrative of a space race between the U.S. and China fit? If so, what happens if America loses?

Curiosity Update, sols 1428-1488: Through the Murray Buttes, drilling at Quela, and beyond

Emily Lakdawalla • October 13, 2016

In the two months since my last Curiosity update, the rover has traversed the scenic Murray Buttes, drilled at Quela, and driven another 300 meters southward.

To the moon, via the space station? A Q&A with Orbital ATK

Jason Davis • October 13, 2016

Two years after a devastating explosion, Orbital ATK is set to return its Antares rocket to flight. The commercial spaceflight company discusses its upgraded launcher, Cygnus supply spacecraft, and future ambitions, which include cislunar space.

Alan Stern & New Horizons Team Receive Cosmos Award

Jim Bell • October 12, 2016

Alan Stern and the New Horizons mission team are the newest recipients of The Planetary Society's Cosmos Award for Outstanding Public Presentation of Science.

ExoMars arrives soon!

Emily Lakdawalla • October 11, 2016

ESA's ExoMars will arrive at Mars on Wednesday, October 19, with Schiaparelli touching down in Meridiani Planum, and the Trace Gas Orbiter entering orbit while Mars Express watches.

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