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EPSC 2013 Coverage

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/09/08 05:28 CDT

The Planetary Society will cover this week's European Planetary Science Congress in London.

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LADEE safely on its way to moon

Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/09/07 12:05 CDT

The LADEE spacecraft lifted off at 11:27 p.m. EDT on Sept. 6 from Pad 0B at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va.

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Watch LADEE Launch to the Moon with The Planetary Society
Live Webcast Begins HERE at 7:30pm PDT / 10:30pm EDT

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/09/06 08:45 CDT

Starting at 7:30pm PDT/10:30pm EDT, we will webcast a special event around the launch of NASA's next lunar spacecraft. Watch our special coverage with lunar scientists and live video from the launch site, as well as NASA TV footage of the launch itself.

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Pluto's atmosphere does not collapse

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/06 11:07 CDT | 2 comments

Just four months ago I posted about a paper recently published by Leslie Young and coauthors that described three possible scenarios for Pluto's atmosphere. Yesterday, Cathy Olkin, Leslie Young, and coauthors posted a preprint on arXiv that says that only one of those scenarios can be true. And it's a surprising one. The title of their paper says it all: "Pluto's atmosphere does not collapse."

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LADEE prelaunch facts

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/05 07:20 CDT | 1 comment

I glean all the important facts about NASA's next Moon mission from their prelaunch press kit. Launch is scheduled for September 6, 2013 at 8:27 p.m. PDT (September 7 at 03:27 UTC).

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NASA's Europa Mission Concept Rejects ASRGs -- May Use Solar Panels at Jupiter Instead
Untested technology is too risky

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/09/05 06:41 CDT | 6 comments

The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) is no longer an option for powering a potential Europa mission. The ASRG uses Plutonium-238 to generate electricity, but is far more efficient than past RTGs.

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Curiosity update: AutoNav toward Mount Sharp, sols 373-383

Posted by Ken Herkenhoff on 2013/09/05 02:49 CDT

From sols 373 to 383 (August 23 to September 3, 2013), Curiosity traveled about 250 meters toward Mount Sharp over five drives, trying out her new AutoNav capability.

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In his own words: Mike Massimino on how he "nearly broke" Hubble

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/05 11:14 CDT

In an enthralling article for Esquire magazine, astronaut Mike Massimino writes about nearly failing to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, and how the people of Earth came to his rescue.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Begins Science at Base of Solander
Sols 3385 - 3414

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2013/09/04 04:08 CDT | 1 comment

There wasn't a dull moment for the Mars Exploration Rover mission in August as Opportunity drove up to the base of the Solander Point section Endeavour Crater's eroded rim, crossed over a geological boundary between ancient eras, maneuvered through a boulder field, scooting unscathed from a near-miss with a rock that could have ended it all, and at month's end delivered her team to what looks to be another scientific gemstone on the Red Planet.

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Deep Impact in trouble: last heard from August 8

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/04 01:10 CDT

Communication with the Deep Impact spacecraft was lost some time between August 11 and August 14. The team has determined the cause of the problem, and is trying to figure out how to restore communication.

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Book review: Destiny or Chance Revisited

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/04 01:02 CDT | 1 comment

What have the recent discoveries of thousands of exoplanets told us about how we got here, and whether we are alone? In Destiny or Chance Revisited, Stuart Ross Taylor attempts to answer those two questions.

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Bill Nye takes to the dance floor

Posted by Abigail Fraeman on 2013/09/04 11:51 CDT | 2 comments

It was announced this morning that Bill will be appearing as a contestant on the American hit show, “Dancing with the Stars”. I am so excited. "How will Bill fare?" you may ask. Consider the following...

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Dancing With The Stars

Posted by Bill Nye on 2013/09/04 09:50 CDT | 43 comments

Something remarkable has come up. I've been cast as a 'star' on Dancing With The Stars here in the US. (For our British readers, it's a very similar format to your Strictly Come Dancing.) As unusual as this may seem, I believe we can broaden awareness of the Society and thereby humankind's exploration of the Cosmos one ballroom dance at a time.

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Looking back at Mariner images of Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/03 06:49 CDT | 8 comments

Bruce Murray was an early advocate for the inclusion of cameras on planetary spacecraft. As a tribute to him, I thought I'd take a look at a few of the images from the early Mariner missions to Mars.

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Mars, Old and New: A Personal View by Bruce Murray

Posted by Jennifer Vaughn on 2013/09/03 06:07 CDT | 1 comment

An interview with Bruce Murray from 2001 about his perspectives on Mars science and exploration: past, present, and future.

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I Remember Bruce Murray
The Personal Side of a Planetary Radio Tribute

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/09/03 10:03 CDT | 1 comment

This week's Planetary Radio is a tribute to the Planetary Society's co-founder, Chairman and President. Mat provides a more personal tribute in this blog post.

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Making mirrors for the Giant Magellan Telescope

Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/09/02 06:00 CDT | 1 comment

A video on the Giant Magellan Telescope and its third mirror, which was cast on August 24, 2013 at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory Mirror Lab in Tucson, Ariz.

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NASA Backs Off From Additional Planetary Cuts in 2013
Operating plan provides $1.271 billion

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/09/01 03:44 CDT | 5 comments

The final operating plan for the space agency provided $75 million more to planetary exploration than initially proposed.

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