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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!

NPP's launching next week, and I'll be there to see it! (Hopefully.)

Emily Lakdawalla • October 21, 2011

I'm (hopefully) headed to the launch of a Delta II (the last currently scheduled Delta II!) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, as one of only 20 people selected to participate out of more than 600 who registered.

Pretty pictures & movies: Eye candy from two recent Cassini Enceladus flybys

Emily Lakdawalla • October 20, 2011

Cassini has completed two very close flybys of Enceladus in less than three weeks, one of them just this morning, and the images from that encounter have already arrived on Earth.

NOVA: Finding Life Beyond Earth airs tonight, with lots of planetary stars

Emily Lakdawalla • October 19, 2011

Programming note: tonight, public television stations will be airing a new, two-hour NOVA documentary, "Finding Life Beyond Earth."

A new trick for IKAROS: Spinning the other way

Emily Lakdawalla • October 19, 2011

JAXA's solar sail demonstration craft IKAROS is still puttering along, 17 months after it launched, and its controllers back on Earth keep coming up with new things to try with it. I'm pretty amazed by the most recent trick: reversing its spin direction. This may not sound like a big deal, but it is, especially for IKAROS.

Book Reviews: Two books that deliver knowledge in little chunks

Emily Lakdawalla • October 18, 2011

I consider October and November to be book review season. We're well out of the mental coasting of summer and have gotten into the groove of school and work in fall, and are in the relative quiet before the insanity of the season that stretches from Thanksgiving to the New Year, when much of the Western world will be scrambling to shop for presents for friends and family.

Phobos-Grunt unpacked! With Yinghuo-1 and LIFE!

Emily Lakdawalla • October 18, 2011 • 1

I know I just posted about Phobos-Grunt on Friday, but there are lots of new pictures from Baikonur Cosmodrome (Russia's main launch facility in Kazakhstan) showing Phobos-Grunt being removed from its shipping crate and tipped upright in preparation for its launch in early November.

Heads up! ROSAT is coming down this week

Emily Lakdawalla • October 17, 2011

It should give you a feeling of déjà vu: a defunct satellite's orbit is decaying, and because that orbit is circular it's going to be impossible to predict where and when along its ground track it's going to happen.

Phobos-Grunt update; lots of new images and video!

Emily Lakdawalla • October 14, 2011

Фобос-Грунт is getting ready for launch!

Eris and embargoes (or: don't fear Ingelfinger!)

Emily Lakdawalla • October 12, 2011 • 3

Last Tuesday at the Division of Planetary Sciences meeting Bruno Sicardy presented the results of his research group's observations of a stellar occultation by Eris.

Lovely pic of a recent crater on Vesta

Emily Lakdawalla • October 11, 2011

With little fanfare, the Dawn mission continues releasing a new picture from Vesta every day. This one is definitely my favorite among their recent releases, a closeup on one of Vesta's strange streaky bright craters.

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