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In Houston

Emily Lakdawalla • February 28, 2010

Despite the best efforts of many different kinds of gremlins, I have managed to arrive in Houston to attend the 41st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, at least the first 2.5 days of it.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Parks for Winter, Opportunity Tastes Chocolate Hills

A.J.S. Rayl • February 28, 2010

As winter put the freeze on in the southern hemisphere of the Red Planet, the Mars Exploration Rovers slowed down a bit, but continued throughout February to demonstrate the mettle that made them famous: Spirit successfully drove backwards, parked in place for the season, then continued working, as Opportunity roved through rock debris on a cruise around the rim of Concepcin Crater.

Dawn Journal: Forever Farther From Earth Than the Sun

Marc Rayman • February 26, 2010

Pushing ever farther into space, deeper into the asteroid belt, Dawn is continuing to progress smoothly on its solar system journey.

Welcome news on DSN upgrades

Emily Lakdawalla • February 25, 2010

I've written before about a serious problem looming for planetary exploration: the aging infrastructure of NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN).

What's up in the solar system in March 2010

Emily Lakdawalla • February 24, 2010

I am getting an early start on this month's "What's Up" post because March is going to start with a bang.

Cassini at Enceladus: Baghdad's Glowing Canyon

Emily Lakdawalla • February 23, 2010

The Cassini mission released a pile of images today from the super-close flyby of Enceladus that happened on November 21.

A Chat on NASA, NEOs, and the Cost of Coffee on the Moon

Susan Lendroth • February 22, 2010

We wanted to share a few highlights from Lou Friedman's and Bill Nye's UStream chat on The New NASA Plan.

Pretty picture: Mini-RF exposes lunar geology

Emily Lakdawalla • February 22, 2010

There are all kinds of neat things to see in this recently released image from the Mini-RF synthetic aperture radar instrument aboard Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Hello, snowman! (Cassini observes Iapetus)

Emily Lakdawalla • February 19, 2010

I visited the Cassini raw images site today and was pleased to see another couple of sets of images have been captured on Iapetus.

NSRC: Engaging the Interested Public

Emily Lakdawalla • February 19, 2010

I gave a presentation this morning to the Next-generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) on "Social Networking Planetary Science."

Recording of today's UStream chat with Bill Nye and Lou Friedman available

Emily Lakdawalla • February 18, 2010

As I mentioned on Tuesday, we organized a UStream chat today where Bill Nye and Lou Friedman discussed the proposed NASA budget.

Lovely album of photos from WISE

Emily Lakdawalla • February 17, 2010

Today the Wide-field Survey Explorer (WISE) team released a small album of beautiful astrophotos.

Carnival of Space #141

Emily Lakdawalla • February 17, 2010

Wander on over to StarryCritters for the 141st Carnival of Space!

Cassini tour page updated for the Solstice Mission

Emily Lakdawalla • February 16, 2010

My enormously long page describing the details of Cassini's tour -- each and every Cassini orbit of Saturn -- is now updated to include the entire Solstice Mission, which doubles its length.

Cassini eyes the eyeball

Emily Lakdawalla • February 16, 2010

On Saturday, Cassini flew within 9,500 kilometers of Mimas, the innermost of the medium-sized icy moons of Saturn.

Inside the U.N.'s Near Earth Object Working Group

Bruce Betts • February 15, 2010

This week Bruce Betts is attending a U.N. meeting in Austria, in particular the parts focused on international considerations of the near-Earth object threat.

Revolutionary NASA Solar Explorer Roars to Space

Ken Kremer • February 15, 2010

Planetary Society volunteer Ken Kremer reports for us from the Kennedy Space Center, where he is covering the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour, set to launch this weekend.

Calypso coolness

Emily Lakdawalla • February 14, 2010

Cassini got pretty close to Calypso yesterday, on the way in to Mimas. Calypso is one of the smaller moonlets of Saturn.

Planetary Society Researcher Max Rocca Discovers Largest Impact Crater in South America

Amir Alexander • February 13, 2010

It was January of 2004 when the elegant curve of the Vichada first caught the attention of geologist Max Rocca of Buenos Aires. Could the course of the river have been shaped by the circular outlines of an impact crater? Rocca decided to find out.

Twenty years since Voyager's last view

Emily Lakdawalla and Charlene Anderson • February 12, 2010

On Sunday comes the twentieth anniversary of an iconic image from the Voyager mission: the "Pale Blue Dot" photo of Earth caught in a sunbeam, which was captured by Voyager 1 as part of a Solar System Family Portrait.

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