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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!

An amazing LEGO model of Curiosity

Emily Lakdawalla • September 03, 2012 • 1

A petite model of Curiosity in LEGO accurately represents many of its features and functions.

What's Up in the Solar System in September 2012

Emily Lakdawalla • August 31, 2012 • 4

It's an active time in interplanetary exploration! Curiosity has begun roving Mars, and Opportunity's not wasting any time either. Dawn has just departed Vesta and begun the more than two-year cruise to Ceres. Juno is in the middle of a big deep-space maneuver, setting up next year's Earth flyby.

HiRISE's best view of Curiosity yet

Emily Lakdawalla • August 31, 2012 • 10

HiRISE's best opportunity to view Curiosity so far came 12 days after landing, when the orbiter passed nearly directly overhead. The photo resolves amazing detail on the huge rover.

Explaining the new black-and-white Mastcam and MARDI raw images

Emily Lakdawalla • August 24, 2012 • 2

If you've been obsessively checking the Curiosity raw images websites for new pictures from Mars, you might have noticed something weird: a bunch of Mastcam images and a few from MARDI that are black-and-white instead of color, and which have a peculiar checkerboard pattern.

The definitive version of Curiosity's first color panorama

Emily Lakdawalla • August 23, 2012 • 8

The top of the mountain has finally been filled in, and Damien Bouic has produced what I think is the definitive version of Curiosity's first color panorama.

August 22, 2012 officially proclaimed "Space Day" in California

Emily Lakdawalla • August 21, 2012

Governor Brown has declared August 22, 2012 "Space Day." I'm not sure what it means, but I love the repeated use of the word "whereas."

Curiosity sol 15 update: Wheel wiggles, arm flexes, and bad news about REMS

Emily Lakdawalla • August 21, 2012 • 8

Notes from this morning's press conference. Curiosity has successfully steered the corner wheels and deployed and restowed the robotic arm. ChemCam tests went well over the weekend. But one of the two wind speed sensors in REMS appears to have suffered permanent damage during landing.

The first Curiosity 360-degree panorama including the mountain

Emily Lakdawalla • August 18, 2012 • 8

Damien Bouic took Curiosity's Hazcam images of Aeolis Mons / Mount Sharp and merged them with a beautiful 360-degree Navcam panorama to give us our first look at what the view will look like once the mission finally gets higher-resolution images that include the mountain's peak.

Curiosity sol 11 update: Decision to drive to "the high thermal inertia unit" and what that means

Emily Lakdawalla • August 17, 2012 • 8

Some notes from this morning's Curiosity press briefing: the rover will be driving to "Glenelg" to investigate the "high thermal inertia unit." I explain what that means, with psychedelic Odyssey THEMIS images of the landing site.

Some fun with Curiosity MARDI images

Emily Lakdawalla • August 16, 2012 • 9

Yesterday Curiosity returned a pile of full-resolution descent imager photos to Earth. The full-resolution MARDI images are just as great as we anticipated.

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