Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/07/30 02:20 CDT
The Russian Phobos sample return mission, Phobos-Grunt, has passed a key milestone in its preparation for launch: it successfully completed its thermal vacuum testing in June.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/07/29 12:30 CDT
Here's the latest image release from Dawn at Vesta, taken from an altitude about twice as high as that of their first mapping orbit.
Posted by Jason Davis on 2011/07/29 11:58 CDT
Private spaceflight company SpaceX has secured tentative approval with NASA to combine its next test flight with an actual ISS docking.
Posted by Frank Trixler on 2011/07/27 10:03 CDT
In this, my second blog on Origins 2011 in Montpellier, France, a conference dedicated to the interdisciplinary research on the origins of life, I aim to provide my impression of the second half of the conference.
Posted by Marc Rayman on 2011/07/26 11:55 CDT
After covering 2.8 billion kilometers (1.7 billion miles) on its own, after traveling for nearly four years through the lonely emptiness of interplanetary space, after being bound by the gravity only of the sun, Dawn is finally in orbit around Vesta.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/07/26 06:28 CDT
A few weeks ago a producer for a public television space documentary asked me if I knew of any cool Cassini animations and my answer was, "Ooh, what a great excuse to have some fun digging around in the Cassini data archives." Here is the most fun animation I came up with in response to the request.
Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2011/07/22 03:17 CDT
Planetary Society Members have been supporting Slava Turyshev and his colleagues in their scientific quest to solve the famous Pioneer Anomaly. They have just published a peer-reviewed paper that reports on what may be the last step toward the solution.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/07/21 06:25 CDT
Maybe it's my own peculiar variant of pareidolia, but every time I see a new image of Vesta I'm reminded of some different other lumpy body in the solar system. In the image released just now by the Dawn team, taken from 10,500 kilometers away, I'm seeing Hyperion.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/07/21 03:12 CDT
For miles and miles of Martian terrain, Opportunity's view forward has contained a distinctive line of hills—the far rim of Endeavour crater.
Posted by Jason Davis on 2011/07/21 11:58 CDT
At 5:57AM EDT (9:57 UTC) this morning, Atlantis gracefully rolled to a stop on runway 15 at the Kennedy Space Center Landing Facility, completing the 135th and final mission of the space shuttle program that started in 1981.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/07/21 11:44 CDT
From Chop Shop, the same guys who brought you my favorite space T-shirt ever, there is now a very cool shirt celebrating the spacecraft and missions of 50 years of human spaceflight, and as before they're donating five bucks to the Planetary Society for every T-shirt sold.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/07/19 11:27 CDT
Yet another sharp-eyed reader (I love my readers!) pointed out to me that the German-language release on the MPS website about the latest Vesta image from Dawn included what looked like a tiny thumbnail of a color view.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/07/18 05:08 CDT
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.