More than eight years after leaving Earth behind for an ambitious deep space adventure, the Dawn mission has now collected all of the data originally planned. Chief Engineer and Mission Director Marc Rayman brings us an update.
Welcome to my monthly inventory of the 20-plus spacecraft actively exploring our solar system. Highlights of this month include the impending launch of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter and Schiaparelli lander, currently planned for March 14, and the resumption of regular VMC Mars images by Mars Express.
The Planetary Society's solar sailing CubeSat has a new designation: LightSail 2. To celebrate the name change, we're releasing a new video showing footage from a late January sail deployment at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Emily is back to work on her Mars Science Laboratory book, which has a new publication date and a new title.
Image processing enthusiast Ian Regan produced a pretty view of Titan's lake-filled north pole, now visible to Cassini's cameras in the summer sun.
Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/02/23 12:35 CST
SpaceX is launching the SES-9 communications satellite to geostationary transfer orbit. But the company says a successful first stage drone ship landing is "not expected."
Early this morning, Scott Kelly and Tim Kopra released a trash-filled Cygnus cargo spacecraft from the International Space Station. Orbital ATK flight controllers will send Cygnus into Earth's atmosphere for a controlled reentry Saturday morning.
Inspired by the Mars Webcam on Mars Express, ESA's Cluster mission has turned on a camera on the Cluster spacecraft for the first time since their launch more than 15 years ago. UPDATE: It has now acquired images of Earth.
NASA's New Budget Would Gut Europa But Otherwise Support Planetary Exploration
All these worlds are yours, except for...
It’s clear that the President’s budget officers really don’t want to fund a mission to Europa. Other than that, the proposed Fiscal Year 2017 budget submitted by the President last week to Congress would be great for planetary exploration.
Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/02/17 12:09 CST
The SLS core stage pathfinder is a 65-meter-long, full-size mockup of the actual rocket's main section. Just like SLS, building, assembling and utilizing the pathfinder involves multiple contractors and NASA centers around the southern U.S.
Data Dump: NASA's Planetary Science Program By the Numbers
We comb through NASA budget documents so you don't have to
We provide you the gritty budget breakdown by program and mission for NASA's Planetary Science Division.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/02/16 01:30 CST
Recently, space image processing enthusiast Thomas Appéré noticed that Curiosity had taken five photos of exactly the same spot on the rim of Gale crater, identical but for being taken at different times of day. That spot was due north of the rover, so the rising and lowering Sun illuminates the rounded hummocks of the crater rim differently from early morning to early afternoon.
When the Mars 2020 rover lands, we may finally hear the first audio recordings from the Martian surface.
Posted by Erin Greeson on 2016/02/12 08:00 CST
OK Go just dropped their most spectacular - and daring - music video yet, “Upside Down & Inside Out.” Filmed in microgravity over many parabolic flights in Russia, “Upside Down & Inside Out” sets a new precedent for what’s possible as artists consider our future in space.
Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2016/02/11 07:19 CST
Opportunity is continuing to explore the outcrops Marathon Valley, on the west rim of Endeavour crater.