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Testing Sail Deployment

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2011/03/06 11:00 CST | 1 comments

The first full scale deployment of the Planetary Society's LightSail-1 solar sail was conducted on March 4, 2011 at Stellar Exploration in San Luis Obispo, California.

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Glory Lost - But Its Mission Must Go On

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2011/03/04 01:16 CST

Another painful loss to NASA's mission to study Earth from space: Today a Taurus XL rocket failed to lift the Glory satellite into Earth orbit when its clam-shell nosecone refused to open, forcing the rocket and its payload into the southern Pacific Ocean.

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Public service announcement: How to use Wget to grab the 2011 LPSC abstracts

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/03/03 05:08 CST

The Lunar and Planetary Science Conference is happening next week. The sessions and abstracts are all in PDF format, so it's tiresome to access them online; I much prefer to download them all to my computer and browse them locally.

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What does decommissioning a spacecraft entail?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/03/03 12:47 CST

In my last couple of posts about the Stardust spacecraft, which is now basically out of fuel after a remarkably successful extended mission to comet Tempel 1, I've mentioned that it's soon to be decommissioned. A reader asked me: what does it mean to decommission a spacecraft?

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Endeavour on Opportunity's horizon: Are we there yet?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/03/02 03:45 CST

Last week the Mars Exploration Rover team dumped another 90 sols' worth of data from Mars into NASA's Planetary Data System, the national repository for space mission data. As I did once before, I dove into this fresh pile of data to pull out Opportunity's color views of the distant rim of Endeavour crater.

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Explore the Moon in 3D through the Chandrayaan-1 TMC image data set

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/03/01 02:29 CST

Data from two of the cameras aboard Chandrayaan-1 are now available through the ISRO Science Data Archive (ISDA), a new(?) site that is being established to host the data from ISRO's deep-space missions.

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Map the world's light pollution by participating in GLOBE at Night

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/03/01 11:48 CST

Now in its sixth year, GLOBE at Night is a citizen science program that marshals the eyes of thousands of people around the world once a year to assess the degree to which light pollution diminishes our views of starry skies.

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