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Blog Archive

 

Dawn Journal: Bonus Plans

Marc Rayman • March 31, 2017

Now in its third year of orbiting a distant dwarf planet, a spacecraft from Earth is as active as ever. Like a master artist, Dawn is working hard to add fine details to its stunning portrait of Ceres.

A letter from Bill Nye: Why we're marching for science

Bill Nye • March 30, 2017

The Planetary Society is joining the March for Science. Bill Nye is serving as an honorary co-chair, and our organization is an official partner. Here's why we're marching, and how to join us.

Your hypothetical questions, answered: SpaceX prepares to refly rocket booster

Jason Davis • March 28, 2017

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket booster recovered by a drone ship last year will be reflown later this week, marking what could be a new milestone in the quest for affordable spaceflight.

New treasures from Juno: Jupiter dazzles during fourth close approach

Björn Jónsson • March 27, 2017

Image processor Björn Jónsson shares some of his latest stunning images of Jupiter, created using data from NASA's Juno spacecraft.

Juno just flew past Jupiter for the fifth time. What have we learned from the mission so far?

Anna Scott • March 27, 2017

There's no verdict quite yet on the giant planet's core, and scientists are still gathering clues about the accuracy of our current solar system formation models.

Here's our exhaustive guide to Trump's 392-word NASA budget

Casey Dreier • March 23, 2017

We break down every sentence from Trump's new NASA budget, so you don't have to.

A repeat of the space shuttle's bold test flight? NASA considers crew aboard first SLS mission

Jason Davis • March 23, 2017

NASA has only flown astronauts aboard a rocket's first flight once, when John Young and Bob Crippen took space shuttle Columbia on the boldest test flight in history. What are the risks of repeating the feat for SLS?

Unraveling a Martian enigma: The hidden rivers of Arabia Terra

Joel Davis • March 21, 2017

Arabia Terra has always been a bit of a martian enigma. Planetary scientist Joel Davis takes us on a tour of its valley networks and their significance in telling the story of water on Mars.

Signed, sealed but not delivered: LightSail 2 awaits ship date

Jason Davis • March 20, 2017

Following a pre-ship review at Planetary Society headquarters, LightSail 2 is ready to be integrated with its Prox-1 partner spacecraft. The final shipping schedule, however, has yet to be determined.

Trump's first budget proposal is out. Here's how NASA fared

Jason Davis • March 16, 2017

NASA escaped a large-scale budget slash, and planetary science fared well. ARM is canceled, the Moon-versus-Mars debate is not mentioned, and Earth science stands to lose some missions.

Postcard from Kentucky: Space in the Bluegrass State

Wayne Hall • March 16, 2017

In Kentucky, some very driven people are writing their own chapter of space exploration based on vision, entrepreneurial risk, and scientific and engineering know-how. Wayne Hall shares their stories.

Nerds Solving Problems - NSTA 2017, Los Angeles

Bill Nye • March 14, 2017

Every year, teachers and educators gather by the thousands at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Conference. We at The Planetary Society will be there again this year to share our love of space science and exploration with the people who are shaping the future—people like you.

You’ve met Saturn’s ravioli-shaped moon, Pan. Now learn how it was discovered

Mark Showalter • March 13, 2017

Planetary astronomer Mark Showalter tells the story of when he became the first human to ever set eyes on Saturn's strange moon Pan in 1990.

Field Report from Mars: Sol 4662 - March 6, 2017

Larry Crumpler • March 11, 2017

For nearly two years, Opportunity's world has been tilted 10–25 degrees as it drove down to the lower slopes of the wall of Endeavour Crater. Toward the end of last week, Opportunity pulled itself up and over the lip of the crater.

Cassini, with only a half-year to go at Saturn, just keeps dropping awesome images

Jason Davis • March 09, 2017

Our latest roundup of Cassini goodies from Saturn includes Pan, a ravioli-shaped moon that orbits inside the planet's ring system.

NASA, ISS partners quietly completing design of possible Moon-orbiting space station

Anatoly Zak • March 09, 2017

Could NASA and its international partners construct a space station in orbit around the Moon? Possible designs are being finalized, but the Trump administration has yet to weigh in on the agency's human spaceflight program.

This company launches balloons to the edge of space. Will the business float?

Jason Davis • March 08, 2017

World View, a self-described “stratospheric exploration” company, recently unveiled its new headquarters in Tucson, Arizona.

MAVEN dodges Phobos, with (maybe) a little help from Curiosity

Emily Lakdawalla • March 06, 2017

This week MAVEN had to execute a short rocket burn in order to prevent a future collision with Phobos. Curiosity (and other rovers) may have played a role in those trajectory predictions.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Reaches Top of Endeavour Rim, Wraps Cape Tribulation

A.J.S. Rayl • March 03, 2017

Driving the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission further into its fourteenth year of surface operations, Opportunity continued hiking the slopes of Cape Tribulation in February and finally reached the crest of Endeavour Crater’s western rim.

SpaceX plans to send tourists around the Moon in 2018. Here's why that may not happen

Jason Davis • March 03, 2017

Two private citizens are paying SpaceX for a 2018 flight around the Moon. Is that timeline realistic?

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