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Blogs

Blog Archive

 

Ceres Gets Real; Pluto Lurks

Posted by Paul Schenk on 2015/03/27 04:10 CDT

Although we are still along way from understanding this fascinating little body, Ceres is finally becoming a real planet with recognizable features! And that's kinda cool.

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Four Ideas to Bust the Floor on Outer Planet Mission Costs

Posted by Van Kane on 2015/03/26 08:25 CDT | 7 comments

The road to lower costs outer planet missions has been paved by NASA’s first two New Frontiers missions, the $700M New Horizons mission to Pluto and the $1.1B Juno mission to Jupiter. But can the cost of a mission to the outer solar system be cut to $450M, the limit for a Discovery mission?

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LPSC 2015: Aeolian Processes on Mars and Titan

Posted by Nathan Bridges on 2015/03/26 04:05 CDT

Planetary scientist Nathan Bridges reports on results from the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference about the action of wind on the surfaces of Mars and Titan.

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LPSC 2015: MESSENGER's low-altitude campaign at Mercury

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/03/25 07:55 CDT | 3 comments

At last week's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, the MESSENGER team held a press briefing to share results from the recent few months of incredibly low-altitude flight over Mercury's surface. The mission will last only about five weeks more.

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Meet NASA's Winning Asteroid Redirect Spacecraft, and the Asteroid It May Visit

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/03/25 05:52 CDT | 6 comments

NASA has decided to pluck a small boulder off a large asteroid, instead of bagging an entire asteroid outright, the agency announced Wednesday.

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One-Year ISS Mission Preview: 28 Experiments, 4 Expeditions and 2 Crew Members

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/03/25 10:13 CDT

This Friday, astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will embark for a one-year mission aboard the International Space Station.

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Prometheus, Pandora, and the braided F ring in motion

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/03/23 05:19 CDT

Cassini recently took a long, high-resolution movie of the F ring, catching a view of its ringlets, clumps, and streamers, and two potato-shaped moons, Prometheus and Pandora.

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Desert Moon, Narrated by Former Astronaut Mark Kelly, Now Available Online

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/03/23 10:00 CDT | 1 comments

Desert Moon, a 35-minute documentary that tells the story of Dr. Gerard Kuiper and the dawn of planetary science, is now available online.

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Mars Academy

Posted by Paul Hayne on 2015/03/21 03:55 CDT

A new project—"Mars Academy"—aims to expand the cosmic horizon and offer a broader sense of opportunity for at least one group of underprivileged children in an impoverished neighborhood in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

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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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