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Blog Archive

 

The Mapping of Pluto Begins Today

Posted by Mark Showalter on 2015/03/20 12:12 CDT | 7 comments

When New Horizons flies past Pluto in July, we will see a new, alien landscape in stark detail. At that point, we will have a lot to talk about. The only way we can talk about it is if those features, whatever they turn out to be, have names.

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Report: NASA May Be Hard-Pressed to Launch SLS by November 2018

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/03/20 12:11 CDT | 2 comments

A report released by NASA’s Office of Inspector General warns that the agency may be hard-pressed to have its Kennedy Space Center launch facilities ready by November 2018.

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Announcing: Planetary TV!

Posted by Merc Boyan on 2015/03/20 10:55 CDT | 1 comments

Planetary Society Media Producer Merc Boyan presents our new video resource.

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LPSC 2015: First results from Dawn at Ceres: provisional place names and possible plumes

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/03/19 06:29 CDT | 6 comments

Three talks on Tuesday at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference concerned the first results from Dawn at Ceres. Chris Russell showed a map of "quads" with provisional names on Ceres, Andreas Nathues showed that Ceres' bright spot might be an area of plume-like activity, and Francesca Zambon showed color and temperature variations across the dwarf planet.

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LPSC 2015: "Bloggers, please do not blog about this talk."

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/03/19 06:29 CDT | 4 comments

One presenter at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference asked the audience not to blog about his talk because of the embargo policy of Science and Nature. I show how this results from an incorrect interpretation of those policies. TL;DR: media reports on conference presentations do not violate Science and Nature embargo policies. Let people Tweet!

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Launch Pad Animals, Ranked

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/03/19 02:37 CDT

A semi-authoritative ranking of creatures that co-inhabit rocket launch sites around the world.

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Slides from the LPSC 2015 Session on the Community Response to NASA's Budget Request

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/03/19 11:50 CDT

The Planetary Society helped organize a community response to the latest NASA budget at the 2015 meeting of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

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LPSC 2015: Philae at comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/03/18 04:05 CDT | 2 comments

In my first post from the 2015 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, I discuss the latest work on Philae images, and some cometary polymers.

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How Do We Know When We Have Collected a Sample of Bennu?

Posted by Kevin Walsh on 2015/03/17 04:19 CDT | 1 comments

A huge amount of effort goes into deciding where to try to collect a sample on Bennu. There are roughly nine months to survey, map and model the asteroid to help make this decision.

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LightSail Featured on CBS Evening News

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/03/16 10:02 CDT | 2 comments

The Planetary Society's LightSail spacecraft made an appearance on national television Monday night during a two-minute segment by CBS Evening News.

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At LPSC this year? Come to this special session on NASA's budget
Tuesday, March 17th, 12pm at the Montgomery Ballroom

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/03/16 11:44 CDT

For those of you who are here at LPSC 2015, we’ve organized a special session at noon on Tuesday, March 17th in the Montgomery Ballroom to bring together representatives from the three major professional organizations that represent planetary scientists to address your questions and concerns about NASA's 2016 budget request.

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Is the Opportunity Rover a Mission 'Whose Time Has Passed'?
No.

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/03/15 08:56 CDT | 11 comments

The NASA Administrator declared that the Opportunity rover is a mission 'whose time has passed' and will be defunded next year. Will Congress act to save it?

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Adding Churyumov-Gerasimenko to my scale comparison of comets and asteroids

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/03/13 05:47 CDT | 4 comments

Having found a color photo of the comet, I finally added Churyumov-Gerasimenko to my scale comparison of comets and asteroids visited by spacecraft.

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If it's March, it must be LPSC

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/03/13 01:09 CDT | 2 comments

Next week is the 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC), and Emily Lakdawalla will be attending to tweet and blog about news from Rosetta; Curiosity; MESSENGER; GRAIL; Chang'e 3; Dawn; New Horizons; Cassini; and more.

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An internal ocean on Ganymede: Hooray for consistency with previous results!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/03/12 07:25 CDT | 8 comments

A newly published paper confirms a subsurface ocean at Ganymede. An ocean there was already suspected from its magnetic field and predicted by geophysics; new Hubble data confirms it, and even says it is in the same place we thought it was before. Such consistency is rare enough in planetary science to be worth celebration.

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In Pictures: Expedition 42 Crew Returns to Earth

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/03/12 07:46 CDT

Three International Space Station crew members are back on Earth today following a morning Soyuz landing on the snowy steppes of Kazakhstan.

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NASA and Orbital ATK Complete SLS Booster Test (Updated)

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/03/11 11:02 CDT | 1 comments

A blast of fire and smoke lit up the hills of Promontory, Utah this morning as NASA and Orbital ATK completed a test firing of a Space Launch System solid rocket booster.

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What to expect when you're expecting a flyby: Planning your July around New Horizons' Pluto pictures

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/03/10 07:06 CDT | 13 comments

As New Horizons approaches Pluto, when will the images get good? In this explainer, I tell you what images will be coming down from Pluto, when. Mark your calendars!

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Interview with an SLS Engineer: How Booster Test May Help Drive Golden Spike for Interplanetary Railroad

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/03/10 02:59 CDT

With NASA and Orbital ATK preparing for an important test tomorrow in Utah, an SLS engineer describes the inner workings of the vehicle's new solid rocket boosters.

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LightSail Arrives in Florida; More Launch Details Revealed

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/03/09 04:32 CDT | 3 comments

A cadre of CubeSats including The Planetary Society’s LightSail spacecraft completed a cross-country journey to Florida, where they await installation aboard an Atlas V rocket.

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