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Blog Archive

 

Endeavour's final mission has begun

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/19 11:38 CDT

Piggybacked on the shuttle carrier aircraft NASA 905, Endeavour has departed Florida for the last time. Her journey will take her to Los Angeles, where she'll begin a new and different kind of mission at the California Science Center.

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Pretty picture: rocks underfoot at Curiosity's landing site

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/17 02:54 CDT | 4 comments

An amateur-processed mosaic of some intriguing-looking broken rocks along Curiosity's traverse. They were intriguing enough to photograph with the Mastcam -- but not enough to stop and check them out, as Curiosity has already rolled on.

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Sequestration and Planetary Science
More cuts are coming. Or are they? No one seems to know.

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2012/09/17 02:36 CDT

The sequestration is coming on January 2nd, 2013. If Congress does nothing to prevent it, NASA's planetary science division stands to lose an additional $97 million to the already-proposed cut of $309 million for 2013.

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Curiosity sol 38 update: arm tests done, on the road again, and an important question answered

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/14 06:28 CDT

Curiosity has completed Commissioning Activity Period 2 and is on the road again. I asked Daniel Limonadi to explain a couple of the photos of tests being performed on CHIMRA, and took the opportunity to ask him an amusing question that came up during a previous Google+ Hangout.

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Pretty Picture: Eagle's Landing

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/13 03:59 CDT

Amateur image processor Tom Dahl's spectacularly high-resolution version of Buzz Aldrin's panoramic view of the Apollo 11 landing site.

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Cosmoquest Astronomy Hour replay: What's up with Curiosity on Mars, with guest: me! (yes, again)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/12 07:00 CDT | 8 comments

Fraser Cain and I had a wide-ranging conversation about Curiosity's recent activities on Mars during the Cosmoquest Astronomy Hour.

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What if the Senate had a hearing on Mars and no one came?
Two out of twenty-five Senators bothered to show up to Wednesday's hearing

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2012/09/12 04:47 CDT | 3 comments

Today there was a Senate hearing on the future of Mars exploration, title "From Low-Earth Orbit to Mars" on Sept 12th, 2012, and only 2 out of 25 Senators came.

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Thursday: Watch Bill Nye Host YouTube SpaceLab Webcast

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2012/09/11 04:55 CDT

The Planetary Society CEO goes to London to MC a live conversation with ISS astronaut Sunita Williams and the kids who've had their experiments conducted in orbit.

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Spring arrives to Vesta's north pole, as Dawn departs, plus a request for citizen scientists

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/11 11:08 CDT | 3 comments

Dawn's last images of Vesta peek into previously shadowy north polar territory. As the spacecraft leaves Vesta behind, its science team requests help from the public.

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Action Alert: Senate hearing on the future of Mars exploration this Wed

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2012/09/11 05:01 CDT | 3 comments

The Senate committee responsible for NASA is meeting this Wed, Sept 12th at 2:00pm EDT to discuss the future of Mars exploration. You can attend this event and show the Senators that the public is paying attention.

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IKAROS is alive! (Or: oh me of little faith!)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/11 12:27 CDT

I am rarely so glad to admit that I was wrong as when it's about the failure of a mission. Only last month, I speculated that IKAROS's mission was done. And now the news comes that IKAROS has been heard from -- twice! -- on September 6 and 8, 2012.

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A couple of gems from the archives

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/10 11:07 CDT | 2 comments

We're still working on migrating content from the old to the new website. This week, that means I am looking, one by one, through some great amateur-processed space images.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Greets Curiosity, Roves to Clay Mineral Hunting Grounds
Sols 3029 - 3058

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2012/09/10 02:07 CDT

Opportunity stood down for nine days in early August as Curiosity landed and went through check-out, but on the tenth day the Mars Exploration Rover was back on the road, driving along the northwestern rim of Endeavour Crater and into the "sweet spot" of the clay mineral hunting ground at Cape York.

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MAHLI sees Curiosity's wheels firmly on Martian ground

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/10 12:39 CDT | 3 comments

MAHLI opened its "eye" on sol 33, seeing Mars clearly for the first time. On sol 34, Curiosity used MAHLI to survey the parts that Mastcam can't see, including a view right underneath the rover.

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Hello, beautiful!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/07 11:24 CDT | 3 comments

Curiosity's much-anticipated self-portrait with the MAHLI camera just arrived on Earth, and even though it was shot through the dust cover it is AWESOME.

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The Planetary Society Celebrates 35 Years of Voyager

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2012/09/07 02:12 CDT

The Planetary Society welcomed Dr. Ed Stone, Voyager Project Scientist for the past forty (yes, forty) years to the stage for an intimate evening discussing the past, present, and future events for the enduring Voyager spacecraft.

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Outcrop Ahead for Opportunity!

Posted by Stuart Atkinson on 2012/09/07 01:12 CDT | 1 comment

Oppy is opening an exciting new chapter in her adventure at Cape York. Having driven down to, over and past Whim Creek, she has now explored halfway down Cape York, to a promising fin-like ridge of dark rock.

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A Voyager 1 anniversary mosaic

Posted by Björn Jónsson on 2012/09/06 11:58 CDT

Back in 1979 the twin Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft flew by Jupiter. Some of their images were processed into color images and mosaics that have appeared countless times in books, magazines, on TV and on the Internet. Many of these images and mosaics are spectacular but they were processed more than 30 years ago using computers that are extremely primitive by today's standards. It's possible to get better results by processing the original, raw images from the Voyagers using modern computers and software.

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Pretty picture: bizarre spherules

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/06 04:25 CDT | 5 comments

A wonderfully strange photo from Opportunity's exploration of Cape York, Endeavour Crater.

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Checking in on Curiosity after sol 30

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/06 03:54 CDT | 4 comments

Curiosity completed the "Intermission" phase on sol 29, and began checking out the robotic arm.

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