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Snapshots from Space

by Emily Lakdawalla

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Emily Lakdawalla

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Follow the thrilling adventures of planetary missions, past and present, and see the stunningly beautiful photos that they return from space!

Bye-bye, Curiosity

Emily Lakdawalla • November 29, 2011

A few fortunate (and forward-thinking) skywatchers looked upward in the hours after Curiosity's launch and were able to see the spacecraft leaving Earth.

How did they make the nuclear power source for the Curiosity rover?

Emily Lakdawalla • November 28, 2011

Maybe it's because I was a kid during the Cold War; I always assume that information about anything nuclear only comes out on that "need-to-know basis."

Curiosity is on its way to Mars!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 26, 2011

It was a textbook launch for the Atlas V 541 today at 15:02 UTC, and within an hour after liftoff, the Centaur second stage had sent Curiosity on its way for an 8.5-month journey to Mars.

Mars Exploration Family Portrait

Emily Lakdawalla • November 23, 2011 • 1

Jason Davis put together this neat summary of the checkered history of Mars exploration.

Curiosity in context: Not exactly "Viking on wheels," but close

Emily Lakdawalla • November 21, 2011

As I was beginning my research for my two magazine articles on the Curiosity rover's upcoming mission to Mars, I needed to figure out for myself how exactly this gigantic, ungainly machine fit in to the context of past Martian missions.

Curiosity stacked for launch, still waiting for plutonium power source installation

Emily Lakdawalla • November 04, 2011

It's still three weeks until Curiosity's launch date, but the spacecraft has already been placed on top of its rocket. The Kennedy Space Center's Curiosity photo album now has lots of pictures of the spacecraft being enclosed inside the payload fairing (the rocket's "nose cone") and hoisted to the top of the Atlas V.

Print publications galore!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 03, 2011

November has already been a very good month for me in the print publication realm. I've had published not one, but two, feature articles on Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory rover.

Photos: Preparations for Curiosity's launch proceeding (don't show these to Blofeld!)

Emily Lakdawalla • October 11, 2011

Kennedy Space Center has recently created a photo album collecting their photos from the clean rooms where technicians are working madly to prepare the Curiosity Mars rover for launch.

It's official now: Curiosity is going to Gale

Emily Lakdawalla • July 22, 2011

The news leaked a few weeks ago has turned out to be true: the next Mars rover, Curiosity, will be headed for Gale crater on Mars when it launches at the end of this year.

A visit with Curiosity

Emily Lakdawalla • July 11, 2011

I had an amazing opportunity back in April: an invitation to go inside the fabled Spacecraft Assembly Facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to see the next Mars rover up close.

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