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Our journalists and guest bloggers bring you stunning imagery and the space stories that matter most.

OSIRIS-REx Completes Mechanical Environmental Testing

Dante Lauretta • December 18, 2015 • 2

The OSIRIS-REx team successfully and safely completed sine vibration (sine vibe) testing on the spacecraft prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. The sine vibe tests are designed to verify the system performs as expected after being exposed to flight-like low frequency vibration input.

Back from the Brink: Akatsuki Returns to Venus

Ralph Lorenz • December 04, 2015 • 2

Perhaps forgotten by the general public in the West, a long-lost spacecraft is set to enter orbit around our sister planet in December, picking up where ESA’s Venus Express left off when its operations ended last year.

Mastcam-Z has passed its Preliminary Design Review!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 23, 2015

A panel of outside experts reviewed the design of the Mars 2020 rover's color cameras, and approved the progress of Mastcam-Z. It still exists only as an idea in the cloud, but it's one significant step closer to being sent to Mars.

Mars 2020 and the Adaptive Caching Assembly: An Intern’s Perspective

Jake Rosenthal • October 12, 2015 • 10

Jet Propulsion Laboratory summer intern Jake Rosenthal shares his thoughts on the Mars 2020 sample caching technology currently in development.

Spectacular New Horizons photo of Pluto's hazes and mountains: How it was made

Emily Lakdawalla • September 17, 2015 • 11

Today, New Horizons released a stunning new image of Pluto's backlit mountains and hazes. I explain how the image was taken with its Ralph Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera.

Populating the OSIRIS-REx Science Deck

Dante Lauretta • September 01, 2015 • 1

The assembly of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft continues, with many elements integrated onto the spacecraft ahead of schedule. Last month both OTES and OVIRS were delivered to Lockheed Martin and installed on the science deck.

The story behind Curiosity's self-portraits on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • August 19, 2015 • 2

How and why does Curiosity take self-portraits? A look at some of the people and stories behind Curiosity's "selfies" on the occasion of the official release of the sol 1065 belly pan self-portrait at Buckskin, below Marias Pass, Mars.

OSIRIS-REx – Testing In Progress

Annie Wargetz • July 17, 2015

While the OLA, OCAMS, and REXIS instruments on the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft continue working towards their deliveries, other hardware onsite at Lockheed is undergoing testing prior to installation. The hardware is put through tests here on Earth prior to launching into space.

OSIRIS-REx – Seeking Answers to the Sweet Mystery of Life

Jason Dworkin • May 07, 2015 • 2

The nature of the origin of life is a topic that has engaged people since ancient times. The samples to be collected by OSIRIS-REx, returned to the Earth in 2023 and archived for decades beyond that, may indeed hide the secrets to the origin of life.

Can nuclear waste help humanity reach for the stars?

Tim Tinsley • April 23, 2015 • 3

With the shortage of plutonium-238 to power space missions, Europe has decided to focus on an accessible alternative material that could power future spacecraft: americium-241.

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