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On LightSail 1 launch anniversary, team prepares successor craft for day-in-the-life test

Jason Davis • May 20, 2016

One year ago today, LightSail 1 rode an Atlas V rocket into space. Now, the program stands on the brink of another major milestone, as engineers prepare for a full systems test of LightSail 2, a successor CubeSat that will attempt the first controlled solar sail flight in low-Earth orbit.

Akatsuki begins a productive science mission at Venus

Emily Lakdawalla • May 19, 2016

Japan's Akatsuki Venus orbiter is well into its science mission, and has already produced surprising science results. The mission, originally planned to last two years, could last as many as five, monitoring Venus' atmosphere over the long term.

Lockheed Proposes to have Humans Orbiting Mars by 2028

Casey Dreier • May 19, 2016

Lockheed Martin proposed a system to send humans to orbit Mars in the year 2028—a concept that shares many core values with The Planetary Society's report, Humans Orbiting Mars, we released last year.

Pretty Pictures of the Cosmos: The Eye of Sauron

Adam Block • May 18, 2016

Astrophotographer Adam Block shares his latest image, this time of a menacing spiral galaxy.

ExoMars Rover Seeks Exit From Dire Straits

Anatoly Zak • May 17, 2016

The European Space Agency and Roskosmos have admitted the inevitable—the launch of the joint ExoMars-2018 project will have to be postponed for two years to 2020.

Pictures and video: After dramatic sea rescue, shuttle tank berths safely in San Diego

Jason Davis • May 16, 2016

Two-and-a-half days after a dramatic sea rescue, the tugboat crew hauling a space shuttle fuel tank to California bid farewell to some unexpected passengers last night in San Diego.

Tugboat hauling shuttle tank to California rescues passengers of sunk fishing vessel

Jason Davis • May 13, 2016

The crew of the tugboat hauling the last unflown space shuttle external fuel tank to California reports they have rescued four passengers from a fishing boat that sunk off the coast of Mexico.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 4365 - May 5, 2016

Larry Crumpler • May 13, 2016

Opportunity arrived at its current location on sol 4345 to begin investigation of an outcrop on the crest of a ridge near the west end of Marathon Valley.

Space Exploration: Leaving the Earth to Understand It

Jake Rosenthal • May 13, 2016

Looking back at Earth from beyond helps to give perspective on our place in the cosmos.

State of NASA Earth Observation

Anna Scott • May 12, 2016

Anna Scott gets us up to speed on NASA's Earth-observing missions nearly 60 years into the satellite age.

A feast of new OSIRIS photos from comet 67P

Emily Lakdawalla • May 11, 2016

Last week, the Rosetta mission released a large quantity of science data to the worldwide public, including photos from the mission's close observation phase and the Philae landing.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Sleuths New Site for Smectites

A.J.S. Rayl • May 10, 2016

Opportunity and the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) team pressed on through the Martian winter and spent April sleuthing for clay minerals at the mission’s new site on the southern wall of Marathon Valley.

All the way to orbit: After 35 years, is the RS-25 still the Ferrari of rocket engines?

Jason Davis • May 09, 2016

The RS-25 powered the space shuttle for three decades, and will soon be used on the Space Launch System. Is it still the Ferrari of rocket engines? A deep dive on performance, reliability and the politics of rocket science.

New lunar mosaics emerge as Surveyor digitization project continues

Jason Davis • May 06, 2016

A team of scientists at the University of Arizona continue their efforts to extract data from more than 90,000 images captured during NASA's Surveyor program. In the meantime, new first-look images and an animation have been released.

The what-o-sphere? An explainer

Anna Scott • May 05, 2016

Why do we need to slice up atmospheres into classifications like the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere?

Dawn Journal: A New Angle on Ceres

Marc Rayman • May 04, 2016

Since April 11, instead of photographing the scenery directly beneath it, Dawn has been aiming its camera to the left and forward as it orbits and Ceres rotates to map more of the dwarf planet.

The Giant Volcanoes of Mars

Justin Cowart • May 04, 2016

Justin Cowart shares some spectacular images showcasing Mars' volcanoes from Mars Express.

What's up in the solar system, May 2016 edition: Good news in cruise for Juno and ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter

Emily Lakdawalla • May 03, 2016

May 2016 will be yet another month of fairly routine operations across the solar system -- if you can ever use the word "routine" to describe autonomous robots exploring other planets. ExoMars' cruise to Mars has started smoothly, and Juno is only two months away from Jupiter orbit insertion. Earthlings will witness a Mercury transit of the Sun on May 9.

A Moon for Makemake

Alex Parker • May 02, 2016

The solar system beyond Neptune is full of worlds hosting moons. Now we know that the dwarf planet Makemake has one of its very own.

Future High-Resolution Imaging of Mars: Super-Res to the Rescue?

Alfred McEwen • April 29, 2016

HiRISE Principal Investigator Alfred McEwen explains an imaging technique known as Super-Resolution Restoration (SRR), and how it could come in handy for high-resolution imaging of the Red Planet.

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