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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Rests on Big Find, Opportunity Finishes Half-Marathon on Way to Endeavour

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2010/06/30 12:00 CDT

With winter still freezing the southern hemisphere of Mars, June might have been an uneventful month for your average working robot, but not the Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs). In fact, from the sounds of silence to a major discovery to an injury scare, the rovers' latest trials, tribulations and achievements, have turned the last four weeks into something of an emotional roller-coaster for some members of the MER team.

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Dawn Journal: Dawn 9.0

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2010/06/30 08:24 CDT

A new version of the Dawn spacecraft is continuing the ambitious journey through the asteroid belt to uncharted distant worlds.

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Saturn's hexagon is not unique

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/29 11:49 CDT

It turns out that Saturn's not the only place that displays geometrical shapes in its atmosphere. Earth does too.

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LightSail 1 Passes Critical Design Review

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2010/06/28 05:01 CDT

LightSail 1, the Planetary Society's new ultra-light Cubesat-based solar sail spacecraft, has passed its Critical Design Review.

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Elephant Skin on the Moon

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/28 11:23 CDT

There's a name for that funny hummocky texture to the lunar landscape: "elephant skin."

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LightSail 1 Passes Critical Design Review

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2010/06/25 12:00 CDT | 1 comments

LightSail 1, the Planetary Society's new ultra-light Cubesat-based solar sail spacecraft, has passed its Critical Design Review.

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Bill Takes a Job

Posted by Bill Nye on 2010/06/25 11:56 CDT

Bill gives an introduction about his feelings on his new position here at The Planetary Society.

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One month, one journal, so many missed space stories!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/24 10:53 CDT

Or: Emily reads you the table of contents of Icarus.

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Sunrise on Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/23 10:50 CDT

Here is a photo crafted from data that are nearly as old as I am, showing a beautiful sunrise on Mars.

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Likely candidate for an un-collapsed lava tube

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/21 03:11 CDT

In February, the Chandrayaan-1 science team had a meeting in Ahmedabad, India, to share their results with each other.

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Going on vacation

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/18 04:35 CDT

Tomorrow the family heads away from home for three weeks, two weeks of which I plan not to work at all.

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Two moons making waves in the rings

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/18 11:22 CDT

Just a pretty picture post, a dramatic Cassini shot on the outer edge of the A ring captured earlier this month.

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Lutetia in Rosetta's sights

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/17 01:31 CDT

It's unimpressive now, but in a few weeks the pinpoint of light at the center of this photo of a starry sky will loom very large to Rosetta's cameras.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Team Announces Major Water Discovery

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2010/06/17 12:00 CDT

Mars Exploration Rover Spirit continued to hibernate this month, parked in place near an old volcanic formation called Home Plate. At the same time though she managed to rove back into the planetary exploration spotlight when a group of the mission scientists announced they had found -- in data from an outcrop the rover visited more than four years ago -- evidence for a past watery environment more suitable for life than any other either Spirit or Opportunity have found, a place where near-pure water existed. 1

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Jupiter's faded belt: It's happened before, and it'll happen again

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/16 05:07 CDT

When I wrote a post about Jupiter's missing South Equatorial Belt in May, I had three main questions: how long did it take for the belt to go away, has this happened before, and how can a planet as big as Jupiter change its appearance so quickly?

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IKAROS' deployable camera captures perfect sail photos and animation!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/15 08:50 CDT

We've already seen IKAROS' view of its deployed sails from cameras attached to the spacecraft, but, in a brilliant idea, the Japanese built IKAROS with two deployable cameras that could view the thing from a distance.

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Is this SMART-1's impact site?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/15 12:44 CDT

Speaking of spacecraft crashing...

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Amigurumi: How I channeled my adrenaline while watching Hayabusa's return

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/14 06:16 CDT

Covering the events of Hayabusa's return involved a lot of watching and waiting. Rather than go blind staring at my computer and cause carpal tunnel syndrome by excessively clicking the refresh button, I decided to...go blind and develop carpal tunnel syndrome by doing some crocheting.

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Hayabusa update: First step for sample capsule return to Japan

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/14 04:39 CDT

Here are a few photos from a Flickr gallery from the Australian Science Media Centre documenting the Hayabusa sample capsule's first step in its journey from Australia to Sagamihara, Japan, where it will arrive on Friday.

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Hayabusa update: Capsule retrieved, heat shield found

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/14 09:20 CDT

The major news on the Hayabusa mission this morning is that JAXA has retrieved the sample capsule!

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