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Big Sky Country

Ryan Anderson • July 31, 2010

Well folks, I'm headed off to Big Sky Country tomorrow (aka Montana)! I'll start the week at the MSL camera team meeting, where I will get all sorts of cool news about the MastCam, MAHLI and MARDI cameras which I will not be able to share with you.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Sleeps Soundlessly, Opportunity Turns a Corner

A.J.S. Rayl • July 31, 2010

Winter lingers in the southern hemisphere of the Red Planet, but the Sun is beginning to rise higher in the sky and temperatures are slowly rising, signs the Mars Exploration Rovers are heading into spring. While Spirit continued hibernating, Opportunity took in the warmth of the Sun, captured its first dust devil, and picked up the pace in Meridiani Planum on the long journey to Endeavour Crater. Together, the rovers marked six and a half years of exploration.

JPL begins actively hailing Spirit -- but is trying to manage your expectations (an editorial)

Emily Lakdawalla • July 30, 2010

Spirit hasn't talked to Earth since March 22 -- so what new information could they have received that would make them pronounce Spirit's possible death? Is there some new analysis of the last bit of telemetry? Some new model indicating Spirit's survival was less likely than previously thought?

Update on the NASA Authorization Bill

Louis D. Friedman • July 30, 2010

Yesterday, the Planetary Society issued a statement about the request that the U.S. House of Representatives suspend the rules when voting on the NASA Authorization bill, saying, in part, "The future of the space program is too important to rush through a controversial change in policy.

Umbra in Paradise: The July 11, 2010 Planetary Society Solar Eclipse Expedition

Jim Bell • July 30, 2010

If you've never seen a total eclipse of the Sun, make sure to put one on your bucket list!

What's up in the solar system for August 2010

Emily Lakdawalla • July 29, 2010

It seems it'll be a relatively routine month for our solar system explorers (if one can ever consider the exploration of an entire solar system by billion-dollar artificially intelligent robots "routine!")

MSL Roves!

Ryan Anderson • July 28, 2010

I'm a little late on this, but I thought I should share the news: MSL now has a good head and neck on its shoulders, and has officially "roved".

Dawn Journal: A Year from Vesta

Marc Rayman • July 28, 2010

Dawn is flying smoothly through the asteroid belt, now less than a year from entering orbit around Vesta, the first of its two cosmic destinations.

New crater found in LROC image from the Moon

Emily Lakdawalla • July 27, 2010

This news is no surprise, but I think it's the first such discovery I've heard of: the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) team has identified a new crater on the Moon, one that wasn't there when Apollo 15 flew over.

New Horizons images Jupiter again

Emily Lakdawalla • July 27, 2010

Three years after New Horizons flew past Jupiter on its way to Pluto, the spacecraft has imaged the giant planet again.

Voyager at Saturn, one year later

Emily Lakdawalla • July 27, 2010

Here are two newly processed portraits of Saturn, showing the planet just after its equinox.

LightSail team learns from IKAROS successes

Louis D. Friedman • July 26, 2010

Last week, Bill Nye and I attended the International Solar Sail Symposium at the New York College of Technology.

LightSail team learns from IKAROS successes

Louis D. Friedman • July 26, 2010

While we were in New York for the International Solar Sailing Symposium last week, we held a meeting with the Japanese IKAROS team to discuss technical results and issues in our two projects.

A little chuckle for your Monday morning

Emily Lakdawalla • July 26, 2010

During Friday's first roll for Curiosity, there was a lot of banter in the Ustream chat room about all the bunny-suited engineers waving at the cameras and mugging for portraits with the rover. One chat room member, "Mirek," said the engineer should -- well, you can see what he requested; just watch the video.

Curiosity rolls!

Emily Lakdawalla • July 23, 2010

Enjoy my extremely low-tech animation of Curiosity's first "steps"! Six wheels rolling on Earth -- let's go for six wheels rolling on Mars!

A spectacular new global map of Mars, which YOU can make even better

Emily Lakdawalla • July 23, 2010

I am such a nerd. This new map of Mars just brought tears to my eyes. Honestly.

Live camera on Curiosity in JPL clean room all day today

Emily Lakdawalla • July 23, 2010

Tune in to Ustream right now to see Curiosity, the next Mars rover, on its wheels in the "High Bay" at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Watching the birth and death of moonlets in Saturn's F ring

Emily Lakdawalla • July 22, 2010

The Saturn system is always in motion, always changing. Saturn itself is a gas giant, with swirling storms, and like the other gas giants it has a host of moons flying around, perturbing each other's motions. And then there's the rings.

Critical partnerships for the future of human space exploration

Andre Bormanis • July 21, 2010

Exploring the current debate in the context of these three partnerships might help illuminate how future human expeditions beyond LEO will be carried out.tical partnerships for the future of human space exploration

Color portrait of asteroid 21 Lutetia

Emily Lakdawalla • July 21, 2010

Since it doesn't look like the Rosetta mission is going to be releasing any color versions of their Lutetia close-encounter images any time soon, I figured it was time to make one.

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