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Blog Archive

 

Dawn Journal: Staying warm en route to Ceres

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2013/03/30 10:05 CDT | 4 comments

Marc Rayman's latest Dawn journal explains the temperature adjustments engineers make to save power and keep the spacecraft warm.

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A Major Political Victory for The Planetary Society
New Funds for 2013 Restore $223 million to Planetary Science at NASA

Posted by Bill Nye on 2013/03/29 02:18 CDT

The Planetary Society just achieved a major victory in our efforts to ensure strong funding for NASA’s planetary exploration.

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Field Report From Mars: Sols 3237-3262 - March 4–29, 2013

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2013/03/29 11:27 CDT

Flash memory or computer problems oddly occurred on both Curiosity and Opportunity around Feb 27. One possibility is that a large solar flare resulted in radiation at Mars sufficient to temporarily corrupt the memory on both rovers.

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Curiosity update, sol 227: Some sharpshooting and a dusty deck

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/29 10:50 CDT | 4 comments

Curiosity is back to science operations, though the activities are limited in scope by the fact that conjunction is fast approaching. Here's a couple of neat images from sol 227.

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Planetary Society Weekly Hangout: Reports from the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/28 02:00 CDT | 5 comments

On Thursday at noon PDT / 1900 UTC I'll report on some of my favorite findings from LPSC, and answer your questions about the latest planetary science.

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LPSC 2013: watery Martian minerals

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/28 12:26 CDT | 3 comments

Some interesting results from the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference on clay minerals on Mars and what they might mean about ancient water.

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An editorial on the LPSC 2013 oral sessions

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/28 12:26 CDT | 6 comments

In which I complain just a little bit about talks at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

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What's Going On with NASA Education and Public Outreach?
Sequestration claims its next victim at NASA.

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/03/28 12:18 CDT | 3 comments

Sequestration claims its next victim at NASA, as all Education and Public Outreach activities are suspended until further review.

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[Updated] Senate Bill Restores $223 million to NASA's Planetary Science Division
A step in the positive direction, but far from certain

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/03/27 05:15 CDT | 4 comments

The President signed the Senate's bill to fund the government for the remainder of 2013, and it includes some positive news for NASA's Planetary Science division, which is facing a 21% cut.

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LPSC 2013: License to Chill (or, the solar system's icy moons)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/27 11:52 CDT

Reports from the March 19 session at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference covering eight icy moons in the outer solar system: Ganymede, Europa, Dione, Rhea, Mimas, Tethys, Enceladus, and Miranda.

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ALMA Adventure--Complete Interviews With Planetary Radio Guests

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/03/26 12:33 CDT | 6 comments

The extended, mostly unedited recordings of my conversations with many of the people I spoke to at the ALMA Observatory in Chile. Also, the full English translation of Chilean President Sebastian Pinera's speech.

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LPSC 2013: Future Planetary Exploration

Posted by Van Kane on 2013/03/26 12:20 CDT | 2 comments

Last week, planetary scientists gathered for the 44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Only a tiny fraction of the presentations at LPSC dealt with future missions. Even so, this is still one of the best sources for insights into details of missions under development. In this post, I’ll cover some of the abstracts for the presentations that give a flavor of the breadth of the proposals.

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LPSC 2013: The Smaller They Are, The Better They Shake

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/25 08:04 CDT | 1 comment

Really cool movies from Jim Richardson propose to explain how the same physics of impact cratering can produce such differently-appearing surfaces as those of the Moon, large asteroids like Eros, and teeny ones like Itokawa.

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A Different Angle on Mars

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/03/25 11:53 CDT

A new slant on Martian landscapes from Mars Global Surveyor.

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A Victory for Exploration
Planetary Science Funding is Restored for 2013

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/03/21 10:22 CDT | 8 comments

We celebrate success as Congress passes a bill that restores funding to NASA's Planetary Science program, allowing for more missions, begins a mission to Europa, and funds Plutonium fuel development.

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LPSC 2013: Do we have a meteorite from Mercury?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/21 06:14 CDT | 7 comments

Before yesterday, my answer to this question would be "no." Now my answer is "probably." But it's not clear if we know which of the meteorites in our collections is from the innermost planet.

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LPSC 2013: Sedimentary stratigraphy with Curiosity and Opportunity

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/20 04:19 CDT | 4 comments

A mind-boggling quantity of information is being presented at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. In my first report from the meeting, I try to make sense of the Curiosity and Opportunity sessions.

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Planetary Society Weekly Hangout: the Giant ALMA Observatory, and Asteroid Tracking

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/03/20 01:31 CDT

Bruce Betts, Mat Kaplan, and asteroid tracker Robert Holmes on the Planetary Society Weekly Google Hangout. Mat discussed and showed pictures from his trip to the giant ALMA observatory and we'll be joined by asteroid tracker extraordinaire, Robert Holmes.

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Let’s Reckon Time Together
Observe the Shadow of Our EarthDial

Posted by Bill Nye on 2013/03/20 12:51 CDT | 2 comments

The EarthDial project was born in 2004, and we’re bring it back again for the Curiosity mission. It’s a sundial visually reminiscent of the MarsDials, but exactly ten times as big. We encourage you to set up your own EarthDial, rig up a webcam, and post the images. In the coming weeks, we’ll coordinate the EarthDials from around the world, just as we did for a few years after the Spirit & Opportunity landings. It’s a remarkable project that can engage individuals, classrooms, or entire schools. The price of webcams has come way down in recent years. So, we’re hopeful that several readers of this blog will give it a try.

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Messages of Wonder

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/03/18 04:22 CDT

Some lovely, rarely-seen images from the MESSENGER mission.

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