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Blog Archive


Sweet dreams, Spirit

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/31 06:48 CDT

Spirit had been communicating on a once-per-week schedule in recent weeks. During the designated time for the rover to communicate with NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter passing overhead on March 30, Odyssey heard nothing from the rover.

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What's up in the solar system in April 2010

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/31 12:07 CDT

This month, we can expect lots of cool images of icy moons from Cassini, which will have close encounters with Dione and Enceladus, and more distant encounters with nearly every other iceball flying around the Saturn system inside Titan's orbit.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Begins Hibernation Probably, Opportunity Roves On to Endeavour Crater

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2010/03/31 12:00 CDT

March seems to have come in like a lamb and gone out like a lion on the Red Planet this year as the Mars Exploration Rovers trudged deeper into their fourth winter. While Opportunity finished up work at Concepcin Crater and shifted into gear back on the road to Endeavour Crater, Spirit finished up winter preparations and carried out a limited winter agenda before shifting, it appears, into hibernation mode.

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Downloading the "First Voyage into the PDS" class

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/30 04:07 CDT

Here's how to watch the class on how to access Voyager data through the Planetary Data System, which I conducted to a small audience this morning.

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Dawn Journal: It's Just a Phase

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2010/03/30 12:43 CDT

Our interplanetary adventurer still has a great deal of ion thrusting to complete before it can begin its orbital exploration of Vesta next year.

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Buzz Aldrin on Dancing with the Stars: Week 2

Posted by Abigail Fraeman on 2010/03/30 09:01 CDT

It's the second week of ABC's television program Dancing with the Stars, which means two things: (1) Someone will be getting the boot from the competition on Tuesday night, and (2) Our favorite rocket man had a second chance to prove to judge Bruno Tonioli that he could dance without looking like he was still wearing his moon boots.

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Mimas' cold region: another new mystery for Cassini to explore

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/29 05:19 CDT

This new map of Saturn's moon Mimas -- representing data captured by the CIRS thermal infrared spectrometer during Cassini's February 13, 2010 flyby -- is just baffling.

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Space Imaging 3: First Voyage into the PDS

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/28 11:24 CDT

I've finally caught my breath enough to contemplate starting up my imaging classes again.

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Opportunity's at the twin craters

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/27 05:09 CDT

Just a little update here to post a Navcam panorama from Opportunity showing that the rover successfully arrived yesterday at the doublet crater she's been aiming for since she left Concepcion a couple of weeks ago.

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Happy, happy day: We may see the right MastCam on MSL after all

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/26 12:01 CDT

I heard some absolutely terrific news about the MSL mission yesterday.

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Hayabusa update: Traverse to night-side approach successful

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/26 11:27 CDT

Hayabusa's mission team has successfully shifted the little spacecraft's approach trajectory from the day side to the night side of Earth, a critical maneuver for the survival of the sample return capsule.

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In which I dip my toes into an ocean of Hubble data

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/25 02:21 CDT

I am just drowning in data right now, and I couldn't be happier.

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Opportunity at Concepción from orbit

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/24 03:01 CDT

I saw this image at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference so am happy they released it: a view of Opportunity sitting on the north rim of the little, fresh Concepción crater, taken on sol 2153 (February 13, 2010).

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Carnival of Space #146

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/24 11:43 CDT

Wander on over to Simostronomy for the 146th Carnival of Space!

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What planet is THIS?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/23 01:18 CDT

Check out this watery world! It's clearly a computer simulation of something, but of what? Can you guess?

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Hayabusa update: Last modifications to Earth return trajectory

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/23 01:09 CDT

An update on Hayabusa posted to the JAXA website by project manager Junichiro Kawaguchi.

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Buzz Aldrin on Dancing with the Stars: Week 1

Posted by Abigail Fraeman on 2010/03/23 09:08 CDT

This past Monday night Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin appeared as a contestant on the ABC television program "Dancing the Stars," where he showed off the dancing skills he first perfected as a cadet attending "hops" at West Point (as in, "let's go to the hop.")

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Where neon falls like rain

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/22 05:00 CDT

As if Titan's methane rain weren't weird enough, Jupiter's now thought to have helium-neon rain.

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A new view of Callisto

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/22 04:34 CDT

Here's a lovely amateur-produced color image of Jupiter's moon Callisto, or, as its artist Daniel Macháček calls it, "Titan without weather."

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LROC spots Russian "monument" to International Women's Day

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/19 09:25 CDT

There was a piece of the Lunar-Reconnaissance-Orbiter-spots-the-Lunokhods story that I was intrigued by but just didn't have the time this week to investigate properly.

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