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Nearly the last view of Endeavour with its life-blood flowing

Posted by Ben Cooper on 2012/04/08 11:59 CDT

After 12 years of photographing the space shuttle, and even getting to work for NASA as a photographer for the final three years of the program, I never had the privilege of going inside the cockpit until the program was over.

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A possible nine-planet system

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/04/06 04:06 CDT | 1 comment

Someone on Twitter pointed me to a paper recently posted to ArXiv titled "Evidence for 9 planets in the HD 10180 system." If the (tentative) conclusion holds up, HD 10180 will be the first exoplanetary system known to have more planets than our own.

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Where is space?

Posted by Andrew Rush on 2012/04/06 11:25 CDT

Obviously the Earth ends and space begins somewhere, but today, as it has been for the entirety of humanity's manned and unmanned exploration of "up there", there is no international legal definition of space, no clear indication of where space law applies! This ambiguity is a potential source of confusion and unease for aerospace companies.

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Pretty picture: Janus and Saturn

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/04/04 12:15 CDT

In the last few days as it's rounded periapsis in its current orbit of Saturn, Cassini has taken a lot of great photos of Saturn's moons. One series of photos was taken from pretty close to Janus, a moon about a third the diameter of Enceladus that orbits between the F and G rings. And among those, several were taken with the moon sitting in front of Saturn.

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Nichelle Nichols and the Nerd-in-chief

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/04/03 11:02 CDT

I got this wonderful photo from Nichols' Twitter after Mike Okuda retweeted it.

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What Saturn's moons can tell us about comets (Notes from LPSC 2012)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/04/03 05:20 CDT

My notes on a two-part presentation by collaborators Jim Richardson and David Minton about the sizes of things in the Kuiper belt, a story they told by looking at Saturn's moons. How does that work? What connects Saturn's moons to the Kuiper belt is craters.

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An update on Opportunity, and a plea for some volunteer desktop publishing help

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/04/03 05:00 CDT | 2 comments

A. J. S. Rayl has just posted her monthly update on the goings-on at Meridiani planum, noting that the update recaps the 99th month of the Mars Exploration Rover mission. There's a lot of detail on how the radio-tracking campaign is going. While she's not driving, Opportunity's acting like a lander, with radio antennas on Earth performing Doppler tracking to allow very fine measurement of Mars' orbital motion.

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