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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.

Maintaining the health of an aging Mars orbiter

Emily Lakdawalla • February 14, 2018 • 2

NASA has announced changes to how engineers are operating Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in order to prolong its life as long as possible, long enough to support the Mars 2020 rover mission.

HiRISE image coverage of the Curiosity field site on Mars, Version 4.0

Emily Lakdawalla • January 15, 2018

The latest and greatest update of Emily's list of all the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE images that contain Curiosity hardware, tracks, or traverses.

#DPS2017: Progress report on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter images of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring

Emily Lakdawalla • October 20, 2017 • 1

Three years ago, on October 19, 2014, comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring passed within 138,000 kilometers of Mars. At the 2017 meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society, we heard a progress report on Mars orbiter imaging of the comet's nucleus.

Schiaparelli investigation update; crash site in color from HiRISE

Emily Lakdawalla • November 23, 2016 • 11

ESA issued an update on the Schiaparelli landing investigation today, identifying a problem reading from an inertial measurement unit as the proximate cause of the crash. Meanwhile, ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter is operating its science instruments for the first time this week, and HiRISE has released calibrated versions of the Schiaparelli crash site images.

HiRISE coverage of the Opportunity field site, version 1.0

Emily Lakdawalla • November 18, 2016 • 1

As she did before for Curiosity, Emily Lakdawalla has searched through the HiRISE image archive for photos of the Opportunity landing site and sorted them all out so that you don't have to.

Schiaparelli crash site imaged by HiRISE

Emily Lakdawalla • October 27, 2016 • 1

Following up the detection of the Schiaparelli crash site by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter CTX, the higher-resolution HiRISE camera has now definitively identified the locations of lander impact site, parachute with backshell, and heat shield impact site on the Martian surface.

Likely Schiaparelli crash site imaged by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Emily Lakdawalla • October 21, 2016 • 8

Just a day after the arrival of ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter and its lander Schiaparelli, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has taken a photo of the landing site with its Context Camera, and things do not look good.

HiRISE image coverage of the Curiosity field site on Mars, Version 3.0

Emily Lakdawalla • February 05, 2016 • 1

There have been tons and tons of HiRISE images of the Curiosity landing region, and it has taken quite a lot of work for me to find, locate, and catalogue them. This post is a summary of what I've found; after five revisions and updates, it's now version 3.0 of the list.

What's up in solar system exploration: February 2016 edition

Emily Lakdawalla • January 29, 2016 • 2

What's going on with our robotic planetary missions? In February I count more than 20 planetary spacecraft exploring six targets beyond Earth or cruising to new destinations.

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