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Planetary Resources' Crowdfunded Space Telescope

Emily Lakdawalla • May 31, 2013

A fan-funded space telescope, usable by the public? It's an awesome idea, and it appears that a wide swath of the public agrees. Planetary Resources, headed by president and chief engineer Chris Lewicki, announced a Kickstarter project yesterday, with the goal of raising $1 million toward one of their ARKYD space telescopes.

Say "hi!" to asteroid -- actually, asteroids -- (285263) 1998 QE2

Emily Lakdawalla • May 30, 2013

A large asteroid is passing reasonably close to Earth in a few hours, and astronomers at the great radio telescopes at Goldstone and Arecibo are zapping it. The latest discovery: QE2, like many asteroids, is a binary.

Implementing Missions Within Budget—Good News

Van Kane • May 30, 2013

Last decade, cost overruns on a number of planetary missions stretched NASA's budget. Recent missions have stayed within budget, but the cost of fiscal discipline may mean staying close to home.

Finding faces and animals on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • May 30, 2013

This week's "lizard" or "rat" on Mars is just the latest of a never-ending stream of so-called discoveries of animate and inanimate objects in images returned from the Red Planet. I challenge you readers to find more such objects in one Curiosity panorama.

Planetary Defense Conference 2013 Part 2

Bruce Betts • May 29, 2013

Second part of a three part wrap up to April's Planetary Defense Conference: a report on Planetary Shoemaker NEO Grant related activities and people at the Planetary Defense Conference 2013

Express Soyuz sends new crew to station

Jason Davis • May 29, 2013

Fyodor Yurchikhin, Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano lifted off in their Soyuz TMA-09M at 4:31 p.m. EDT and arrived at the International Space Station six hours later.

Lesser-known views of Uranus and Neptune

Emily Lakdawalla • May 28, 2013

Despite the fact that Voyager 2 returned relatively few high-resolution images from either Uranus or Neptune, there are many more photos in the archives than regularly make it to public view.

The Shores of the Kraken Sea: Great Place Names in the Solar System

Bill Dunford • May 28, 2013

Nothing reflects the romance of deep space exploration more than the evocative names of places on the planets and moons.

Astronomy Enters a New Era

Mat Kaplan • May 26, 2013

A live conversation about just a few of the powerful new instruments that will revolutionize our knowledge of the cosmos once again.

Mars Exploration Rovers Special Update: Opportunity's Findings at Endeavour, So Far

A.J.S. Rayl • May 25, 2013

Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity left Cape York on May 14th and embarked on a 2-kilometer journey south along the western rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is heading now to Solander Point, where it will spend the coming Martian winter.

Planetary Defense Conference 2013 Part 1

Bruce Betts • May 24, 2013

First part of a 3 part wrap up to April's Planetary Defense Conference: a very brief review of the status of research in asteroid threat related fields based on the conference, report on special activities at the conference, and links to video and audio related to the conference.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 3317- May 24, 2013

Larry Crumpler • May 24, 2013

Opportunity finally started driving south from its location on the outcrop where it had been since solar conjunction.

Friday fun: Every moon in the solar system in an homage to Tom Lehrer

Emily Lakdawalla • May 24, 2013

A girl named Hope Johnson performing an homage to Tom Lehrer's "The Elements" in song and ukelele, except instead of the elements, she's singing the names of all the named moons in the solar system. Check it out!

NASA Administrator Highlights Advanced Propulsion Systems at JPL

Casey Dreier • May 23, 2013

Charles Bolden stopped by JPL to highlight research being done on advanced propulsion techniques that would be used in the proposed asteroid retrieval mission.

Statement from the AAS on Proposed Elimination of NASA Science Education & Public Outreach Programs

Emily Lakdawalla • May 23, 2013

The American Astronomical Society has issued a strongly worded statement against NASA's proposed elimination of its education and public outreach programs, and I agree with it.

Asteroids – what you can do

Alex Karl • May 23, 2013

Partnering with our friends from The Planetary Society, the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), whose members hail from all over the globe, is bringing you an update on our activities and something you can join in on—at least if you are a student or young professional aged 18–35.

No NASA Operating Plan Yet

Casey Dreier • May 23, 2013

NASA has still not sent its operating plan to Congress. Rumors of the agency reprogramming away all of the additional funding to Planetary Science remains just rumors.

Planetary Society Hangout: Advocacy Update

Casey Dreier • May 23, 2013

The Planetary Society just returned from a major political advocacy trip out to D.C. what did we do and what did we achieve? What's going on with the current funding situation regarding Planetary Science and NASA at large? How does the asteroid retrieval mission help or hurt planetary exploration goals? What's the larger plan and what are the consequences if cuts continue?

Report from the Starship Century Conference: Tuesday

Jon Lomberg • May 22, 2013

This week Jon Lomberg is attending the Starship Century conference, which brings together scientists, writers, and futurists to imagine the future of interstellar travel. Here he reports on presentations by Freeman Dyson, Peter Schwartz, Robert Zubrin, Geoff Landis, Neal Stephenson, and Patti Grace Smith.

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