Join Donate

Blog Archive

 

Hayabusa2 complete, ready to begin its journey to asteroid 1999 JU3

Emily Lakdawalla • August 31, 2014

The excitement is building for Hayabusa2! The spacecraft is now complete and ready to be shipped to its launch site. JAXA unveiled its next interplanetary traveler to the media in a special event on August 31.

The Pivotal Discovery You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Karl Battams • August 29, 2014

Karl Battams highlights the historic discovery, by an Air Force satellite, of a sungrazing comet.

The Rise and Fall (and Rise and Fall) of Planetary Exploration Funding

Jason Callahan • August 29, 2014

NASA has explored the solar system since the 1960s, but it has rarely been the top priority for the space agency. Jason Callahan breaks down how planetary science has been funded over the years within NASA's larger budget.

The Birth of the Modern Universe

Amir Alexander • August 29, 2014

Amir Alexander reviews Alan Hirshfeld's newest book, "Starlight Detectives: How Astronomers, Inventors, and Eccentrics Discovered the Modern Universe."

Back on the Rails with OSETI

Bruce Betts • August 28, 2014

The Planetary Society sponsored all-sky optical SETI search at Harvard University went off the rails, telescope roof rails that is, but it is back on track and hunting the sky for ET.

NASA’s Big Rocket a Step Closer to Reality

Jason Davis and Casey Dreier • August 28, 2014

NASA's Space Launch System passed a critical milestone yesterday, but buried within the announcement was news that the first launch could slip by nearly a year.

Canadian Mars Analogue Mission: Field Report, Week 2

Tanya Harrison • August 28, 2014

Tanya Harrison wraps up the final week of Mars sample return analogue mission operations at the Canadian Space Agency.

International Postcards from Space

Jason Davis • August 27, 2014

A collection of pretty pictures by cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev, who currently serves as a flight engineer aboard the International Space Station.

The Competition for Dollars

Jason Callahan • August 27, 2014

We all know NASA needs more money to achieve its goals. But competition for money is intense within the U.S. federal government, and two trends have made it harder for NASA to get what it needs.

Europa: How Less Can Be More

Van Kane • August 26, 2014

Van Kane explains three factors that make exploring Europa hard—factors that can make a mission concept that seems like less actually be more.

Rosetta identifies five possible landing sites for Philae

Emily Lakdawalla • August 26, 2014

The Rosetta team has announced the selection of five regions on Churyumov-Gerasimenko that they will study as possible landing sites for little Philae. Now, as Rosetta surveys the comet from its second triangular "orbit" at an average distance of 60 kilometers, the mission will target these spots for extra attention.

Cool animations of Phobos transits from Curiosity

Emily Lakdawalla • August 25, 2014

Shooting video of a lumpy moon crossing the Sun and turning it into a giant googly eye is not a new activity for Curiosity, but I get a fresh thrill each time I see one of these sequences downlinked from the rover.

Best-ever Neptune mosaics for the 25th anniversary of Voyager 2's flyby

Emily Lakdawalla • August 25, 2014

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Voyager 2 flyby of Neptune, image magician Björn Jónsson has produced two new global mosaics of the distant ice giant, the highest-resolution ever made.

Radio Problems Scrub LightSail's Day-in-the-Life Test

Jason Davis • August 22, 2014

A pesky radio problem that has occasionally stymied LightSail has returned, scrubbing the mission's day-in-the-life test.

Curiosity update, sols 697-726: Mars thwarts driving and drilling

Emily Lakdawalla • August 22, 2014

The Mars gremlins really had it in for Curiosity this month. A computer glitch and slippery sand conspired to delay the rover's progress toward Mount Sharp. And shifting rocks proved unsafe for drilling. The rover will continue driving toward Mount Sharp, departing Bonanza King without drilling, skirting Hidden Valley along a plateau to its north.

Philae landing site selection process under way as Rosetta closes to within 60 kilometers of the comet

Emily Lakdawalla • August 22, 2014

Rosetta spent the week transitioning to a lower orbit from which it continues to observe the comet. This weekend, the mission will select about five landing sites for more detailed study. They have also now estimated the mass of the comet.

Comet Flyby Missions for Mars Rovers

Mark Lemmon • August 21, 2014

On October 19, the Mars rovers — like their orbiting cousins — will become comet flyby missions. Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will pass within 140,000 km of Mars.

Stardust@home Finds Some Stardust

Amir Alexander • August 21, 2014

What’s new at Stardust@home, the groundbreaking program that asked volunteers to help find interstellar dust particles collected by the spacecraft Stardust.

Canadian Mars Analogue Mission: Field Report, Week 1

Tanya Harrison • August 20, 2014

Tanya Harrison reports on Canada's efforts to simulate a Mars sample return mission here on Earth.

Curiosity wheel damage: The problem and solutions

Emily Lakdawalla • August 19, 2014

Now that a Tiger Team has assessed the nature and causes of damage to Curiosity's wheels, I can finally answer your frequently-asked questions about what wheel damage means for the mission, and why it wasn't anticipated.

Items 1 - 20 of 48  123Next
astronaut on Phobos
Let's Change the World

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Today

Mars
Advocacy

Our Advocacy Program provides each Society member a voice in the process. Funding is crucial.

Donate

You are here: