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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!

Spaceflight in 2017, part 2: Robots beyond Earth orbit

Emily Lakdawalla • December 30, 2016 • 4

What's ahead for our intrepid space explorers in 2017? It'll be the end of Cassini, but not before the mission performs great science close to the rings. OSIRIS-REx will fly by Earth, and Chang'e 5 will launch to the Moon, as a host of other spacecraft continue their ongoing missions.

Winter Solstice: A look at the solar system's north poles

Emily Lakdawalla • December 21, 2016 • 2

Today is the solstice, the longest winter night at Earth's north pole, the longest day of summer in the south. To give a little light to northerners in darkness today, please enjoy this gallery of images of (mostly) sunlit north poles across our solar system.

ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter takes in a rarely-imaged view of Phobos

Emily Lakdawalla • December 15, 2016 • 2

ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter's science team enjoyed the opportunity in November to test out their science instruments on Mars. One of the tests involved imaging Phobos from an unusual angle.

Curiosity update, sols 1489-1547: Drilling at Sebina, driving up through Murray, drill problems at Precipice

Emily Lakdawalla • December 12, 2016 • 1

It's been a drive-heavy two months for Curiosity. Since my last update, the rover has drilled at a site named Sebina, then traveled about 500 meters to the south across increasingly chunky-looking Murray rocks to a new attempted drill site at Precipice. They were planning to attempt a new drilling technique at Precipice, but encountered a new problem with the drill instead.

Schiaparelli investigation update; crash site in color from HiRISE

Emily Lakdawalla • November 23, 2016 • 11

ESA issued an update on the Schiaparelli landing investigation today, identifying a problem reading from an inertial measurement unit as the proximate cause of the crash. Meanwhile, ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter is operating its science instruments for the first time this week, and HiRISE has released calibrated versions of the Schiaparelli crash site images.

Emily's recommended space books for kids of all ages, 2016

Emily Lakdawalla • November 22, 2016 • 3

Emily's eighth annual kids' space book recommendation post includes lots of new books for kids of all ages, 0 to 18.

HiRISE coverage of the Opportunity field site, version 1.0

Emily Lakdawalla • November 18, 2016 • 1

As she did before for Curiosity, Emily Lakdawalla has searched through the HiRISE image archive for photos of the Opportunity landing site and sorted them all out so that you don't have to.

Great whirling Jupiter

Emily Lakdawalla • November 10, 2016 • 1

Damian Peach's marvelous Jupiter photography, endlessly rotating in GIF form.

Juno update: 53.5-day orbits for the foreseeable future, more Marble Movie

Emily Lakdawalla • November 03, 2016 • 4

Juno may be staying in its 53.5-day orbit for quite a while. Here's a list of the future dates of the next 20 close approaches to Jupiter if the mission stays in that orbit, as well as the latest, near-final version of JunoCam's "Marble Movie."

What's up in the solar system, November 2016 edition: Cassini takes a leap, ExoMars starts science, Long March 5 launch

Emily Lakdawalla • November 01, 2016 • 2

Cassini is going to make a major change to its orbit, getting much close to Saturn, setting up 20 "F-ring" orbits. ExoMars will get two science orbits before beginning aerobraking. Long March 5 will have its first launch, while many Earth-observing missions, including Himawari-9 and GOES-R, will go up. But Juno science is on hold.

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Emily Lakdwalla
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