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The Planetary Report • March 2019

Emily Lakdawalla takes us on a tour of the spacecraft currently exploring from within our solar system. All planets and spacecraft locations are shown at their location for April 1st, 2019.

NASA Then & Now

Bruce Betts • October 02, 2018 • 2

A collection of before and after slider images showing how views of planets in our solar system have changed over the years since NASA was created.

MarCO: CubeSats to Mars!

Emily Lakdawalla • May 01, 2018 • 3

MarCO or Mars Cube One is an experimental mission that is sending two tiny spacecraft along with InSight to Mars. If successful, they will relay real-time telemetry from InSight to Earth during the landing.

OSIRIS-REx shows us space isn't entirely empty

Emily Lakdawalla • April 20, 2018 • 1

What a cool photo of OSIRIS-REx's sample return capsule! But wait, what's that black dot near the top?

Seeing InSight

Emily Lakdawalla • April 10, 2018 • 1

Last week, I received a golden ticket that gave me rare access to a sacred space: the cleanroom facility where NASA's next Mars lander, InSight, is undergoing final preparations for launch.

Ten times the solar system reminded us sample collection is hard

Emily Lakdawalla • February 19, 2018 • 3

Some of the biggest discoveries we make in planetary science rely on the seemingly simple act of picking up and analyzing pieces of other worlds. When things go awry, scientists and engineers can sometimes squeeze amazing science out of a tough situation.

Reconstructing the Viking '75 Mars lander Surface Sampler Collector

Tom Dahl • January 29, 2018 • 1

Viking enthusiast Tom Dahl has created an animation demonstrating the operation of the Viking lander's Surface Sampler Acquisition Assembly, or "scoop."

OSIRIS-REx’s cameras see first light

Emily Lakdawalla • September 29, 2016

As OSIRIS-REx speeds away from Earth, it’s been turning on and testing out its various engineering functions and science instruments. Proof of happy instrument status has come from several cameras, including the star tracker, MapCam, and StowCam.

Philae spotted on the surface of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Emily Lakdawalla • September 06, 2016 • 1

Ever since its landing, Philae has been elusive. It went silent just three days later and never returned any more science data, though it made brief contact with the orbiter last summer. Now, just a month until the planned end of the Rosetta mission, the orbiter has finally located the lander in a stunning high-resolution view of the surface.

OSIRIS-REx is on the launch pad, ready for the big day

Emily Lakdawalla • September 02, 2016 • 6

The OSIRIS-REx mission passed its flight readiness review yesterday, clearing the way for the spacecraft to launch on Thursday, September 8. Here's a schedule of next week's NASA TV briefings and a photo album of the launch preparations.

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