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The Space Computer and the Beautiful Worlds

Bill Dunford • June 30, 2013

An "Up Goer 5" tribute to the Cassini mission.

ARKYD Kickstarter Finale Webcast

Bill Nye • June 28, 2013

Bill Nye will be at Seattle's Museum of Flight Sunday, June 30, 2013 from 3-7pm PT for the closing celebration webcast of the Arkyd 100 space-based telescope project.

IRIS safely in orbit, ready to eye sun's atmosphere

Jason Davis • June 28, 2013

IRIS, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph spacecraft, was launched from Orbital Science Corporation's Stargazer carrier aircraft over the Pacific Ocean at 7:27 p.m PDT.

We Need Space-Based Detection of Threats, but NASA Shouldn't Pay for It

Casey Dreier • June 27, 2013

Early detection is a crucial step in preventing or mitigating threats from space, but it's not NASA's job.

Planetary Society Hangout: Arkyd Telescopes, Planetary Resources, Chris Lewicki

Bruce Betts • June 27, 2013

We talked to Chris Lewicki, President of Planetary Resources, about their upcoming Arkyd telescopes including one for the public, asteroid mining, and more. Hosted by Bruce Betts with Jennifer Vaughn.

Stationkeeping in Mars orbit

Emily Lakdawalla • June 27, 2013

It had never occurred to me to think about geostationary satellites in Mars orbit before reading a new paper by Juan Silva and Pilar Romero. The paper shows that it takes a lot more work to maintain a stationary orbit at an arbitrary longitude at Mars than it does at Earth.

What would Earth's skies look like with Saturn's rings?

Jason Davis • June 26, 2013

Illustrator and author Ron Miller visualizes what we would see in our skies if Saturn’s majestic rings circled the Earth.

Worlds in Collision

Bill Dunford • June 25, 2013

Meet some worlds that were nearly shattered, literally.

Russians start workweek with stroll outside ISS

Jason Davis • June 25, 2013

Cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Alexander Misurkin performed a six-and-a-half hour spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Monday.

How radar really works: The steps involved before getting an image

Alessondra Springmann • June 24, 2013

Arecibo Observatory is known for its 1000-foot diameter telescope and its appearances in Goldeneye and Contact. Aside from battling Bond villains and driving red diesel Jeeps around the telescope (grousing at the site director about the funding status of projects is optional), several hundred hours a year of telescope time at Arecibo go toward radar studies of asteroids.

Astrophotographer captures 'Heavenly Palace' transiting the Sun

Jason Davis • June 24, 2013

Astrophotographer Thierry Legault captured a striking image set of Chinese spacecraft Tiangong 1 and Shenzhou 10 transiting the Sun.

Programming Note: Off for 3 weeks, June 23 to July 14

Emily Lakdawalla • June 23, 2013

Hi folks, just a note to let you all know I am off for a 3-week vacation.

Is Opportunity near Lunokhod's distance record? Not as close as we used to think!

Emily Lakdawalla • June 21, 2013

A few weeks ago, a press release from the Opportunity mission celebrated Opportunity's surpassing of the previous NASA off-world driving record. That record was set in December 1972 by the Apollo 17 astronauts aboard their Lunar Roving Vehicle. They seem very close to Lunokhod 2's stated 37-kilometer driving record, but hold your horses -- we now know Lunokhod went longer than we thought.

Welcome to new staff

Emily Lakdawalla • June 20, 2013

Just a quick post to announce that The Planetary Society's staff is expanding! I am so excited to be able to say that.

If we started today, how long would it take to get to Mars? With this budget, never.

Casey Dreier • June 19, 2013

The House of Representatives held a hearing today to discuss their proposed NASA authorization bill, which would fund Planetary Science, cut Earth Science, forbid asteroid retrieval, and command NASA to pursue a path to Mars via the Moon.

Enormously detailed photo of Kasei Valles from Mars Express

Emily Lakdawalla • June 19, 2013

ESA celebrated the tenth anniversary of Mars Express' launch with a several-day science meeting during which they issued lots of press releases and numerous spectacular photos. My favorite of them all is this enormous image of Kasei Valles on Mars.

A Little Moonlight

Bill Dunford • June 19, 2013

From far away, or from so near you could almost touch it, the moon is beautiful.

Woohoo! The LEGO Curiosity rover is going to be a kit!

Emily Lakdawalla • June 18, 2013

The awesome LEGO Curiosity rover designed by Stephen Pakbaz is going to go into production!

Goodnight, Herschel Space Observatory

Jason Davis • June 18, 2013

The European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory received its final commands yesterday, having depleted the liquid helium required to make its infrared observations.

Favorite space images: "Many Worlds"

Emily Lakdawalla • June 17, 2013

For this evening's Planetary Radio Live event, Mat Kaplan asked me to do a presentation of some favorite space images. I told him that picking favorite space images is like picking favorite children; it's not possible because they're all my favorite. To narrow things down, I decided to explore a theme: "Many Worlds."

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