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Emily's Blog

Snapshots from Space

by Emily Lakdawalla

Follow the thrilling adventures of planetary missions, past and present, and see the stunningly beautiful photos that they return from space!

Emily Lakdawalla

Latest Blog Posts:

Two new ways to browse Vesta: 2. Vesta Image data browser

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/16 10:57 CDT

A few weeks ago I received an email pointing me to a really cool new map-based browser to Dawn's Vesta image data.

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Two new ways to browse Vesta: 1. Vesta Low-Altitude Mapping Orbit (LAMO) Atlas

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/16 10:57 CDT

Last week was the European Planetary Science Congress in London, and there's been a lot of science news. One thing that caught my eye Friday was the publication of a new atlas for Vesta.

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LADEE checkout phase successfully completed!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/13 07:25 CDT

Some good news to start your weekend: the newest member of our deep-space fleet, LADEE, has successfully completed its checkout phase and is now officially in its cruise phase. It is still in Earth orbit, headed for Lunar Orbit Insertion on Sunday, October 6.

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Taking a close look at MAVEN assembly and testing videos

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/11 06:33 CDT | 1 comment

I noticed something funny while examining MAVEN assembly and testing videos.

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Still no contact with Deep Impact

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/10 06:59 CDT | 4 comments

Oh, that dreaded phrase, "mission status report." It sounds so neutral, but it almost always means bad news. In this case, it's really bad: Deep Impact is not communicating with Earth.

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Mars' valley networks tell us of a dry, then wet, then dry Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/10 03:43 CDT | 1 comment

Was there rainfall on Mars? Recent work mapping valley networks suggests there probably was -- but only for about 200 million years. What does this mean for life, and the Curiosity mission?

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Pluto's atmosphere does not collapse

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/06 11:07 CDT | 2 comments

Just four months ago I posted about a paper recently published by Leslie Young and coauthors that described three possible scenarios for Pluto's atmosphere. Yesterday, Cathy Olkin, Leslie Young, and coauthors posted a preprint on arXiv that says that only one of those scenarios can be true. And it's a surprising one. The title of their paper says it all: "Pluto's atmosphere does not collapse."

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LADEE prelaunch facts

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/05 07:20 CDT | 1 comment

I glean all the important facts about NASA's next Moon mission from their prelaunch press kit. Launch is scheduled for September 6, 2013 at 8:27 p.m. PDT (September 7 at 03:27 UTC).

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In his own words: Mike Massimino on how he "nearly broke" Hubble

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/05 11:14 CDT

In an enthralling article for Esquire magazine, astronaut Mike Massimino writes about nearly failing to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, and how the people of Earth came to his rescue.

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Deep Impact in trouble: last heard from August 8

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/04 01:10 CDT

Communication with the Deep Impact spacecraft was lost some time between August 11 and August 14. The team has determined the cause of the problem, and is trying to figure out how to restore communication.

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