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Blog Archive


We did it -- Shuttle LIFE launches!

Posted by Bill Nye on 2011/05/16 09:39 CDT

Today at 8:56 a.m. EDT, Space Shuttle Endeavour launched on its final mission, and we are part of this historic moment!

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Congratulations to the California Science Center on getting Space Shuttle Endeavour!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/04/13 12:16 CDT

Space exploration is an international endeavor and I usually try to speak as a citizen of Earth rather than one of my nation, state, or city, but I'm going to ask you to indulge me in a little local boosterism today.

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What's up in the solar system in April 2011

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/03/31 03:59 CDT

April 2011 will see MESSENGER begin the science phase of its orbital mission at Mercury, and should, I think, also see the start of Dawn's approach observations of Vesta. At Mars, Opportunity is back on the road again, rolling inexorably toward Endeavour. At Saturn, Cassini will continue its focus on Saturn and Titan science.

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Phobos LIFE gets a ride on Endeavour as Shuttle LIFE!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/03/25 03:52 CDT

The Planetary Society is contributing this thing called the Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment (LIFE) to Russia's Phobos sample return mission -- it's basically a sealed puck with dormant microbes inside that'll fly to Mars and back in the return capsule, and biologists will take a look to see what damage the little bugs suffered during their space journey.

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Uranus and Challenger

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/28 09:21 CST

In the past week there have been 25th anniversaries of two events in 1986, one great, one terrible: the closest approach of Voyager 2 to Uranus on January 24, and the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger upon liftoff on January 28.

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Discovery Launch Scrubbed, Again

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2010/11/05 02:54 CDT

The launch has been scrubbed once again due to a critical hydrogen leak detected once fueling had been underway for a while.

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Days of Downs and Ups

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2010/11/04 10:47 CDT

Discovery has suffered an electrical problem related to one of the main engines. Thanks to delays related to that, and to weather concerns, the launch was scrubbed until Friday at 3:04pm.

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Discovery Launch at T-22 Hours: A Study in Contrasts and Enthusiasm

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2010/11/02 07:51 CDT

Mat Kaplan is at the Kennedy Space Center, 22 hours before shuttle Discovery is due to launch. Parts of the KSC are old and uncared for, while others are at the bleeding edge of space-flight technology.

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Space Shuttle: Not Designed by Hollywood

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2010/11/02 01:42 CDT

A brief musing on the public opinion of the shuttle when it was first unveiled, and now, as it's about to be retired.

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There is something about the space shuttle...

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2010/11/01 06:48 CDT

Mat Kaplan relays his experiences and thoughts as he makes his way to the Kennedy Space Center to witness the launch of the shuttle Discovery.

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Venus, and the Moon, and Atlantis, and ISS, and Magellan

Posted by Pam Chadbourne on 2010/05/14 10:41 CDT

Pam Chadbourne, one of the many engineers who made the Magellan Radar Mapper mission possible, sent this note out to Magellan team members this morning, and graciously permitted me to post it here.

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Discovery's penultimate mission to the Space Station

Posted by Ken Kremer on 2010/04/21 01:09 CDT

Planetary Society volunteer Ken Kremer witnessed the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on its STS-131 mission to the International Space Station in person and filed this report on the successful mission.

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Atlantis and Crew Return Safely to Earth after Rejuvenating Hubble

Posted by Ken Kremer on 2009/05/25 03:57 CDT

Space Shuttle Atlantis and her crew of 7 astronauts glided in to a smooth and triumphant touchdown today, Sunday, May 24.

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