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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!

Programming note: Emily Lakdawalla speaking tour of New Zealand 23 September - 1 October

Emily Lakdawalla • September 19, 2018 • 3

Attention Kiwi space fans! I’m embarking shortly on a speaking tour of New Zealand. I hope to meet lots of Planetary Society members and supporters, and sign a few copies of my book.

The September Equinox 2018 Issue of The Planetary Report Is Out!

Emily Lakdawalla • September 18, 2018 • 1

With my first issue of The Planetary Report as editor, I am taking the magazine open-access. Return to Mercury features articles by Elsa Montagnon on BepiColombo and by Long Xiao on the Chang'e-4 and -5 landers.

Hayabusa2 stops short of close approach on first touchdown rehearsal

Emily Lakdawalla • September 13, 2018

Hayabusa2 didn’t quite make it down to its intended 60-meter distance from asteroid Ryugu yesterday. There is nothing wrong with the spacecraft; it’s healthy and returning to its home position. The team will adjust parameters and give it another try in the future.

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.

OSIRIS-REx and New Horizons catch first sight of their targets

Emily Lakdawalla • August 29, 2018 • 3

Both OSIRIS-REx and New Horizons achieved first light on their still-distant targets this week. Between now and the end of 2018, Bennu and 2014 MU69 will turn from points of light into places.

Hayabusa2 Team Announces Ryugu Landing Sites, Initial Science Survey Results

Emily Lakdawalla • August 24, 2018 • 3

Two months after arrival, the team has reported some preliminary facts about Ryugu. They also announced the selection of candidate landing sites for the spacecraft sample collection, for the German-built MASCOT hopper, and for the MINERVA-II microrovers

Chandrayaan-2 launch delayed to 3 January 2019

Emily Lakdawalla • August 13, 2018

Chandrayaan-2, expected to launch in October, will now be launching no earlier than 3 January 2019, with its lander and rover touching down in February.

Hayabusa2 descends again, this time to lower than 1000 meters above Ryugu

Emily Lakdawalla • August 10, 2018 • 4

This week Hayabusa2 completed its closest approach yet to asteroid Ryugu. In a successful gravity measurement experiment on August 6, the spacecraft dipped to within 1 kilometer of the asteroid.

A second successful medium-altitude operation for Hayabusa2

Emily Lakdawalla • August 03, 2018

For the second time, JAXA navigators have zoomed their cameras and other instruments in on asteroid Ryugu. The August 1 operation was quicker than the previous one, requiring only 26 hours for the descent, science, and ascent.

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.

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