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Plans for China's farside Chang'e 4 lander science mission taking shape

Emily Lakdawalla • June 22, 2016 • 3

The future Chang'e 4 lunar farside landing mission is rapidly taking shape. Now the mission's team is coming to a consensus on the landing location, as well as on the mission's instrument package.

LPSC 2016: The Moon Keeps on Giving

Ryan Clegg-Watkins • April 14, 2016 • 1

There was no shortage of interesting lunar science talks at last month’s Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Dr. Ryan Clegg-Watkins highlights some of the interesting results for us.

What's up in solar system exploration: April 2016 edition

Emily Lakdawalla • April 04, 2016 • 2

This month (actually, today), Cassini had a relatively close flyby of Titan, and New Horizons will observe a very distant Kuiper belt object named 1994 JR1. Akatsuki has just fine-tuned its orbit around Venus, and Hayabusa2 has begun an 800-hour ion engine thrusting phase to steer it toward near-Earth asteroid Ryugu.

What's up in solar system exploration: March 2016 edition

Emily Lakdawalla • February 29, 2016 • 4

Welcome to my monthly inventory of the 20-plus spacecraft actively exploring our solar system. Highlights of this month include the impending launch of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter and Schiaparelli lander, currently planned for March 14, and the resumption of regular VMC Mars images by Mars Express.

Fun with a new data set: Chang'e 3 lander and Yutu rover camera data

Emily Lakdawalla • January 28, 2016 • 27

Here, for the first time in a format easily accessible to the public, are hundreds and hundreds of science-quality images from the Chang'e 3 lander and Yutu rover.

China invites public on-board its robotic missions; and how to download Chang'e data

Quanzhi Ye • January 25, 2016 • 1

China plans a busy future in robotic space exploration. Besides the scientific merit, what interests me most about the upcoming Chang'e 4 mission is their intention to get the public involved.

Updates on China's lunar missions

Emily Lakdawalla • January 14, 2016 • 2

It's official: China plans to send a lander mission to the lunar farside. A relay satellite will launch to the Earth-Moon L2 point in June of 2018, and a lander will follow at the end of 2018. The landing site may be within the south pole-Aitken basin.

Chang'e 5 test vehicle maps future sample return site

Emily Lakdawalla • September 03, 2015 • 4

This summer the Chinese space agency has been making progress toward its planned 2017 launch of the Chang'e 5 robotic sample return mission, performing low-altitude imaging of the future landing site.

What's up in solar system exploration: August 2015 edition

Emily Lakdawalla • August 10, 2015 • 5

I'm back from two weeks' vacation, so it's time to catch up on the status of all our intrepid planetary missions, from Akatsuki to the Voyagers and hitting the Moon, Mars, asteroids, comets, and Saturn in between.

A Sky Full of Stars

Bill Dunford • March 09, 2015 • 3

In pictures of the planets, the stars aren't usually visible. But when they do appear, they're spectacular.

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