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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!

Chang'e 3 may launch December 1 with Yutu rover, will not harm LADEE mission

Emily Lakdawalla • November 27, 2013 • 8

Yesterday the Chinese space agency held a press briefing about the Chang'e 3 lunar lander. They announced that the rover has been named Yutu (or "Jade Rabbit," a legendary companion of the goddess Chang'e). Although it will land during the LADEE mission, it will not harm LADEE's goals -- quite the opposite, in fact.

A case of the measles for Jupiter?

Emily Lakdawalla • November 26, 2013 • 1

Amateur astronomer Christopher Go has found Jupiter to be putting on a fun show for observers: it's sprouting little red spots "like it has a measles attack!"

Reviews of toys for kids of space geeks

Emily Lakdawalla • November 25, 2013

Have kids to buy gifts for? I review some space-themed toys for kids age 1 to 12 or so: the Snap Circuits Deluxe Rover; astronaut costume accessories; the latest incarnation of Astronaut Barbie; and Lift Off Rocket Play Set. I also have a few construction toys to recommend.

Why are MAVEN and Mars Orbiter Mission taking such different paths to Mars?

Emily Lakdawalla • November 22, 2013 • 20

Two spacecraft launched for Mars this month: Mars Orbiter Mission on November 5, and MAVEN on November 18. MAVEN is now on an interplanetary trajectory, while Mars Orbiter Mission is still in Earth orbit and will not depart for Mars until the end of the month. A lot of people are asking me: why the difference? Here's your answer, with input from Dave Doody.

Imaging results from the Chang'e 2 Toutatis flyby

Emily Lakdawalla • November 21, 2013 • 3

There is a paper in press at Icarus by Xiaoduan Zou and five coauthors that provides the first peer-reviewed publication I've seen on the results of the imaging experiment performed during the Chang'e 2 flyby of near-Earth asteroid (4179) Toutatis.

First image from India's Mars Orbiter Mission

Emily Lakdawalla • November 20, 2013 • 6

Here, for your enjoyment, is the first image of Earth taken by the mission's Mars Colour Camera.

A post for Reading Rainbow

Emily Lakdawalla • November 19, 2013

My brother and I enjoyed watching Reading Rainbow as kids, so it's a delight for me to have had a guest post published on their blog last week. I wrote for them about how kids (with the help of their parents) can follow the adventure of the Curiosity mission through the release of their raw images.

MAVEN is on the way to Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • November 18, 2013 • 8

A perfect launch on an Atlas V rocket has sent MAVEN on her way to Mars today at 10:28 PT (18:38 UT). Today's on-time launch puts the mission on course for a September 22, 2014 arrival at Mars.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about MAVEN's launch and mission

Emily Lakdawalla • November 15, 2013 • 13

MAVEN is just about to launch! The mission has just released their launch press kit. This post summarizes the press kit's high points, and hopefully answers most of your questions about NASA's next Mars orbiter, scheduled for liftoff Monday at 10:28 PT / 13:28 ET / 18:28 UT.

Features at both rover field sites on Mars named for Bruce Murray

Emily Lakdawalla • November 14, 2013

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced today that the geologists on both Mars rover teams -- Opportunity and Curiosity -- have named landmarks at their field sites after the late Bruce Murray.

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