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Six wheels on soil for Yutu!

Emily Lakdawalla • December 14, 2013

Here it is! Animated gifs, composed of screen grabs from Chinese state television, of the Yutu rover rolling on to the lunar surface. This was a replay, but it was no less thrilling for that; the actual rollout happened at 20:40 UT (12:40 PT). Six wheels on soil! Woohoo!

Chang'e 3 has successfully landed on the Moon!

Emily Lakdawalla • December 14, 2013

Transmitting images all the way down, China's Chang'e 3 lander successfully arrived on the lunar surface at 13:11:18 -- half an hour before the scheduled landing time. Rover deploy is set for a few hours later.

Chang'e 3 and LADEE updates -- and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, too, for good measure

Emily Lakdawalla • December 05, 2013

Chang'e 3 is just about to land on the Moon, and the LADEE orbiter has begun a new science mission there, while Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is still producing amazing images.

Somewhere Over the Bay of Rainbows

Bill Dunford • December 02, 2013

Pay a visit to the Chang'e 3 lunar landing site.

ARTEMIS Mission Update

Jasper S. Halekas • November 14, 2013

ARTEMIS is a mission that retasked two probes from the 5-spacecraft Heliophysics constellation THEMIS to study the interaction of the Moon with the space plasma environment.

The Strangest Place on the Moon?

Bill Dunford • October 21, 2013

A closer look at the odd lunar feature called "Ina."

Juno's flying by Earth today, and images of the Moon are already on the ground!

Emily Lakdawalla • October 09, 2013

Juno flies past Earth for a gravity assist at 19:22 UTC today, and the first images from the encounter are already on the ground and processed by amateurs!

Relative and absolute ages in the histories of Earth and the Moon: The Geologic Time Scale

Emily Lakdawalla • September 30, 2013

A few days ago, I wrote a post about the basins of the Moon -- a result of a trip down a rabbit hole of book research. Here's the next step in that journey: the Geologic Time Scales of Earth and the Moon.

Dating the Moon's basins

Emily Lakdawalla • September 26, 2013

A paper in press in the Journal of Geophysical Research uses new data from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to update our story for the history of the Moon's massive impacts.

Swan Song

Bill Dunford • September 25, 2013

The final moments of a lunar orbiter, as told in a song composed by the moon itself.

Europe Will Select Its Next Major Science Mission in November

Van Kane • September 25, 2013

The European Space Agency will announce two major science missions this November, one of which is likely to be devoted to solar system exploration.

Go LADEE!

Mat Kaplan • September 10, 2013

Listen to or watch the recording of our live celebration for LADEE as the spacecraft blasted off for the moon.

Watch LADEE Launch to the Moon with The Planetary Society

Mat Kaplan • September 06, 2013

Starting at 7:30pm PDT/10:30pm EDT, we will webcast a special event around the launch of NASA's next lunar spacecraft. Watch our special coverage with lunar scientists and live video from the launch site, as well as NASA TV footage of the launch itself.

China Goes to the Moon and Beyond?

Mat Kaplan • August 27, 2013

Planetary Radio guest Leonard David has been writing about space exploration for more than five decades. He has collected analysis from around the world about China's big plans for space exploration.

The Walls of the Pit

Bill Dunford • August 26, 2013

A deep lunar crater exposes some of the Moon's secrets.

Shadowland

Bill Dunford • August 05, 2013

Seasons, sunlight, and shadow at the Moon's north pole

Terra Cognita

Bill Dunford • July 29, 2013

Pushing back the frontier, and filling in the blank spaces on the map.

Pretty picture: Looking backward

Emily Lakdawalla • July 23, 2013

Here it is: the view from Saturn of our Earthly home, one and a half billion kilometers away. We see Earth and the Moon through a thin veil of faintly blue ice crystals, the outskirts of Saturn's E ring. Earth is just a bright dot -- a bit brighter than the other stars in the image, but no brighter than any planet (like Saturn!) in our own sky.

Earth and Moon from MESSENGER

Emily Lakdawalla • July 22, 2013

A new picture of the Earth-Moon system from MESSENGER, taken the same day we were told to "Wave at Saturn." Updated with a neat photo taken from much closer to Earth from a similar perspective.

Scale comparisons of the solar system's major moons

Emily Lakdawalla • July 10, 2013

A few presentation slides with pretty pictures, sized to scale, of the large moons of the solar system.

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