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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!

The story behind Curiosity's self-portraits on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • August 19, 2015 • 2

How and why does Curiosity take self-portraits? A look at some of the people and stories behind Curiosity's "selfies" on the occasion of the official release of the sol 1065 belly pan self-portrait at Buckskin, below Marias Pass, Mars.

Curiosity update, sols 1012-1072: Sciencing back and forth below Marias Pass

Emily Lakdawalla • August 14, 2015

Since my last update, Curiosity has driven back and forth repeatedly across a section of rocks below Marias pass. The rover finally drilled at a spot named Buckskin on sol 1060, marking the drill's return to operations after suffering a short on sol 911. Now the rover is driving up into Marias Pass and onto the Washboard or Stimson unit.

Curiosity update, sols 978-1011: Into Marias Pass; ChemCam back in action; solar conjunction

Emily Lakdawalla • June 10, 2015 • 7

It’s been an eventful few weeks for Curiosity on Mars. From sols 981 to 986, Curiosity’s human pilots tried and failed to drive the rover southward; but, retracing their steps to Logan's Run, they quickly found a way up and into a beautiful geological amphitheater named Marias Pass, where they will stay throughout Mars solar conjunction. They also returned ChemCam to normal operations.

Real-time sunset on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • May 24, 2015 • 7

Pause your life for six minutes and watch the Sun set....on Mars. Thank you, Glen Nagle, for this awe-inspiring simulation based on Curiosity's sol 956 sunset images.

Rover eyes on rock layers on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • May 19, 2015 • 2

Digging in to mission image archives yields similar images of layered Martian rocks from very different places.

Curiosity update, sols 949-976: Scenic road trip and a diversion to Logan's Run

Emily Lakdawalla • May 06, 2015 • 4

Curiosity is finally on the road again! And she's never taken a more scenic route than this. Her path to Mount Sharp is taking her to the west and south, across sandy swales between rocky rises.

Curiosity update, sols 896-949: Telegraph Peak, Garden City, and concern about the drill

Emily Lakdawalla • April 10, 2015 • 1

Since I last wrote about Curiosity drilling at Pink Cliffs, the rover has visited and studied two major sites, drilling at one of them. It has also suffered a short in the drill percussion mechanism that presents serious enough risk to warrant a moratorium on drill use until engineers develop a plan to continue to operate it safely.

Mars Orbiter Mission Methane Sensor for Mars is at work

Emily Lakdawalla • March 04, 2015 • 5

After several months of near-silence, ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission has released on Facebook the first data product from its Methane Sensor For Mars. Don't get too excited about methane yet: there is no positive or negative detection. The news here is that the Methane Sensor for Mars is working, systematically gathering data. They also released several new photos of Mars.

Curiosity update, sols 864-895: Drilling at Pink Cliffs

Emily Lakdawalla • February 20, 2015

Curiosity's second drilling campaign at the foot of Mount Sharp is complete. The rover spent about a month near Pink Cliffs, an area at the base of the Pahrump Hills outcrop, drilling and documenting a site named Mojave, where lighter-colored crystals were scattered through a very fine-grained rock.

Mars Orbiter Mission images Mars' moons, including the far side of Deimos

Emily Lakdawalla • February 04, 2015 • 2

Today I'm excited to show you some previously unreleased images from Mars Orbiter Mission, containing Mars' moons Phobos and Deimos.

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