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Join Our Galactic Quest for Exoplanets

Susan Lendroth • September 30, 2010

With the astronomical community is buzzing with news of an exoplanet found in a star's habitable zone, The Planetary Society will co-sponsor a special event that will be streamed live on Monday, October 4.

Mars Climate Sounder Watches Mars Weather to Prepare for Curiosity Landing

Emily Lakdawalla • September 30, 2010

I just posted the following update to the Mars Climate Sounder Team Website. I didn't realize until this message came in to my inbox that it is now one Mars year before Curiosity lands. Tick, tick, tick...

Bill Nye Connects with Space People at IAC

Susan Lendroth • September 30, 2010

The 61st International Astronautical Congress (IAC) is being held in Prague in the Czech Republic, and Bill Nye is attending on behalf of the Planetary Society.

Chang'E 2 launches in less than 24 hours, weather permitting

Emily Lakdawalla • September 30, 2010

Here are a few photos of Chang'E 2 meeting its launch vehicle in Xichang. It's a beautiful view of the spacecraft.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Snoozes through September , Opportunity Bolts Past Halfway Mark to Endeavour Crater

A.J.S. Rayl • September 30, 2010

As Opportunity picked up the pace to Endeavour Crater this month and crossed the halfway point on the long journey from Victoria Crater and Spirit continued sleeping in hibernation mode, the Mars Exploration Rovers chalked up their 81st month of what was supposed to have been just a three-month tour of the Red Planet.

Fourth MSL Landing Site Workshop: Day 2: Reports from Ryan Anderson

Emily Lakdawalla • September 30, 2010

I left the first day of the Fourth Mars Science Laboratory Landing Site Community Workshop on Monday just as they were getting in to the site-specific presentations. I left with no concern that I'd miss anything, though, because I knew that once he got done presenting his own work on Gale Crater, Cornell grad student Ryan Anderson would be taking notes and blogging the presentations on the other three sites.

Carnival of Space #171 and Planetary Radio on Science on the ISS

Emily Lakdawalla • September 30, 2010

Carnival of Space #171 is live over at Starry Critters. Every week, a different webmaster or blogger hosts the Carnival, showcasing articles written on the topic of space.

The 4th MSL Landing Site Workshop: Day 2 - Holden

Ryan Anderson • September 29, 2010

The second site that we discussed yesterday was Holden Crater, a 155 kilometer crater that formed right in the middle of a huge drainage system.

The 4th MSL Landing Site Workshop: Day 2 - Mawrth

Ryan Anderson • September 29, 2010

Today was jam-packed with interesting stuff about Mawrth, Holden, and Eberswalde! I took tons of notes, and I will try to use those to assemble a coherent picture of what was presented and discussed today.

What's up in the solar system in October 2010

Emily Lakdawalla • September 29, 2010

Out in space, the most exciting things cooking this month are on Deep Impact, which is fast approaching comet Hartley 2 for a November 4 encounter, and at the Moon, which should soon see a second orbiter, China's Chang'E 2, which is set to launch Friday.

The 4th MSL Landing Site Workshop: Day 2 - Eberswalde

Ryan Anderson • September 29, 2010

The final site of the four that we discussed yesterday was Eberswalde, which of course is interesting because of the big delta that is preserved in the western part of the crater.

Mars Climate Sounder Watches Mars Weather to Prepare for Curiosity Landing

David Kass • September 29, 2010

Two weeks ago Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) started a four-week campaign to support entry, descent, and landing phase for the next Mars rover, Mars Science Laboratory (or "Curiosity").

4th MSL Landing Site Workshop: Day 1

Ryan Anderson • September 28, 2010

Today was the first of a three day workshop in which the Mars science community gathers together and hashes out what we know and what we don't know about the four finalist MSL landing sites.

Fourth MSL Landing Site Workshop: Day 1 notes: Introduction, biosignatures, and mineralogy

Emily Lakdawalla • September 28, 2010

I apologize in advance for the expanse of text, but I hope that some of you will find the details interesting.

China to launch Chang'E 2 on Friday, October 1

Emily Lakdawalla • September 28, 2010

Via the Lunar Listserv this morning I learned of the impending launch of a new lunar orbiter, Chang'E 2, planned for this Friday, October 1, from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan.

Dawn Journal: Third Anniversary in Space, and How to Map Vesta

Marc Rayman • September 28, 2010

On the third anniversary of traveling through the solar system on its own since dispatching Dawn on a separate journey, Earth continues to orbit the sun in much the same way it has been.

Fourth MSL Landing Site Workshop: A review

Emily Lakdawalla • September 27, 2010

Today, tomorrow, and Wednesday, about 200 scientists and engineers will sit in an over-air-conditioned room in Monrovia, California to participate in what is officially titled the "Fourth Mars Science Laboratory Landing Site Community Workshop."

The 4th MSL Landing Site Workshop

Ryan Anderson • September 24, 2010

Well folks, I'm off to Pasadena to help the Mars community decide where to send its next rover.

Voyager Mission Status Bulletins: Jupiter and Saturn

Emily Lakdawalla • September 24, 2010

Last week I posted a stack of Voyager Mission Status Bulletins, which were once the main resource for space enthusiasts to follow the dramatic events and photos of an in-flight space mission.

Review: Recess Monkey: The Final Funktier

Emily Lakdawalla • September 24, 2010

The Final Funktier is a kids' music album that is (a) delightful for grownups too and (b) features largely space-themed tracks. Win!

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