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Congratulations to the Dawn team on their orbit entry & pretty pictures!

Emily Lakdawalla • July 18, 2011

There's a new orbital mission on the map! As of Friday, the relatively small mass of the asteroid Vesta has finally taken hold of its new artificial satellite, Dawn.

Congratulations to Russia on the launch of Spektr-R (RadioAstron)

Louis D. Friedman • July 18, 2011

Good news from Russia today: after 20 years of development they have finally launched their RadioAstron satellite (the official name is Spektr-R) into a high elliptical orbit around Earth.

Video: Top 5 Awesome Things About the Webb Telescope

Emily Lakdawalla • July 15, 2011

With all the turmoil over the House's cancellation of the James Webb Space Telescope it seems an appropriate time to post this YouTube video.

Program and abstracts for DPS/EPSC 2011 now online

Emily Lakdawalla • July 15, 2011

The program and abstracts for the next big space meeting have now been posted, and there's a lot of great stuff to look forward to.

House Committee Votes the Wrong Way? JWST to be Canceled

Charlene Anderson • July 14, 2011

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representative's Appropriations Committee marked up the bill covering NASA's budget that was sent to it by the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Subcommittee, and the results will not make Planetary Society supporters happy.

Origins 2011 conference, part 1

Frank Trixler • July 14, 2011

The Origins 2011 conference, which took place last week in Montpellier, France, was dedicated to the origins of life and its occurrence in the universe. At this meeting, scientists from very different disciplines came together to share their ideas.

The Skirmishing Has Begun

Charlene Anderson • July 12, 2011

Today, 12 July 2011, the Planetary Society submitted into testimony a written statement to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the U.S. House of Representatives for their hearing on NASA's Space Launch System.

A visit with Curiosity

Emily Lakdawalla • July 11, 2011

I had an amazing opportunity back in April: an invitation to go inside the fabled Spacecraft Assembly Facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to see the next Mars rover up close.

Getting Ready for the Next Skirmish: Battle Over NASA Budget Continues

Charlene Anderson • July 08, 2011

Shudders are still rolling through the space-exploration community after the House Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee voted on July 7 to slash NASA's budget by $1.9 billion.

House subcommittee votes to slash NASA

Bill Nye • July 07, 2011

Today the U.S. House of Representative subcommittee charged with appropriating funds to NASA mandated a draconian cut of almost $2 billion from the space agency's proposed budget.

Summary of the fifth MSL landing site selection meeting

Ryan Anderson • July 06, 2011

Well, after three days of fascinating science and heated discussion, the fifth and final MSL landing site workshop has come to a close, and the consensus is -- that all of the sites are pretty darn interesting.

Hubble's Millionth Observation

Bill Nye • July 05, 2011

The Hubble Space Telescope has recorded its millionth observation. The planet is designated HAT-P-7b.

Programming note: One more summer vacation

Emily Lakdawalla • July 04, 2011

I'm headed off today for my other summer vacation, and will again be going totally offline.

Ever closer to Vesta

Emily Lakdawalla • July 04, 2011

Here's a photo of Vesta that was released by the Dawn team on Friday. I didn't post it right away because the version of the image in the official release has some bizarre processing artifacts that make it look as though the image had been made by cutting construction paper.

Latest report from Akatsuki failure review board

Emily Lakdawalla • July 02, 2011

JAXA held a press conference on June 30 about the latest report from the review board that is charged with finding out what exactly caused Akatsuki's failure to enter orbit at Venus, and what that implies for the possibility of Akatsuki to try again when it returns to Venus in 2015 or 2016.

From Earth Orbit to Washington, D.C.

Bill Nye • July 01, 2011

About a week ago, I attended the meeting of an organization I am excited about: the Alliance for Earth Observation. The conference was remarkable.

In Focus retrospective on the shuttle program

Emily Lakdawalla • July 01, 2011

Since jumping from the Boston Globe to the Atlantic with his signature galleries of striking images, Alan Taylor has continued to regularly feature space-themed photos. This week his In Focus feature looks back at the shuttle program with 61 images -- check it out!

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