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Chang'e 3 update: Both rover and lander still alive at the end of their eighth lunar day

Emily Lakdawalla • July 21, 2014

Despite the fact that it hasn't moved for 6 months, the plucky Yutu rover on the Moon is still alive. Its signal is periodically detected by amateur radio astronomers, most recently on July 19. A story posted today by the Chinese state news agency offers a new hypothesis to explain the failure of the rover's mobility systems.

Trundling Across the Moon

Mark Robinson • July 11, 2014

High resolution images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera detail the 1973 path of the Soviet rover Lunokhod 2.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's Ongoing Adventure

Samuel Lawrence • May 29, 2014

A few people think that when it comes to the Moon, because we’ve “been there, and done that,” there is nothing new left to discover. But that viewpoint could not be farther from the truth!

The Planetary Society Supports NASA's Asteroid Initiative

Casey Dreier • May 27, 2014

The Planetary Society strongly supports NASA's asteroid initiative, including the goal of redirecting an asteroid to the vicinity of the Moon. But an independent cost estimate is needed, and needed soon.

A new Earthrise over the Moon from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's pushframe camera

Emily Lakdawalla • May 13, 2014

Earth's brilliant colors shine above the drab lunar horizon in this new "Earthrise" photo from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. An animation that accompanied the image release helped me to write an explainer on how pushframe cameras like Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's Wide-Angle Camera works.

Another Day in the Solar System

Bill Dunford • May 12, 2014

One day, five worlds.

Days before its crash, LADEE saw zodiacal light above the lunar horizon

Emily Lakdawalla • April 23, 2014

LADEE ended its mission as planned with a crash into the lunar surface on April 17. Just days prior, it turned its star tracker camera toward the lunar horizon and captured a striking series of images of the lunar sunrise and zodiacal light.

Forensic Ballistics: How Apollo 12 Helped Solve the Skydiver Meteorite Mystery

Philip Metzger • April 21, 2014

What can a 45-year-old mission to the Moon tell us about a "meteorite" flying past a skydiver on Earth?

The End of Opportunity and the Burden of Success

Casey Dreier • April 15, 2014

The Opportunity rover and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter are both zeroed out in NASA's 2015 budget. Learn why these missions face the axe and why the White House is forcing NASA to choose between existing missions and starting new ones.

Yutu Update

Phil Stooke • April 10, 2014

We don’t hear a lot at the moment about Chang’E 3 and Yutu, the Chinese lander and rover which were all over the news a few months ago. But Phil Stooke has been collecting news online and in person last month at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference and now tries to put it all together and address the current state of the mission.

Commander Dave Scott's Masursky Lecture from LPSC 2014

Emily Lakdawalla • April 04, 2014

A video of Apollo astronaut David Scott's lecture to the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. His talk was an absolute treat: funny, educational, engaging, full of joy at his adventure, though at the end, a little angry that we've not sent more humans back. It's well worth 45 minutes of your time.

NASA's LADEE Spacecraft to Fly Through an Eclipse, Crash into the Lunar Surface on April 21st

Casey Dreier • April 04, 2014

LADEE, NASA's latest robotic lunar spacecraft, will reach its planned end-of-mission on April 21st, when it will crash on the far side of the Moon.

Fireworks in the Earth's Sky Sent from the Moon: Reflections from LPSC 2014

Deepak Dhingra • April 03, 2014

Deepak Dhingra reports on presentations from this year's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference focusing on how impacts on the Moon have affected Earth.

Snapshots of Science from the 2014 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

Emily Lakdawalla • March 25, 2014

Vignettes from dozens of LPSC talks: GRAIL and LADEE at the Moon; ice and craters and conglomerates and organics and gullies on Mars; polar deposits and volatile elements on Mercury; tectonics on Enceladus; and more, until my brain was so full I could barely speak.

Moonwalking

Bill Dunford • March 18, 2014

Get an astronaut's view into several lunar craters.

Checking in on Chang'e 3 and Yutu from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter: Yep, still there!

Emily Lakdawalla • March 04, 2014

Seeing hardware that was built by human hands sitting on the surface of another planet never, ever gets old. Today, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera team released two new images of Chang'e 3 and Yutu on the Moon.

Pretty pictures of terraced craters on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • February 27, 2014

Check out this unusual crater on Mars. It's not a very big one, less than 500 meters in diameter, and yet it has two rings. Most craters on Mars this size are simple bowl shapes. What's going on here?

Sunset on Chang'e 3's third lunar day: Yutu not dead yet, but not moving either

Emily Lakdawalla • February 24, 2014

During the third lunar day of Change'3 surface operations the lander operated normally, performing ultraviolet astronomy and imaging Earth's plasmasphere. The rover's instruments were working, but the rover did not move.

A Spin Through the Inner Solar System

Bill Dunford • February 24, 2014

Animated maps of the planets show the spheres in motion.

Intro Astronomy Class 3: Telescopes, the Moon

Bruce Betts • February 21, 2014

Explore optical, radio, and space telescopes and the Moon in the video of class 3 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

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