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

A.J.S. Rayl • June 30, 2010

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.

Dawn Journal: Dawn 9.0

Marc Rayman • June 30, 2010

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

Saturn's hexagon is not unique

Emily Lakdawalla • June 29, 2010

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

LightSail 1 Passes Critical Design Review

Louis D. Friedman • June 28, 2010

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

Elephant Skin on the Moon

Emily Lakdawalla • June 28, 2010

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

LightSail 1 Passes Critical Design Review

Louis D. Friedman • June 25, 2010

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

Bill Takes a Job

Bill Nye • June 25, 2010

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

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

Emily Lakdawalla • June 24, 2010

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

Sunrise on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • June 23, 2010

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

Likely candidate for an un-collapsed lava tube

Emily Lakdawalla • June 21, 2010

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

Going on vacation

Emily Lakdawalla • June 18, 2010

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

Two moons making waves in the rings

Emily Lakdawalla • June 18, 2010

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

Lutetia in Rosetta's sights

Emily Lakdawalla • June 17, 2010

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.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Team Announces Major Water Discovery

A.J.S. Rayl • June 17, 2010

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

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

Emily Lakdawalla • June 16, 2010

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?

IKAROS' deployable camera captures perfect sail photos and animation!

Emily Lakdawalla • June 15, 2010

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.

Is this SMART-1's impact site?

Emily Lakdawalla • June 15, 2010

Speaking of spacecraft crashing...

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

Emily Lakdawalla • June 14, 2010

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.

Hayabusa update: First step for sample capsule return to Japan

Emily Lakdawalla • June 14, 2010

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.

Hayabusa update: Capsule retrieved, heat shield found

Emily Lakdawalla • June 14, 2010

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

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