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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!

InSight update, sols 1-24: Operations begin, first instrument deployed

Emily Lakdawalla • December 21, 2018 • 5

It’s been a busy first three weeks on the InSight mission, and they’ve already achieved a major milestone: placing the seismometer on the ground. They've also gathered a self-portrait and 360-degree panorama.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Spots InSight Hardware on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • December 13, 2018

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has finally spotted the InSight lander, its parachute, and its heat shield resting on the Martian surface. The images confirm the location of InSight's landing site, a little to the north and west of the center of the landing ellipse. The lander is located at 4.499897° N, 135.616000° E.

Curiosity Update, Sols 2163-2256: Hard Times Atop Vera Rubin Ridge

Emily Lakdawalla • December 11, 2018

Just after a failed drill attempt at Inverness, Curiosity suffered a serious computer problem. The mission has now recovered by switching computers, and has successfully drilled at Highfield. One last drill site in "red Jura" rocks is planned before leaving Vera Rubin ridge behind.

New Cameras on Mars!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 27, 2018 • 6

There was jubilation when InSight landed, but I'm just as happy to be writing about a distinct InSight event: The flow of raw images sent from Mars, straight to the Web, has begun.

InSight has landed (UPDATED)

Emily Lakdawalla • November 26, 2018 • 1

InSight touched down on Mars today, bringing NASA's total of successful Mars landers to 8 and total number of active NASA Mars missions to 6.

We're going to Jezero!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 20, 2018 • 3

NASA announced this morning the selection of Jezero crater for the landing site of the Mars 2020 mission. Jezero is a 45-kilometer-wide crater that once held a lake, and now holds a spectacular ancient river delta.

What to Expect When InSight Lands on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • November 12, 2018 • 6

If all goes well, anxious space fans on Earth will learn of a successful InSight landing on Mars on Monday, 26 November 2018, at 19:53 UTC. Here's a preview of all the landing day events.

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.

Curiosity's organics on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • July 30, 2018 • 4

What does it mean that the Mars rover Curiosity found organics in Martian rocks? Emily Lakdawalla translates the science.

Liquid Water on Mars! Really for Real This Time (Probably)

Emily Lakdawalla • July 25, 2018 • 10

A radar instrument on one of the oldest operational Mars orbiters has discovered possible evidence of present-day liquid water on Mars.

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