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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!

Mars' valley networks tell us of a dry, then wet, then dry Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • September 10, 2013 • 1

Was there rainfall on Mars? Recent work mapping valley networks suggests there probably was -- but only for about 200 million years. What does this mean for life, and the Curiosity mission?

Pluto's atmosphere does not collapse

Emily Lakdawalla • September 06, 2013 • 2

Just four months ago I posted about a paper recently published by Leslie Young and coauthors that described three possible scenarios for Pluto's atmosphere. Yesterday, Cathy Olkin, Leslie Young, and coauthors posted a preprint on arXiv that says that only one of those scenarios can be true. And it's a surprising one. The title of their paper says it all: "Pluto's atmosphere does not collapse."

LADEE prelaunch facts

Emily Lakdawalla • September 05, 2013 • 1

I glean all the important facts about NASA's next Moon mission from their prelaunch press kit. Launch is scheduled for September 6, 2013 at 8:27 p.m. PDT (September 7 at 03:27 UTC).

In his own words: Mike Massimino on how he "nearly broke" Hubble

Emily Lakdawalla • September 05, 2013

In an enthralling article for Esquire magazine, astronaut Mike Massimino writes about nearly failing to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, and how the people of Earth came to his rescue.

Deep Impact in trouble: last heard from August 8

Emily Lakdawalla • September 04, 2013

Communication with the Deep Impact spacecraft was lost some time between August 11 and August 14. The team has determined the cause of the problem, and is trying to figure out how to restore communication.

Book review: Destiny or Chance Revisited

Emily Lakdawalla • September 04, 2013 • 1

What have the recent discoveries of thousands of exoplanets told us about how we got here, and whether we are alone? In Destiny or Chance Revisited, Stuart Ross Taylor attempts to answer those two questions.

Looking back at Mariner images of Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • September 03, 2013 • 8

Bruce Murray was an early advocate for the inclusion of cameras on planetary spacecraft. As a tribute to him, I thought I'd take a look at a few of the images from the early Mariner missions to Mars.

Results of ten Venus years of cloud tracking by Venus Express

Emily Lakdawalla • August 29, 2013 • 5

What Venus Express' Visual Monitoring Camera images of Venus have taught us about the motions of Venus' atmosphere.

Chang'e 3 proceeding toward December 1 launch

Emily Lakdawalla • August 28, 2013 • 2

News agencies are reporting that China's soft lunar lander and rover, Chang'e 3, has passed its final critical reviews and is now proceeding toward launch.

LADEE prepares for launch

Emily Lakdawalla • August 22, 2013 • 3

LADEE's launch window opens two weeks from today, on September 6. The brief little mission aims to study the lunar atmosphere and dust environment before future soft landings disturb its currently pristine state.

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