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In Pictures: Expedition 41 Crew Returns to Earth

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/11/10 09:33 CST

The crew of Expedition 41 is safely back on Earth following a 165-day stay aboard the International Space Station.

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Interstellar: The movie that deserves to be called “Gravity”

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2014/11/09 07:24 CST | 7 comments

Mat Kaplan gives his thoughts on the newest space film to hit theatres, "Interstellar."

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Hunting Binary Asteroids

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/11/07 05:31 CST

Thanks to The Planetary Society’s Shoemaker NEO Grant program, a new telescope has been brought to bear focusing on searching for and understanding the properties of binary asteroid systems.

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An Early Preview of Orion's Maiden Voyage

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/11/07 11:24 CST | 4 comments

NASA's Orion spacecraft is just four weeks away from its first test flight. Here's an early preview of the mission.

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TPS at DPS: A Screening of Desert Moon, Advocacy with Casey Dreier, and a Sagan Lecture

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/11/06 04:00 CST | 3 comments

The Planetary Society will be well-represented at next week's Division for Planetary Sciences meeting in Tucson, Ariz.

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Philae landing preview: What to expect on landing day

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/11/05 04:15 CST | 8 comments

Earth's first-ever landing on a comet is a week away. On November 12 at 8:35 UT, Philae will separate from Rosetta. Seven hours later, it will arrive at the surface of the comet. Hopefully, Philae will survive the landing, and begin to return data.

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The Consequences of the 2014 Midterm Elections for NASA
Some priority shifts, but there is unlikely to be a major change the direction of the space program

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/11/05 02:36 CST | 17 comments

A Republican Senate will not drastically change the course of the nation's space program, though it will likely see less funding for NASA and a difficult path forward for the Asteroid Retrieval Mission.

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Undeniable Commitment to Education, Empowerment & Understanding the Cosmos

Posted by Erin Greeson on 2014/11/04 06:07 CST | 2 comments

Today, The Planetary Society celebrates our CEO Bill Nye’s latest science education feat: the release of his book, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation. Erin Greeson, The Planetary Society's director of communications, tells us about it.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Images Comet, Ducks Storm, Departs Ulysses
Sols 3800 - 3829

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2014/11/04 10:02 CST

As winds whirled and converged to the west of Endeavour Crater, Opportunity's power dropped dramatically in October, but the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) pressed on. By month's end, the robot field geologist had completed her assignments – including capturing the first close-in shot of a comet from the surface of the Red Planet – and was roving onward through the darkness, driving the mission into the 130th month of what started out more than 10-and-a-half years ago to be a 3-month tour.

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Fall Issue of The Planetary Report is Here!

Posted by Donna Stevens on 2014/11/04 08:14 CST

The fall issue of The Planetary Report has mailed and is on its way to our members’ doors. Those of you who prefer an electronic file, or a preview of the printed copy, can pick it up online.

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Seven Mars spacecraft attempted observations of comet Siding Spring. How did they go?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/11/03 04:03 CST | 6 comments

It's been two weeks since comet Siding Spring passed close by Mars, and six of the seven Mars spacecraft have now checked in with quick looks at their images of the encounter. I round up all the results.

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Chang'e 5 test vehicle flying on to Earth-Moon L2

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/11/03 12:21 CST | 3 comments

The Chang'e 5 test vehicle service module did not follow the sample return capsule into Earth's atmosphere. Instead, it successfully performed a divert maneuver, and is now on its way to the Earth-Moon L2 point

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SpaceShipTwo Feathering System Prematurely Deployed before Fatal Breakup

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/11/03 11:33 CST | 1 comments

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo disintegrated shortly after the space plane's tail stabilizers prematurely deployed, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

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Dawn Journal: Ion thrusting (or not)

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2014/11/02 02:30 CST | 8 comments

Marc Rayman gives the latest update on the Dawn mission, focusing this time on the performance of its ion propulsion system.

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Chang'e 5 test vehicle "Xiaofei" lands successfully

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/10/31 06:23 CDT | 1 comments

The Chang'e 5 test vehicle landed successfully in Inner Mongolia today after an 8-day mission. It demonstrated technology that China plans to use for automated sample return by the Chang'e 5 mission in 2017.

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[Update 1] Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Destroyed in Testing Accident, 1 Dead, 1 Injured

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/10/31 02:25 CDT | 2 comments

The private spaceflight company's spaceplane was destroyed in an accident over California's Mojave Desert.

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The Art of Planetary Science

Posted by Dante Lauretta on 2014/10/31 11:52 CDT

On October 17-19, 2014, the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory on the University of Arizona campus hosted the second annual Art of Planetary Science exhibition. This exhibition featured works of art inspired by the solar system, alongside works by scientists created from their scientific data.

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A (Difficult) Day in the Solar System

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2014/10/30 10:05 CDT | 13 comments

After a bad day on the launch pad, some perspective.

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LightSail Vibration Test Shakes Loose New Problems

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/10/30 02:56 CDT | 2 comments

LightSail's random vibration test, meant to simulate the stress of an Atlas V rocket launch, shook loose new problems that the team will have to address.

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Hayabusa 2 nearly ready for launch: Photos from Tanegashima, and new artist's renderings

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/10/30 10:15 CDT | 2 comments

On October 27, JAXA provided media with an opportunity to view the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft at the Tanegashima space center, where it's making final preparations for launch. Koumei Shibata was there, and took several photos. And artist Go Miyazaki has shared several terrific new renderings of the spacecraft in flight.

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