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Rosetta’s Ancient Comet

Martin Rubin and Cecilia Tubiana • June 10, 2019

Rosetta is a European Space Agency mission with contributions from its member states and NASA. Operating such a complex mission with its 11 instruments and Philae lander is a success story in itself, but Rosetta’s greatest success is the science it delivered.

Apollo 11 Little West Crater Panorama

Mike Constantine • June 10, 2019

Apollo 11’S landing on 20 July 1969 was the day humans first set foot on another world. For the risky, challenging endeavor, NASA sought a smooth landing site, one lacking craters or mountains.

LightSail 2 Has a New Launch Date!

Richard Chute • June 07, 2019

The official launch date is now no earlier than June 24th, and the launch window still opens at 11:30 p.m. eastern time.

What's the Difference between LightSail 1 and LightSail 2?

Jason Davis • June 05, 2019

While LightSail 1 and 2 look nearly identical at a glance, there are a few important hardware differences between the two spacecraft.

Hayabusa2 drops second target marker, targets artificial crater for sample collection

Jason Davis • June 04, 2019

The reflective softball-sized sphere will give the spacecraft a visual guide during a second potential sample collection.

How to Send a Camera to Mars

Tina Seeger • June 04, 2019

The next Martian explorer, Mars 2020, currently exists as a robotic skeleton at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Teams across the world are working diligently to construct the instruments that will adorn the rover, inside and out, and thereby give it the tools it needs to explore.

Getting an Opportunity to Give Your Presentation

Kate Howells • May 30, 2019

Want to give a presentation on behalf of The Planetary Society in your community? We have tips and tricks for you!

ESA Prepares for ExoMars Rover 2020 Launch at Mars and on Earth

Emily Lakdawalla • May 30, 2019

Preparations for the ExoMars rover mission are in their final stages. ESA made two announcements today: ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter is shifting orbit, and they officially opened a new Rover Operations Control Centre (ROCC) in Turin, Italy.

LightSail 2 Arrives in Florida

Jason Davis • May 30, 2019

Next Stop: Space!

The People Have Voted on 2007 OR10's Future Name!

Meg Schwamb • May 29, 2019

Gonggong is the fan favorite name for this icy distant world, but the International Astronomical Union's (IAU) Committee for Small-Body Nomenclature has the final say.

Curiosity Gazes Upon Noctilucent Clouds Over Gale Crater

Emily Lakdawalla • May 28, 2019

Wispy clouds of stunning beauty fly over Curiosity every evening.

Organizing a Watch Party

Kate Howells • May 22, 2019

Watch parties are a fun and informal way to bring together space fans and the public to experience the excitement of space exploration.

LightSail Launch Event

Richard Chute • May 21, 2019

LightSail 2’s launch window opens on June 22, and we are finalizing plans for our launch viewing celebrations. Once we have finished coordinating the details with the Air Force’s STP-2 mission team and the Kennedy Space Center, we will share them with all of our members and backers so that you can join us in person or remotely via the internet.

Hayabusa2 Encounters Snag Trying to Drop Second Target Marker

Jason Davis • May 21, 2019

The spacecraft is healthy and safe, but time is running out to collect a second sample from asteroid Ryugu.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Images Beresheet Impact Site

Emily Lakdawalla • May 16, 2019

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has successfully imaged the impact site of the Beresheet lander, which made a really good run at performing the first privately funded Moon landing on 11 April, but crashed after the failure of its main engine.

Chang’e-4 may have discovered material from the Moon’s mantle

Andrew Jones • May 15, 2019

The first science results from the unprecedented Chang’e-4 lunar far side mission are in. The mission’s Yutu-2 rover, deployed from the lander shortly after the Chang’e-4 landing on 3 January, has, with the help of the Queqiao relay satellite, returned data which suggests it has discovered material derived from the Moon’s mantle.

Here's a Roundup of Recent OSIRIS-REx Postcards from Bennu

Jason Davis • May 15, 2019

NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is currently sweeping arcs between the asteroid's north and south poles.

China’s SmallSat Lunar Mission Longjiang-2 to Deorbit on 31 July

Emily Lakdawalla • May 14, 2019

According to amateur spacecraft tracker Daniel Estévez, Longjiang-2 will crash into the Moon on 31 July after more than a year in lunar orbit.

A Crash Program or Modest Proposal?

Casey Dreier • May 13, 2019

The White House released a long-awaited supplemental budget request for NASA today. It proposes an additional $1.6 billion for an accelerated human spaceflight effort to land on the Moon in 2024. This boosts the President's budget request for NASA to $22.6 billion in fiscal year 2020, which is approximately $1.1 billion or 5% more than the amount provided by Congress last year.

LightSail 2 set to launch next month aboard SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket

Jason Davis • May 13, 2019

The Planetary Society's solar sail spacecraft will lift off 22 June 2019 on a mission to demonstrate the power of sunlight for propulsion.

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