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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!

Curiosity update, sols 2093-2162: Three tries to successful drill atop Vera Rubin Ridge

Emily Lakdawalla • September 06, 2018

Heedless of the (now-dissipating) dust storm, Curiosity has achieved its first successful drill into rocks that form the Vera Rubin ridge, and is hopefully on the way to a second. It took three attempts for Curiosity to find a soft enough spot, with Voyageurs and Ailsa Craig being too tough, but Stoer proved obligingly soft on sol 2136.

Go Atlas, go Centaur, go InSight!

Emily Lakdawalla • May 05, 2018 • 1

NASA’s next Mars mission launched successfully from Vandenberg Air Force Base today!

MarCO: CubeSats to Mars!

Emily Lakdawalla • May 01, 2018 • 3

MarCO or Mars Cube One is an experimental mission that is sending two tiny spacecraft along with InSight to Mars. If successful, they will relay real-time telemetry from InSight to Earth during the landing.

Seeing InSight

Emily Lakdawalla • April 10, 2018 • 1

Last week, I received a golden ticket that gave me rare access to a sacred space: the cleanroom facility where NASA's next Mars lander, InSight, is undergoing final preparations for launch.

Preview of the InSight Mars launch

Emily Lakdawalla • April 05, 2018 • 4

NASA’s next planetary launch is coming up, as soon as May 5, 2018. This post is your one-stop shop for information about InSight’s launch, cruise, and expected mission to Mars.

InSight delivered to Vandenberg launch site

Emily Lakdawalla • March 06, 2018 • 5

InSight, NASA's next Mars mission, has arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base in preparation for a May 5 launch.

What's Up in Solar System Exploration in 2018

Emily Lakdawalla • December 27, 2017 • 4

Three launches to the Moon and one each to Mercury and Mars; two arrivals at near-Earth asteroids; and an approach to an encounter with a distant Kuiper belt object are highlights we anticipate in 2018.

InSight has a new launch date: May 5, 2018

Emily Lakdawalla • March 09, 2016

NASA has decided to move forward with the InSight mission after its delay last December, setting a new launch date of May 5, 2018. That will put the landing on Mars on November 26, 2018. In order to launch in two years, one of its two science instruments must be redesigned.

Four mission assembly progress reports: ExoMars TGO, InSight, OSIRIS-REx, and BepiColombo

Emily Lakdawalla • May 28, 2015 • 4

2015 has seen few deep-space-craft launches, but 2016 is shaping up to be a banner year with three launches, followed quickly by a fourth in early 2017. All of the missions under development have reported significant milestones recently.

Mini mission updates: Dawn in orbit; Curiosity short circuit; Rosetta image release; Hayabusa2 in cruise phase; and more

Emily Lakdawalla • March 06, 2015 • 1

Dawn has successfully entered orbit at Ceres, becoming the first mission to orbit a dwarf planet and the first to orbit two different bodies beyond Earth. I also have updates on Curiosity, Rosetta, Mars Express, Hayabusa2, the Chang'e program, InSIGHT, and OSIRIS-REx.

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