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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!

Sagan and Snooki

Emily Lakdawalla • September 28, 2011

This image has been making the rounds of Google+ and Facebook today.

Finally, an official statement on UARS' exact reentry time and location

Emily Lakdawalla • September 27, 2011

The world watched on Friday as the derelict spacecraft named UARS made its final few orbits around Earth. And then we waited for final word of its reentry location. And waited. And waited.

MAVEN's baby picture

Emily Lakdawalla • September 26, 2011

A new Mars mission, MAVEN, has finally leapt the hurdle separating its existence as an idea from its material existence. Here's MAVEN's baby picture: the just-completed "primary structure" of the spacecraft.

Readers: Help me identify "greatest hit" blog entries?

Emily Lakdawalla • September 26, 2011

If you are reading this and happen to recall an entry that struck you as particularly educational or having a particularly beautiful picture or whatever, I'd very much appreciate it if you could note that in the comments (or by email or Twitter, if you prefer).

The latest HiRISE view of Opportunity, on Endeavour's rim

Emily Lakdawalla • September 24, 2011

In a now-routine act of obtaining detailed photographs of robots from Earth sitting on the surface of another planet, the HiRISE camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured a view of Opportunity sitting on the rim of Endeavour crater.

Tethys and Dione don't seem to be active after all

Emily Lakdawalla • September 23, 2011

About four years ago I wrote a blog entry about an ESA press release about paper published in Nature that suggested that Saturn's moons Tethys and Dione might have volcanic activity, like Enceladus. A new paper published in Icarus casts doubt on that conclusion.

Professor Michael Drake, Ph.D. (1946-2011)

Emily Lakdawalla • September 21, 2011

All of us at the Planetary Society are deeply saddened by the passing of planetary scientist Michael Drake. He has been a pillar of the planetary science community for four decades.

Keeping track of UARS' reentry

Emily Lakdawalla • September 21, 2011

Unless you've been living under a rock you've probably heard that a very large Earth-orbiting satellite is going to be reentering Earth's atmosphere soon, and there's a small but nonzero chance of debris coming down where somebody might actually find it.

Reading Itokawa's life history from microscopic samples

Emily Lakdawalla • September 20, 2011

When Hayabusa's sample return capsule was first opened and found to be very clean-looking inside, I doubted that there could be enough material for laboratory analysis. JAXA announced later that they scraped about 1500 dust grains from the inside with a teflon spatula, and these likely came from Itokawa.

Video: Soaring over Earth

Emily Lakdawalla • September 19, 2011

This amazing video has already been posted by basically every other space blogger but I can't resist featuring it too, especially because I just realized that it was not made by NASA but instead by a member of the public digging into public NASA archives of image data -- yay for amateurs!

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