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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!

DPS/EPSC update: 2007 OR10 has a moon!

Emily Lakdawalla • October 19, 2016 • 3

The third-largest object known beyond Neptune, 2007 OR10, has a moon. The discovery was reported in a poster by Gábor Marton, Csaba Kiss, and Thomas Mueller at the joint meeting of the European Planetary Science Congress and the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society (DPS/EPSC) on Monday.

Juno to delay planned burn

Emily Lakdawalla • October 16, 2016 • 5

The Juno mission posted a status report late Friday afternoon, indicating that they will not perform the originally planned period reduction maneuver during their next perijove (closest approach to Jupiter) on October 19. The delay changes the start date of the science mission and also all the future dates of Juno's perijoves.

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.

ExoMars arrives soon!

Emily Lakdawalla • October 11, 2016 • 3

ESA's ExoMars will arrive at Mars on Wednesday, October 19, with Schiaparelli touching down in Meridiani Planum, and the Trace Gas Orbiter entering orbit while Mars Express watches.

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.

What's up in the solar system, October 2016 edition: ExoMars arrives!

Emily Lakdawalla • October 04, 2016 • 2

ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter arrives on October 19, and it will deliver the Schiaparelli lander to its brief life on the Martian surface. Juno's headed into its science orbit, MOM has released science data, and New Horizons will finally finish downlinking Pluto flyby data.

Rosetta is gone

Emily Lakdawalla • September 30, 2016 • 6

Today there is one less spacecraft returning science data from beyond Earth. The European Space Operations Centre received the final transmission from Rosetta at 11:19 September 30, UT.

Rosetta spacecraft may be dying, but Rosetta science will go on

Emily Lakdawalla • September 29, 2016 • 3

The Rosetta mission will end tomorrow when the spacecraft impacts the comet. ESA took advantage of the presence of hundreds of members of the media to put on a showcase of Rosetta science. If there’s one thing I learned today from all the science presentations, it’s this: Rosetta data will be informing scientific work for decades to come.

OSIRIS-REx’s cameras see first light

Emily Lakdawalla • September 29, 2016

As OSIRIS-REx speeds away from Earth, it’s been turning on and testing out its various engineering functions and science instruments. Proof of happy instrument status has come from several cameras, including the star tracker, MapCam, and StowCam.

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Emily Lakdwalla
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