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Blog Archive

 

Chang'e 3 undergoing thermal vacuum testing

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/05/09 10:48 CDT | 5 comments

China's lunar lander and rover are undergoing some of their last major tests and so are nearly ready for launch.

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DSS 35: Watch the construction of the next big dish!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/05/08 11:23 CDT

You can watch via webcam as the next Deep Space Network radio antenna -- DSS 35, in Tidbinbilla, Australia -- gets its dish.

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Saving the Planet can be Exciting!
The Asteroid Emergency Response Tabletop Exercise at the Planetary Defense Conference

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/05/07 05:02 CDT

Planetary Radio for the week of May 6 visits the Planetary Defense Conference one last time to join a "tabletop" simulation of a killer asteroid threat.

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Thoughts on Kiera Wilmot: Mentor curiosity to create future scientists

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/05/03 12:30 CDT | 32 comments

Please bear with me -- this blog entry has nothing to do with planets but a lot to do with society. For the last two days, my Twitter feed has been roiling with outrage about the story of Kiera Wilmot.

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New Deep Impact Hartley 2 data set

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/05/03 09:59 CDT | 7 comments

Just messing around with a recently released processed version of the Deep Impact Hartley 2 data set.

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Planetary Society Weekly Hangout (Special Time): MESSENGER at Mercury with Larry Nittler, Fri May 3 5pm PDT / midnight UTC

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/05/02 07:00 CDT | 2 comments

Note the special time! In this week's Planetary Society hangout at 5pm PDT / midnight UTC, I'll talk with MESSENGER deputy principal investigator Larry Nittler about what MESSENGER has accomplished in its prime and extended missions at Mercury, and what it stands to do if awarded a mission extension.

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Pluto's seasons and what New Horizons may find when it passes by

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/05/02 03:42 CDT | 5 comments

New Horizons might see a Pluto with a northern polar cap, a southern polar cap, or both caps, according to work by Leslie Young.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Emerges from Solar Conjunction to Wrap-Up Work on Matijevic Hill
Sols 3266 - 3295

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2013/05/02 03:15 CDT | 1 comment

As the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) team waited out solar conjunction, Opportunity spent most of April atop the western rim of Endeavour Crater, conducting a chemical analysis of an ancient waterborne vein on Matijevic Hill. It was by the book until the last week of the month when the robot field geologist suffered an electronic "hiccup" known as a warm re-boot, and went into auto mode, a kind of safe mode when something doesn't go right.

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Dawn Journal: A low-orbit shortcut to Ceres

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2013/05/02 02:11 CDT

Marc Rayman's latest Dawn Journal explains why Dawn is currently closer to the Sun than both Ceres and Vesta.

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The White House Science Fair and an Earful for Bolden

Posted by Bill Nye on 2013/05/01 11:53 CDT | 10 comments

I meet the future of science in the United States, and I speak directly to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden about my concerns for Planetary Science funding.

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Planetary Society Hangout: Naming Bennu, with Mike Puzio and Dante Lauretta

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/05/01 09:51 CDT | 2 comments

In this week's Hangout, Emily Lakdawalla hosted Mike Puzio and Dante Lauretta in a discussion about the naming of OSIRIS-REx' asteroid target.

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We have a winner! The OSIRIS-REx asteroid's name is: Bennu!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/05/01 09:37 CDT

We received more than 8000 entries from all over the world in the Name That Asteroid contest, and we can finally announce the winner. The asteroid formerly known as 1999 RQ36 is now formally named (101955) Bennu, for a heron associated with the Egyptian god Osiris.

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