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Bruce's Blog

What's Up

with Bruce Betts

Our resident planetary scientist and Director of Projects will keep you up to date on all the exciting projects we are working on. From searching for dangerous asteroids to flying our very own solar sail spacecraft, Bruce will make sure you know what's going on plus enlighten you with his unique bits of space trivia with Random Space Facts, too!

Bruce Betts

Listen Up! Microphones to Fly to Mars

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2016/07/15 06:17 CDT | 2 comments

The Mars 2020 mission will carry microphones in its EDL package and its SuperCam instrument, which will enable us to finally hear the sounds of Mars. The Planetary Society has been trying to get microphones to Mars for 20 years and is ecstatic that these will fly.

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A new hope for a microphone on Mars: Enhancing Mars 2020 science with sound

Posted by Bruce Betts and Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/02/15 10:19 CST | 5 comments

When the Mars 2020 rover lands, we may finally hear the first audio recordings from the Martian surface.

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Planetary Deep Drill Field Test: Road Trip

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2015/12/14 11:32 CST

The Planetary Deep Drill is being tested in a California gypsum mine. Several Planetary Society staff took a road trip to visit the ongoing Honeybee Robotics test of this prototype robotic drill that could one day drill hundreds of meters into planetary ices.

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Mastcam-Z: The Future of Stereo Imaging on Mars

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2015/10/29 06:24 CDT

An introduction to the Mastcam-Z stereo imager on the Mars 2020 rover, and brief reporting and reflections on team meetings, science instruments, and the exciting future of The Planetary Society covering the entire lifetime of this instrument, from design to Mars images.

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Mega Hemorrhaging Total Lunar Eclipse Sept 27-28, 2015

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2015/09/24 08:25 CDT | 1 comment

There will be a spectacular total lunar eclipse on the night of Sept. 27-28, 2015, a newly dubbed Mega Hemorrhaging Eclipse. Here is info on what lunar eclipses are and how to observe the eclipse.

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Opening the New Horizons Time Capsule

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2015/07/07 10:03 CDT | 3 comments

The New Horizons digital time capsule is opened, with the New Horizons Pluto flyby only one week away, showing images from Earth 2006 – the year New Horizons launched. Fifty images and captions from people in 17 countries were selected to be in the time capsule to reflect things expected to change by 2015.

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5 Steps to Preventing Asteroid Impact

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2015/06/30 12:33 CDT | 3 comments

For Asteroid Day, Bruce Betts reviews 5 steps needed to prevent asteroid impact, as well as how The Planetary Society is involved in those.

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Shoemaker NEO Grant Winners Announced: Saving the World

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2015/04/15 01:03 CDT

The six winners of the 2015 Shoemaker NEO Grants will use the grants to upgrade their observatories to improve their abilities to study potentially dangerous asteroids.

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Planetary Defense Conference: Steps to Prevent Asteroid Impact

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2015/04/13 07:23 CDT | 2 comments

From Italy, Bruce Betts gives background and information at the start of the Planetary Defense Conference, which addresses the asteroid threat. Bruce summarizes steps to prevent asteroid impact.

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Revitalized 0.81m telescope studying properties of NEOs

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2015/03/31 11:04 CDT

Thanks to a new focal reducer and re-aluminized mirror from a Shoemaker NEO grant, a 0.81-meter telescope in Italy is performing astrometric follow-up observations and physical studies of asteroids.

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