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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!

According to Nature News, Curiosity is going to Gale

Emily Lakdawalla • June 23, 2011

Nature News is reporting that the Mars Science Laboratory mission has made its recommendation for the landing site for the next great Mars rover, and it's Gale crater.

How to Wrap a Mars Rover, redux

Emily Lakdawalla • June 21, 2011

All right, I'll admit it: JPL's video is way, way cooler than mine. Four days of packing Curiosity up for shipping, condensed into under a minute.

How to Wrap a Mars Rover

Emily Lakdawalla • June 17, 2011

It's not easy to wrap a ginormous rover for shipping. I was glued to the feed from the Curiosity Cam all day yesterday, as they prepared Curiosity for shipping to Kennedy Space Center. Here's a low-budget time-lapse of the rover being wrapped.

Two new views of Curiosity

Emily Lakdawalla • June 01, 2011

This week two cool new views of the next Mars rover appeared in the Jet Propulsion Lab's image database, the Planetary Photojournal. One was real, and one simulated; I've been waiting to see both for many months.

It's opposite day at the Curiosity landing site selection meeting

Emily Lakdawalla • May 18, 2011

I've been attending the final Mars Science Laboratory Landing Site Community Workshop meeting this week, taking copious notes for a future article in The Planetary Report, some of which I'll post here when I get a chance. But I just had to write a brief post about the totally crazy role reversal that is going on at this meeting.

Having some fun with Curiosity's pretty face (plus, a conversation about Curiosity with a 4-year-old)

Emily Lakdawalla • April 08, 2011

The photo I took of Curiosity's "face" and posted on Monday seems to have tickled a lot of people. I understand it's the subject of a "Photoshop this Mars rover" challenge at Fark, and a couple of the guys over at unmannedspaceflight.com have been having a field day with it.

Face-to-face with Curiosity

Emily Lakdawalla • April 04, 2011

I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity today for a face-to-face visit with one of the biggest celebrities in my world: Curiosity, the next Mars rover. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory gave members of the media a chance to suit up in the white coveralls known as "bunny suits" and enter the Spacecraft Assembly Facility, the clean room in which Curiosity is being assembled and prepared for launch.

A zoomable MastCam is not going to make it to Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • March 23, 2011

I hate being the bearer of bad news, but here it is. Amid all the building excitement for Curiosity -- the successes in testing, the delivery of the instruments, the fun of tuning in to Curiosity Cam to peek in on engineers doing their work in preparing the next rover for launch -- I've learned that a much-anticipated (but not required) feature is not going to make it on to the rover.

Neat video of Curiosity drive testing (plus a code-cracking challenge)

Emily Lakdawalla • March 21, 2011

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory has posted a short video showing some recent testing of an engineering model of the Mars Science Laboratory in their outdoor Mars Yard; they're testing the performance of the rover's driving capability over slopes of varying steepness and covered with bedrock, compacted sand, and very loose sand.

365 Days of Astronomy Podcast: Unmanned Space Exploration in 2011

Emily Lakdawalla • January 12, 2011

Today the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast aired my contribution, Unmanned Space Exploration in 2011, about what to look forward to in solar system exploration this year.

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