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Blog Archive

 

A million people in 40 to 100 years: SpaceX unveils plan to colonize Mars

Jason Davis • September 27, 2016

After much anticipation, Elon Musk revealed his plans to colonize Mars. Here are the details, some questions yet to be answered, and a few thoughts on how this could change the way we think about human spaceflight.

Rosetta end-of-mission event schedule

Emily Lakdawalla • September 27, 2016

A schedule of what to expect during Rosetta's final hours September 29 and 30, and how you can follow online.

New Findings are Conclusive: Europa is crying out for exploration

Casey Dreier • September 26, 2016

New scientific findings add to the evidence that Europa is spouting its liquid ocean into space. NASA has a mission to Europa in the works, but it wouldn't launch for at least a decade. Congress can make it faster, but it all depends on whether they can pass a budget this year.

Juno and Marble Movie update at Apojove 1

Emily Lakdawalla • September 22, 2016

Juno is on its second of two long orbits around Jupiter, reaching apojove (its farthest distance from the planet) today.

Where to find rapidly released space image data

Emily Lakdawalla • September 21, 2016

Interested in playing with recent space image data? Here's a list of places to get the freshest photos from space.

Five things we learned from our #RocketRoadTrip

Jason Davis • September 21, 2016

We're back from our #RocketRoadTrip through four states with NASA field centers involved in the agency's Journey to Mars program. We'll be sorting through our material for quite some time, but meanwhile, here are five key things we learned.

Some beautiful new (old) views of Neptune and Triton

Emily Lakdawalla • September 20, 2016

Beautiful new amateur work with 27-year-old Voyager data.

Promise, Transition, and Transformation

Casey Dreier • September 19, 2016

After 10 days, four NASA centers, two contractors, and hundreds of miles, Casey Dreier shares his initial reflections on the state of NASA's Space Launch System rocket and its future.

Women on Spacecraft Missions: Are we moving towards parity with the percentage in the field?

Julie Rathbun • September 16, 2016

How far have we come and how far do we still need to go to welcome women into planetary science, and, particularly, spacecraft missions?

Successful launch for China's Tiangong-2 space station

Emily Lakdawalla • September 15, 2016

Today, China launched its second modular space station, Tiangong 2.

One year remains in the Cassini mission

Emily Lakdawalla • September 15, 2016

Cassini ends a year from today, which is sad. But the final year of the mission is going to be awesome.

Gaia's first galaxy map

Emily Lakdawalla • September 14, 2016

The astronomy world is abuzz today because of ESA's announcement of the first release of data from the Gaia mission. Gaia is a five-year mission that will eventually measure the positions and motions of billions of stars; this first data release includes positions for 1.1 billion of them, and proper motions for 2 million.

A deep dive into the highest-resolution Voyager Jupiter data

Björn Jónsson • September 14, 2016

A few weeks before the first Juno high resolution imaging, I decided to take a look at Voyager color images at various resolutions, with particular attention to high-resolution mosaics.

Cassini's camera views of Titan's polar lakes in summer, processed into pseudocolor

Emily Lakdawalla • September 12, 2016

Titan's north polar lakes are well-lit by summer sun in these recent Cassini images. Image processing enthusiast Ian Regan shares his recipe for processing the longer-wavelength Titan images into visually pleasing "pseudocolor."

Rosetta end-of-mission update

Emily Lakdawalla • September 09, 2016

The European Space Agency has shared plans for the end of the Rosetta mission scheduled for September 30, just three weeks from now. The landing site will be located on the "head" of the comet, next to a prominent pit now named Deir el-Medina.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 4482 - September 2, 2016

Larry Crumpler • September 09, 2016

Opportunity is about to leave Marathon Valley for good and head south into the next valley, marking the beginning of the current extended mission plan.

OSIRIS-REx blazes into evening sky, starting journey to asteroid Bennu

Jason Davis • September 08, 2016

NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is safely en route to asteroid Bennu following an evening liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Carrying names of 440,000 well-wishers, OSIRIS-REx ready for journey to Bennu and back

Jason Davis • September 07, 2016

OSIRIS-REx is ready to begin its journey to Bennu and back. The asteroid was named by a Planetary Society contest winner, and the spacecraft bears the names of 440,000 well-wishers.

Philae spotted on the surface of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Emily Lakdawalla • September 06, 2016

Ever since its landing, Philae has been elusive. It went silent just three days later and never returned any more science data, though it made brief contact with the orbiter last summer. Now, just a month until the planned end of the Rosetta mission, the orbiter has finally located the lander in a stunning high-resolution view of the surface.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Gets in the Groove, Wraps Science Marathon Valley

A.J.S. Rayl • September 05, 2016

Opportunity got in the groove at Endeavour Crater in August finishing the last of her science assignments in Marathon Valley.

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