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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!

Juno has arrived!

Emily Lakdawalla • July 05, 2016 • 7

For a second time, NASA has placed a spacecraft into orbit at Jupiter. The spacecraft operated exactly according to plan, and Juno successfully entered orbit today, July 5, 2016, UTC

A peek at the JunoCam approach movie

Emily Lakdawalla • July 04, 2016 • 2

We're now just about 12 hours away from Juno's Jupiter orbit insertion. As anticipation ramps up, NASA has released this sneak peek at JunoCam's approach movie, made of views of Jupiter and its largest moons shot during the final approach, up until about five days ago.

How to watch Juno's orbit insertion

Emily Lakdawalla • July 01, 2016 • 3

The big day is almost here. Juno begins firing its main engine at 20:18 PT / 23:18 ET / 03:18 UT on July 4/5, and the maneuver should be over 35 minutes later at 20:53 / 23:53 / 03:53. Here's how you can follow the mission through its most hazardous event since launch.

What's up in the solar system, July 2016 edition: Juno to enter orbit, NASA missions all extended

Emily Lakdawalla • July 01, 2016 • 2

Highlights this month include the impending arrival of Juno at Jupiter, the approval of extended missions for all of NASA's solar system spacecraft, and public data releases from Rosetta, New Horizons, and Cassini.

Juno's first taste of science from Jupiter

Emily Lakdawalla • June 30, 2016 • 8

Jupiter is growing in Juno's forward view as the spacecraft approaches for its orbit insertion July 5 (July 4 in the Americas). The mission has released images from JunoCam and sonifications of data from the plasma waves instrument as Juno begins to sense Jupiter.

Plans for China's farside Chang'e 4 lander science mission taking shape

Emily Lakdawalla • June 22, 2016 • 3

The future Chang'e 4 lunar farside landing mission is rapidly taking shape. Now the mission's team is coming to a consensus on the landing location, as well as on the mission's instrument package.

National Selfie Day: Spacecraft self-portraits

Emily Lakdawalla • June 21, 2016 • 6

It's apparently National Selfie Day. I'm not entirely sure who has the authority to declare these things, or why they decided we needed a National Selfie Day, but since the self-portrait is one of my favorite subgenres of spacecraft photography, I couldn't resist writing about them.

Timeline of Juno Jupiter Orbit Insertion events

Emily Lakdawalla • June 16, 2016 • 1

Today NASA held a press briefing and released a press kit for the impending orbit insertion of the Juno spacecraft. The 35-minute orbit insertion burn is scheduled to begin July 5 at 03:18 UTC (July 4 20:18, PDT). Here's a timeline for events relating to orbit insertion.

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.

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Emily Lakdwalla
The Planetary Fund

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