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The State of Planetary Defense

The Planetary Report • September Solstice 2019

Vishnu Reddy delivers a sober but hopeful report on our understanding of near-Earth objects, their dangers, and our readiness.

Venus’ Ocean of Air and Clouds

The Planetary Report • September Solstice 2019

Javier Peralta plumbs the depths of Venus’ atmosphere through the eyes of the Venus Express and Akatsuki orbiters.

Treasure Hunting With Hayabusa2

The Planetary Report • June Solstice 2019

IN THE EARLY hours of 22 February, light was just beginning to brighten the campus of JAXA’s Institute of Space and Astronautical Sciences (ISAS) in Kanagawa, Japan. It should have been a quiet time, but the Hayabusa2 control room was packed with people. We were about to land on an asteroid.

Rosetta’s Ancient Comet

The Planetary Report • June Solstice 2019

Rosetta is a European Space Agency mission with contributions from its member states and NASA. Operating such a complex mission with its 11 instruments and Philae lander is a success story in itself, but Rosetta’s greatest success is the science it delivered.

Chang’e-4 may have discovered material from the Moon’s mantle

Andrew Jones • May 15, 2019 • 1

The first science results from the unprecedented Chang’e-4 lunar far side mission are in. The mission’s Yutu-2 rover, deployed from the lander shortly after the Chang’e-4 landing on 3 January, has, with the help of the Queqiao relay satellite, returned data which suggests it has discovered material derived from the Moon’s mantle.

Mars Used to Have Water, But We Can't Explain How

Kaushik Mitra • May 07, 2019 • 8

Although we have acquired compelling evidence of flowing liquid water on early Mars, the fundamental question about how water could be stable under Martian atmospheric conditions remains unsolved.

Not a Heart of Ice

Mark Marley • April 02, 2019 • 1

Mark Marley explains what planetary scientists mean when they say the word "ice."

We're going to Jezero!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 20, 2018 • 3

NASA announced this morning the selection of Jezero crater for the landing site of the Mars 2020 mission. Jezero is a 45-kilometer-wide crater that once held a lake, and now holds a spectacular ancient river delta.

Heiligenschein Throughout the Solar System

Brittney Cooper • October 16, 2018 • 2

When planetary scientist Brittney Cooper was scrolling through the downlinked images of Hayabusa2’s approach of asteroid Ryugu, a familiar sight caught her attention.

Curiosity's organics on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • July 30, 2018 • 4

What does it mean that the Mars rover Curiosity found organics in Martian rocks? Emily Lakdawalla translates the science.

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