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An Eventful 2012

Casey Dreier • December 31, 2012

We threw a number of great events for our members and the public. Here's a list of some of my favorite, with links to ways to see or hear them yourself.

Tiptoeing Towards the Edge

Casey Dreier • December 27, 2012

NASA's Planetary Science Division looks to lose about $100 million in addition to the deep cuts already proposed for 2013.

SpaceX's Grasshopper makes leap toward reusability

Jason Davis • December 26, 2012

SpaceX's Grasshopper rocket passed its most ambitious test flight yet, rising 12 stories before hovering and settling gently back down onto its landing pad.

Pretty picture: Jupiter photo from an unusual source

Emily Lakdawalla • December 26, 2012

A recently launched Earth-observing satellite is using the stars to practice its pointing, and caught a neat animation of Jupiter.

New crew arrives at station for holidays

Jason Davis • December 21, 2012

The ISS is back to a six-person crew following the arrival of NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield and Russian Federal Space Agency cosmonaut Roman Romanenko.

Who is the photographer behind Mars rover photos? Answer from Mark Lemmon

Mark Lemmon • December 21, 2012

A Mars imaging scientist answers the question: who is the "photographer" behind images returned from Mars?

Planetary Radio Live Celebrates Curiosity/Truly Haute Cuisine!

Mat Kaplan • December 20, 2012

Listen to or watch the webcast recorded Saturday, December 15th with MSL Project Manager Richard Cook and Project Scientist John Grotzinger. Bonus: enjoy a neat little French animation.

Planetary Society Weekly Hangout, Thu Dec 20 1200PT/2000UT: Making Titan in the laboratory with Sarah Hörst

Emily Lakdawalla • December 19, 2012

Join us for our weekly Google+ Hangout Thursday at noon PT / 2000 UT. This week, I'm excited to have as a guest Sarah Hörst. Sarah is a postdoc at the University of Colorado whose current line of research involves experimental work on the complex atmospheric chemistry of Titan. She is also applying to be an astronaut!

Mars Express VMC resumes raw data posting

Emily Lakdawalla • December 19, 2012

ESA brought Mars Express' VMC back online in May, but hasn't been posting the images. This week, they launched a new process to release VMC images automatically to a Flickr page.

Chilly liftoff sends veteran crew into orbit

Jason Davis • December 19, 2012

Three veteran space travelers are safely in orbit following a 6:12 p.m. (7:12 a.m. EST, 1212 UTC) liftoff from Baikonur, Kazhakstan Wednesday.

My ever-popular asteroids-and-comets montage, now in color, with bonus Toutatis

Emily Lakdawalla • December 18, 2012

My collage of all the asteroids and comets visited by spacecraft is probably the single most popular image I have ever posted on this blog. I've now updated it to be in color and to include Toutatis.

Where We Stand: The year in advocacy and what's ahead for 2013

Casey Dreier • December 16, 2012

We've had a very busy year defending funding for NASA's Planetary Science division.

Watch Planetary Radio LIVE on Saturday!

Mat Kaplan • December 15, 2012

Watch the live show at 2pm Pacific on Saturday, December 15 to see Bill Nye, Emily Lakdawalla and the leaders of the Mars Science Laboratory rover mission.

Chang'E 2 imaging of Toutatis succeeded beyond my expectations!

Emily Lakdawalla • December 14, 2012

The Chang'E 2 mission flyby of Toutatis succeeded in acquiring images. Oh my goodness, did they succeed. These, in combination with the incredible radar images still being acquired from Goldstone and innumerable optical observations, make Toutatis one of the best-studied asteroids in the solar system.

Forty years after Apollo 17's final footsteps

Andrew Chaikin • December 14, 2012

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the last human footsteps on the Moon. In my latest video I look back at Apollo 17 and explain why I believe the Moon is the solar system's "jewel in the crown," beckoning us to return.

How GRAIL will meet its end

Emily Lakdawalla • December 13, 2012

The twin GRAIL spacecraft are nearly out of fuel, and are being directed to a controlled impact near the north pole on the near side of the Moon on December 17. Before the end, though, they did some cool things, including flying within 2000 meters of mountaintops, and catching video of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in flight.

Planetary Society Hangout Thursday noon PT / 2000 UT: GRAIL's Demise, Curiosity Arrives, and the 2020 Rover Surprise

Casey Dreier • December 13, 2012

Join us for our weekly hangout and catch up on GRAIL, Curiosity, and the future Mars rover.

North Korea launches first satellite

Jason Davis • December 12, 2012

North Korea successfully launched their first satellite from the Sohae Satellite Launching Station at 9:49 a.m. local time Wednesday.

Crowdsourcing the Andromeda Galaxy

Jason Davis • December 11, 2012

Scientists would like your help starting at high-resolution images of the Andromeda Galaxy captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.

More recommended nonfiction and activity space books for children

Emily Lakdawalla • December 11, 2012

My final set of reviews of children's books for 2012: five recommended nonfiction books for a range of ages.

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