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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 534-540: Over Dingo Gap, onto softer sand

Emily Lakdawalla • February 13, 2014 • 5

After more than two months of very slow driving due to concern about the wheels and time spent choosing whether to enter "Dingo Gap" or not, Curiosity has safely crossed the dune and resumed longer drives, achieving 75 meters and crossing the 5-kilometer mark on sol 540.

Looking Backward: Curiosity gazes upon the setting Earth

Emily Lakdawalla • February 05, 2014 • 10

A few days ago, Curiosity looked westward after sunset and photographed Earth setting toward the mountainous rim of Gale crater.

Beautiful view into the valley beyond Dingo Gap, Curiosity sol 528

Emily Lakdawalla • January 31, 2014 • 6

A beautiful Mastcam panorama from sol 528 shows a landscape so much more like Earth than anything we've explored on the Martian surface before.

Curiosity update: imaging the nonfunctioning REMS boom, closer to Dingo Gap

Emily Lakdawalla • January 29, 2014 • 2

At long last, on sol 526, Curiosity imaged the part of the weather instrument that was damaged during landing, but no obvious damage is visible, to me anyway. On sol 527 they drove even closer to Dingo Gap, with plans to drive onto the dune in the sol 528 drive.

Curiosity images "Dingo Gap," sols 519-521

Emily Lakdawalla • January 24, 2014 • 1

Over the last few days, Curiosity made steady driving progress to the southwest. For several of those days, an intriguing feature has appeared on the horizon in her images. UPDATE: The Curiosity team has now decided to drive the rover toward the feature, which is now named "Dingo Gap."

What's up in planetary missions in 2014

Emily Lakdawalla • December 31, 2013 • 4

With the New Year upon us, what can we look forward to in 2014? For me, the main event of 2014 is that ESA's Rosetta mission finally -- finally! -- catches up to the comet it has been chasing for a decade. We will lose LADEE, gain two Mars orbiters, and launch Hayabusa2. The year begins with an amazing 24 spacecraft exploring or cruising toward various planetary destinations.

Curiosity results at AGU: Gale crater rocks are old, but have been exposed recently

Emily Lakdawalla • December 09, 2013 • 4

In a Martian first, the Curiosity science team has measured the age of a Martian rock, in two totally different ways. They presented the result at the 2013 meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

Mars' chemical history: Phyllosian, Theiikian, Siderikian, oh my

Emily Lakdawalla • December 05, 2013 • 4

I'm returning to the deep dive into the literature that began with articles about lunar basins and then explored the geologic time scales of Earth, Moon, and Mars. Now it's time to catch up to the last decade of Mars research and learn what "phyllosian", "theiikian", and "siderikian" eras are.

A post for Reading Rainbow

Emily Lakdawalla • November 19, 2013

My brother and I enjoyed watching Reading Rainbow as kids, so it's a delight for me to have had a guest post published on their blog last week. I wrote for them about how kids (with the help of their parents) can follow the adventure of the Curiosity mission through the release of their raw images.

Features at both rover field sites on Mars named for Bruce Murray

Emily Lakdawalla • November 14, 2013

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced today that the geologists on both Mars rover teams -- Opportunity and Curiosity -- have named landmarks at their field sites after the late Bruce Murray.

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