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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!

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.

Brief update: Opportunity's attempt to image Schiaparelli unsuccessful

Emily Lakdawalla • October 19, 2016 • 6

Today, the Opportunity rover attempted a difficult, never-before-possible feat: to shoot a photo of an arriving Mars lander from the Martian surface. Unfortunately, that attempt seems not to have succeeded. Opportunity has now returned the images from the observation attempt, but Schiaparelli is not visible.

ExoMars update: Timeline for separation and orbit insertion

Emily Lakdawalla • October 14, 2016 • 3

Schiaparelli is GO for landing, and ExoMars TGO is GO for orbit insertion! When to expect ExoMars events: Schiaparelli separation, final trajectory maneuvers, landing events, orbit insertion, and press briefings.

Curiosity Update, sols 1428-1488: Through the Murray Buttes, drilling at Quela, and beyond

Emily Lakdawalla • October 13, 2016 • 1

In the two months since my last Curiosity update, the rover has traversed the scenic Murray Buttes, drilled at Quela, and driven another 300 meters southward.

Fun with a new image data set: Mars Orbiter Mission's Mars Colour Camera

Emily Lakdawalla • October 06, 2016 • 11

It's always a delight to sink my teeth into a new data set, and I have spent this week playing with one I've been anticipating for a long time: ISRO's Mars Orbiter's Mars Colour Camera, or MCC. MCC is unique among current Mars cameras in its ability to get color, print-quality, wide-angle, regional views of Mars.

How big is that butte?

Emily Lakdawalla • August 23, 2016 • 4

Whenever I share images from Curiosity, among the most common questions I’m asked is “what is the scale of this image?” With help from imaging enthusiast Seán Doran, I can answer that question for some of the Murray buttes.

Curiosity update, sols 1373-1427: Driving up to Murray buttes, drilling at Marimba

Emily Lakdawalla • August 11, 2016 • 1

Curiosity has now covered most of the flat ground that lay between the Naukluft plateau and the Murray buttes. The mission took only 11 days to complete drilling work at Marimba, despite a recurrence of a problematic short in the drill. The rover is ready to drive in among the buttes, shooting spectacular photos along the way.

ExoMars sights Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • June 16, 2016

Today ESA released ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter's first photo of Mars, taken from a distance of 41 million kilometers. It's no more detail than you can get through a pair of a binoculars, just a little taste of what's to come.

Curiosity update, sols 1311-1369: Drilling at Lubango, Okoruso, and Oudam, and a turn to the south

Emily Lakdawalla • June 15, 2016 • 1

Curiosity is at a turning point in its mission to Mount Sharp, both literally and figuratively. Having drilled at three sample sites in 7 weeks, the rover took a left turn, changing its trajectory from a generally westward driving path to a southward one. It is now poised to cross the Bagnold dune field at Murray buttes.

Three bright planets: Portraits from the Pyrenees

Emily Lakdawalla • May 26, 2016 • 1

It's a great time to go outdoors and look at planets. I have three glorious planetary portraits to share today, sent to me by amateur astronomer Jean-Luc Dauvergne.

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