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Blog Archive

 

Space Force: An Explainer

Casey Dreier • August 23, 2018

Have questions about Space Force? We have answers.

False alarm: Here's why people thought Opportunity phoned home last week

Jason Davis • August 21, 2018

It was a signal from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, not Opportunity, that showed up on a Deep Space Network dashboard last week.

China's mission to the far side of the Moon will launch in December

Andrew Jones • August 16, 2018

The Chang'e-4 spacecraft will make use of a newly launched relay satellite to stay in touch with Earth.

National Academies: NASA needs a plan for Mars

Casey Dreier • August 16, 2018

Though progress is being made on Mars Sample Return, a new report from the National Academies recommends NASA have a long-term plan for robotic Mars exploration, and work to ensure communications infrastructure is maintained at the Red Planet. These recommendations largely align with those made by The Planetary Society in a report released in 2017.

Here are some recent postcards from Jupiter

Jason Davis • August 15, 2018

Let's check in on NASA's Juno spacecraft, which completed its 14th close flyby of Jupiter last month.

The Venus controversy

Adeene Denton • August 14, 2018

A lack of new missions keeps scientists guessing on what shaped the planet’s surface.

Space Policy & Advocacy Program Quarterly Report - July 2018

Casey Dreier • August 13, 2018

The Planetary Society's Space Policy and Advocacy team publishes quarterly reports on their activities, actions, priorities, and goals in service of their efforts to promote space science and exploration in Washington, D.C.

Chandrayaan-2 launch delayed to 3 January 2019

Emily Lakdawalla • August 13, 2018

Chandrayaan-2, expected to launch in October, will now be launching no earlier than 3 January 2019, with its lander and rover touching down in February.

Hayabusa2 descends again, this time to lower than 1000 meters above Ryugu

Emily Lakdawalla • August 10, 2018

This week Hayabusa2 completed its closest approach yet to asteroid Ryugu. In a successful gravity measurement experiment on August 6, the spacecraft dipped to within 1 kilometer of the asteroid.

Parker Solar Probe preview: 10 hot facts about NASA's cool mission to the Sun

Jason Davis • August 09, 2018

This weekend, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe spacecraft leaves Earth on a mission to touch the Sun.

It's midterm evaluation time for NASA's planetary program

Casey Dreier • August 08, 2018

A new report assesses how NASA’s Planetary Science Division has implemented (or not) the top recommendations of the scientific community for the exploration of the solar system.

LightSail 2 updates: Launch date slips, environmental test complete, new video released

Jason Davis • August 08, 2018

LightSail 2's ride to space won't happen until at least November 30, as SpaceX works through a list of other payloads in line to fly first.

Mastcam-Z Team Blog: A Special Team Photomosaic

Darian Dixon • August 06, 2018

Mastcam-Z will help the Mars 2020 rover explore the surface of Mars. Dozens of amazing scientists and engineers from across the globe contribute to the development of Mastcam-Z. This year, the team photo was taken with our very own Mastcam-Z testbed unit.

A second successful medium-altitude operation for Hayabusa2

Emily Lakdawalla • August 03, 2018

For the second time, JAXA navigators have zoomed their cameras and other instruments in on asteroid Ryugu. The August 1 operation was quicker than the previous one, requiring only 26 hours for the descent, science, and ascent.

NASA names crews and dates for first U.S. commercial missions

Jason Davis • August 03, 2018

Four NASA astronauts and one commercial employee are expected to launch aboard SpaceX and Boeing-operated vehicles in 2019.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Dust Storm Wanes, Opportunity Sleeps, Team Prepares Recovery Strategy

A.J.S. Rayl • August 01, 2018

As Opportunity slept in Perseverance Valley under the thick cloud of dust that has blanketed the Red Planet for the last six weeks, scientists who are studying the monster storm that forced the robot field geologist into its hibernation mode are now reporting the tempest has peaked.

Planetary Society Volunteers are Candles in the Dark

Kate Howells • July 31, 2018

After a bewildering day at AlienCon, a New York Times reporter found hope at The Planetary Society, courtesy of volunteer Sean Marquez.

Curiosity's organics on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • July 30, 2018

What does it mean that the Mars rover Curiosity found organics in Martian rocks? Emily Lakdawalla translates the science.

LightSail 2 team completes key mission review and dress rehearsal

Jason Davis • July 26, 2018

The LightSail 2 team gathered in Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for a Mission Readiness Review (MRR) and Operational Readiness Test (ORT).

Liquid Water on Mars! Really for Real This Time (Probably)

Emily Lakdawalla • July 25, 2018

A radar instrument on one of the oldest operational Mars orbiters has discovered possible evidence of present-day liquid water on Mars.

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