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Earth and Moon from MESSENGER

Emily Lakdawalla • July 22, 2013

A new picture of the Earth-Moon system from MESSENGER, taken the same day we were told to "Wave at Saturn." Updated with a neat photo taken from much closer to Earth from a similar perspective.

Remembering the Pluto Campaign: A Success Story

Casey Dreier • July 22, 2013

The New Horizons mission to Pluto survived many near-death encounters with cancellation during its development. The Planetary Society worked the whole time to ensure it would launch.

The New Cosmos Series Has a Trailer

Casey Dreier • July 21, 2013

The remake of Cosmos, starring Neil deGrasse Tyson and airing on Fox, just released its first teaser trailer at the San Diego Comic-Con.

Pretty picture: An Atlas launch and a very surprised bird

Emily Lakdawalla • July 19, 2013

If you take hundreds of photos of every single spacecraft launch you can get to, you will eventually get lucky shots like this one. It was taken by Ben Cooper at today's launch of the U.S. Navy satellite MUOS-2 and features a very surprised turkey vulture in a striking pose in front of the American flag.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 3363 - July 10, 2013

Larry Crumpler • July 18, 2013

Opportunity is only a couple of hundred meters out and closing fast on the next mountain. A short side trip east is in the works to check out an anomaly in the terrain.

Return of the Pale Blue Dot

Mat Kaplan • July 18, 2013

You can be part of a planetwide group photo as Cassini and MESSENGER turn their cameras Earthward on July 19.

Planetary Geomorphology Image of the Month: Water tracks on Earth and Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • July 18, 2013

The International Association of Geomorphologists' "planetary geomorphology image of the month," contributed by Joe Levy, features water tracks on Earth and compares them to recurring slope lineae on Mars.

J-2X: A Distant Dot Lights Up the Night

Jason Davis • July 18, 2013

On Tuesday, NASA released new high-definition video of a June 26 nighttime J-2X engine test at Stennis Space Center in southern Mississippi.

A new HiRISE view of Opportunity (sol 3361)

Emily Lakdawalla • July 17, 2013

The HiRISE camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has snapped a lovely color photo of the rim of Endeavour crater, catching Opportunity midway between Nobby's Head and Solander Point.

Dunes on Tatooine

Ralph Lorenz • July 17, 2013

The fictional world Tatooine, scene of action in the Star Wars movies, is named after a town in Tunisia, where parts of the movies were filmed. The desert backdrops against which the movies were filmed are real terrestrial landscapes, which prove to be perhaps unexpectedly dynamic.

The Peak of Discovery

Mat Kaplan • July 16, 2013

This week's Planetary Radio goes on tour at the Mount Wilson Observatory with descendants of its founder.

Spacewalk ends early following helmet water leak

Jason Davis • July 16, 2013

A spacewalk outside the International Space Station Tuesday ended early after a water leak inside astronaut Luca Parmitano’s helmet created a potentially dangerous situation.

A New Dimension for Mercury

Bill Dunford • July 15, 2013

There's a cool new way to explore the first planet.

New names for Pluto's little moons Kerberos and Styx; and a new moon for Neptune

Emily Lakdawalla • July 15, 2013

Pluto's moons, formerly known as "P4" and "P5," are now named Kerberos and Styx; I thought I'd help place them into context with a little help from Cassini. Also, Neptune now has a 14th known moon.

Congress Rejects NASA's First Operating Plan

Casey Dreier • July 15, 2013

NASA's plan to raid Planetary Science funding to pay for sequester cuts in other science programs was rejected by Congress earlier this month. NASA is now working on a new plan that has yet to be submitted for approval.

House Committee Approves Smallest NASA Budget Since 1986

Casey Dreier • July 12, 2013

This budget, if enacted, would be the smallest budget NASA has seen since the mid '80s, when adjusted for inflation.

A rare clear day in Alaska

Emily Lakdawalla • July 12, 2013

NASA recently shared a gloriously detailed image of an unusual clear day in Alaska as seen from the Terra satellite.

Laser Bees Papers

Bruce Betts • July 11, 2013

For those wishing to bore into more details of our Laser Bees project itself, graduate student Alison Gibbings from the University of Strathclyde has sent their technical paper that resulted from the 2013 Planetary Defense Conference.

Dueling Op-Eds on NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission

Casey Dreier • July 11, 2013

NASA Administrator Bolden and the Chairman of the House Science Committee published opposing op-eds in The Hill newspaper today, illustrating the uphill battle NASA faces to sell Congress on this mission.

Programmable Mars Watch for $50

Ara Kourchians • July 11, 2013

Time is kept differently on Mars. This is because Mars itself rotates a little slower than Earth. This proves to be a pain when it comes to timekeeping.

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