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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!

Just what is going on in that magnificent Cassini image of Saturn?

Emily Lakdawalla • November 13, 2013 • 7

It took months of work (and no wonder) but the wait was worth it: here is Cassini's spectacular view of Saturn, captured on July 19, 2013, as Cassini passed through Saturn's shadow. If you're a little confused by the image, I'm here to help: I've posted a video explainer.

Reviews of space-themed books for children

Emily Lakdawalla • November 13, 2013

It's time for my annual roundup of reviews of space-themed books for children! I have lots of fiction and nonfiction books to recommend, for toddlers to teens.

Mars Orbiter Mission Update: Supplemental burn planned for today

Emily Lakdawalla • November 11, 2013 • 25

Yesterday, the Mars Orbiter Mission was commanded to perform a rocket burn that would have raised the apogee of its orbit around Earth. The spacecraft began its burn, but underperformed. ISRO has planned a supplemental burn for November 12 at 05:00 IST (today at 15:30 PT / 23:30 UT) in order to make up the deficit.

A hiccup in the orbital maneuvers for Mars Orbiter Mission

Emily Lakdawalla • November 10, 2013 • 7

The Mars Orbiter Mission completed its first, second, and third of six planned maneuvers in Earth orbit successfully last week. However, the fourth maneuver, conducted on Sunday at 12:36 PST / 20:36 UTC / Monday 02:06 IST, failed to lift the apogee of the orbit as high as planned.

MAVEN has arrived at the launch pad

Emily Lakdawalla • November 08, 2013 • 3

As India's Mars Orbiter Mission continues to pump up the altitude of its orbit around Earth, NASA's MAVEN is making final preparations for its direct-to-Mars launch. All is proceeding acccording to schedule toward its November 18 launch at 1:28 EST / 10:28 PST / 18:28 UTC.

Mars Orbiter Mission update: first apogee-raising burn completed

Emily Lakdawalla • November 06, 2013 • 15

When the Mars Orbiter Mission launched yesterday, it launched into Earth orbit. The Mars Orbiter Mission must perform several rocket burns in order to increase its orbital altitude before departing for Mars. The first burn was completed successfully just minutes ago.

A picture-perfect launch for ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission

Emily Lakdawalla • November 05, 2013 • 14

The PSLV carrying ISRO's Mars Orbiter mission shot like a firework off the launch pad today, placing the spacecraft precisely into its planned elliptical orbit of Earth. Now the 10-month cruise phase begins. Congratulations to ISRO!

Watching the Mars Orbiter Mission launch

Emily Lakdawalla • November 04, 2013

Here is a list I've compiled of places that I'll be watching for news of the Mars Orbiter Mission launch...

Space fan produces animated trailer for Chang'e 3 mission

Emily Lakdawalla • November 01, 2013 • 3

This animation is cool! It's not an official outreach product, just the hard work of a space enthusiast excited about the upcoming launch of Chang'e 3.

India prepares to take flight to Mars with the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)

Emily Lakdawalla • October 31, 2013 • 11

The excitement is really building toward India's first-ever attempt at an interplanetary spacecraft! Launch day is quickly approaching for the Mars Orbiter Mission. In this lengthy post, I provide answers to frequently asked questions about the mission and its goals.

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