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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Begins Final Science Campaign in Marathon Valley

A.J.S. Rayl • July 07, 2016

The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission entered its 150th month of surface exploration in June as Opportunity began checking off the last science investigations in Marathon Valley, and the crew on Earth looked ahead to the future past.

Oppositions, conjunctions, seasons, and ring plane crossings of the giant planets

Emily Lakdawalla • July 07, 2016

When are the solstices and equinoxes on the giant planets, and when are they best positioned for view from Earth? I ask these questions a lot as I write about Earth photos of giant planets, and I finally decided to gather the answers to those questions in a single post.

Multimedia roundup: Flawless ride to orbit for Expedition 48 crew

Jason Davis • July 06, 2016

Expedition 48 crewmembers Kate Rubins, Takuya Onishi and Anatoly Ivanishin are safely in orbit following an early morning launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

That new Soyuz smell: Next ISS trio launches tonight aboard upgraded crew craft

Jason Davis • July 06, 2016

Expedition 48 crewmembers Kate Rubins, Takuya Onishi and Anatoly Ivanishin begin a two-day trip to the International Space Station tonight aboard a newly upgraded Soyuz MS spacecraft.

Juno has arrived!

Emily Lakdawalla • July 05, 2016

For a second time, NASA has placed a spacecraft into orbit at Jupiter. The spacecraft operated exactly according to plan, and Juno successfully entered orbit today, July 5, 2016, UTC

A peek at the JunoCam approach movie

Emily Lakdawalla • July 04, 2016

We're now just about 12 hours away from Juno's Jupiter orbit insertion. As anticipation ramps up, NASA has released this sneak peek at JunoCam's approach movie, made of views of Jupiter and its largest moons shot during the final approach, up until about five days ago.

How to watch Juno's orbit insertion

Emily Lakdawalla • July 01, 2016

The big day is almost here. Juno begins firing its main engine at 20:18 PT / 23:18 ET / 03:18 UT on July 4/5, and the maneuver should be over 35 minutes later at 20:53 / 23:53 / 03:53. Here's how you can follow the mission through its most hazardous event since launch.

What's up in the solar system, July 2016 edition: Juno to enter orbit, NASA missions all extended

Emily Lakdawalla • July 01, 2016

Highlights this month include the impending arrival of Juno at Jupiter, the approval of extended missions for all of NASA's solar system spacecraft, and public data releases from Rosetta, New Horizons, and Cassini.

Juno's first taste of science from Jupiter

Emily Lakdawalla • June 30, 2016

Jupiter is growing in Juno's forward view as the spacecraft approaches for its orbit insertion July 5 (July 4 in the Americas). The mission has released images from JunoCam and sonifications of data from the plasma waves instrument as Juno begins to sense Jupiter.

Big booster blasts Utah hillside, and NASA discusses Journey to Mars

Jason Davis • June 28, 2016

NASA and Orbital ATK successfully completed a qualification motor firing of a five-segment solid rocket booster that will fly on the Space Launch System in 2018.

Watch a test of the world's largest solid rocket booster tomorrow on NASA TV

Jason Davis • June 27, 2016

Tomorrow morning at 10:05 a.m. EDT (14:05 UTC), NASA and Orbital ATK are test-firing the world's largest solid rocket booster in northern Utah. You can follow along live on NASA TV.

Quick multimedia roundup: China's new rocket blasts off on inaugural mission

Jason Davis • June 25, 2016

China's new Long March 7 rocket successfully blasted off on its inaugural mission today at 8:00 p.m. Beijing time (12:00 UTC, 7:00 a.m. EDT).

WISE Views in Infrared

Judy Schmidt • June 24, 2016

Amateur image processor Judy Schmidt explains the process of creating gorgeous views of the cosmos from infrared data from the WISE telescope.

An Astronomer Learns to Make His CASE

Kevin Cooke • June 24, 2016

Science in America depends on federal funding, yet many young scientists don't understand how the U.S. government decides to spend its money on science, nor are they encouraged to use their new degrees to advise the process. This is changing with support from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

All about China's new rocket and spaceport, which may see action this Saturday

Jason Davis • June 23, 2016

Sometime between Saturday and Wednesday, China plans to launch a brand new rocket from a brand new launch site, and conduct a small-scale test of its next-generation crew capsule.

Plans for China's farside Chang'e 4 lander science mission taking shape

Emily Lakdawalla • June 22, 2016

The future Chang'e 4 lunar farside landing mission is rapidly taking shape. Now the mission's team is coming to a consensus on the landing location, as well as on the mission's instrument package.

National Selfie Day: Spacecraft self-portraits

Emily Lakdawalla • June 21, 2016

It's apparently National Selfie Day. I'm not entirely sure who has the authority to declare these things, or why they decided we needed a National Selfie Day, but since the self-portrait is one of my favorite subgenres of spacecraft photography, I couldn't resist writing about them.

Multimedia roundup: Blue Origin completes two-parachute test flight

Jason Davis • June 20, 2016

Yesterday in West Texas, Blue Origin launched its New Shepard spacecraft on its sixth suborbital test flight. The capsule normally descends using three parachutes, but on Sunday, just two were used to show the spacecraft could still land safely in the event of a parachute mishap.

Picture-perfect landing for Soyuz crew on sunny Kazakh steppe

Jason Davis • June 18, 2016

Tim Kopra, Tim Peake and Yuri Malenchenko are back on Earth this morning following a picture-perfect landing on the sunny Kazakhstan steppe.

Night owl? Early bird? Watch a Soyuz crew plunge back to Earth Saturday morning

Jason Davis • June 17, 2016

Tomorrow morning, Tim Kopra, Tim Peake and Yuri Malenchenko are coming home from the International Space Station. But if you live in the United States or Europe, you're going to have to get up pretty early—or stay up late—to see it happen.

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