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Blog Archive

 

What to Expect when Chandrayaan-2 Launches to and Lands on the Moon

Sridhar Narayanan • July 08, 2019

A preview guide for India's upcoming Moon mission.

Here are the First Pictures of Earth from LightSail 2

Jason Davis • July 07, 2019

Pictures taken by the spacecraft's cameras Friday evening show a crescent Earth, as LightSail 2 heads into orbital sunset.

See the Latest Data from LightSail 2 on Our New Mission Control Dashboard

Jason Davis • July 05, 2019

Would you like to see the latest data from The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 spacecraft—possibly before flight controllers have even seen it? Now you can!

LightSail 2 Healthy as Mission Team Continues Spacecraft Checkouts

Jason Davis • July 03, 2019

The mission team is working through a 73-step checklist to check out the spacecraft’s systems and perform various tests.

Emily's Recommended Kids' Space Books: Special Apollo 11 Anniversary Edition for July 2019

Emily Lakdawalla • July 03, 2019

So many Apollo-related books have come out in the first half of 2019 that I decided to cover them in a special summer book-recommendation blog. I have 5 brand-new Apollo-related books to recommend for kids, and include others I've recommended in past years.

Orion Completes Critical In-Flight Abort Test

Jason Davis • July 02, 2019

The test showed Orion can blast itself away from the Space Launch System if the big rocket fails while attempting to fly to orbit.

InSight Update: A Couple More Tiny Quakes and Heat Probe Progress

Emily Lakdawalla • July 02, 2019

InSight has detected a couple more small Marsquakes, and the team has lifted the housing of the heat probe off the ground, exposing the top of the mole in a surprisingly wide hole.

First Contact! LightSail 2 Phones Home to Mission Control

Jason Davis • July 02, 2019

The mission team received LightSail 2's first signals on 2 July at 01:34 PDT (08:34 UTC), as the spacecraft passed over Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in California.

NASA Greenlights Dragonfly, a Quadcopter Mission to Titan

Jason Davis • June 27, 2019

Sporting 8 rotors and a nuclear power source like the Mars Curiosity rover, Dragonfly will launch in 2026 and arrive at Titan in 2034.

LightSail 2 Has Launched!

Jason Davis • June 25, 2019

The Planetary Society's solar sail CubeSat lifted off from Kennedy Space Center, Florida on 25 June at 02:30 EDT (06:30 UTC).

LightSail 2 is Ready for Launch

Jason Davis • June 24, 2019

The Planetary Society's solar sailing spacecraft is ready to take flight. We got an up-close look at its ride to orbit.

ESA to Launch Comet Interceptor Mission in 2028

Emily Lakdawalla • June 21, 2019

With Comet Interceptor, ESA plans to meet a comet on its first trip into the inner solar system. The mission was selected yesterday after a fast-track proposal process and will be developed on a rapid (for ESA) timeline, with a launch planned for 2028.

Here's Our First Look at LightSail 2 Installed on SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Rocket

Jason Davis • June 19, 2019

LightSail 2 is one of 24 spacecraft hitching a ride to orbit as part of the U.S. Air Force's STP-2 mission.

OSIRIS-REx Sets Low-Orbit Record, Enters New Orbital B Mission Phase

Emily Lakdawalla • June 19, 2019

Last week, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample-return mission announced that they had achieved an orbit above asteroid Bennu with an altitude of only 680 meters. Now they are surveying for landing sites and have invited the public's help.

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.

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.

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