The final news for NASA's Planetary Science program is better than had been proposed, but still a substantial cut over the previous year. There may be serious future consequences as a result of the smaller program.
Traveling confidently and alone, Dawn continues to make its way through the silent depths of the main asteroid belt. The interplanetary adventurer is on its long journey to the uncharted dwarf planet Ceres, by far the largest of all asteroids.
I am saddened by the loss of my professor and mentor, Bruce Murray. I celebrate him here by sharing some personal memories and reflections. There is much to respect, and also much to amuse as we reflect on the life of this great man.
One of the most remarkable minds of 20th century exploration was stilled this morning, August 29, 2013, when Bruce C. Murray died of Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 81. The Planetary Society owes its existence to Bruce.
By now I hope that everyone has seen some of the spectacular images of the Saturn system (and especially Titan!) from the Cassini-Huygens mission. However, the measurements that often make my heart race are taken by instruments that reveal Titan in ways that our eyes cannot see.
New Horizons has just completed a summer of intensive activities and entered hibernation on Aug. 20. The routine parts of the activities included thorough checkouts of all our backup systems (result: they work fine!) and of all our scientific instruments (they work fine too!).
LADEE's launch window opens two weeks from today, on September 6. The brief little mission aims to study the lunar atmosphere and dust environment before future soft landings disturb its currently pristine state.