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Blogs

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

How to get a satellite to geostationary orbit

Jason Davis • January 17, 2014 • 14

Mike Loucks helps provide a beginner's walk-through of the orbital mechanics behind geosynchronous and geostationary satellites.

Planetary Radio: NEOWISE PI Amy Mainzer

Mat Kaplan • January 01, 2014 • 1

NEOWISE has reawakened to discover many more asteroids and comets. The mission leader thanks the amateur astronomers who follow up on these discoveries.

Planetary Radio: Ten Years A Roving: The Mars Exploration Rovers

Mat Kaplan • December 24, 2013

This week's show looks back over ten years of exploration by Spirit and Opportunity. Writer A.J.S. Rayl recounts the challenges encountered early in the mission, and how an outstanding team triumphed.

Planetary Dirt Sampling Success

Bruce Betts • December 04, 2013 • 3

We present an update and a video about the successful design, construction, and testing in a vacuum chamber by Honeybee Robotics of a prototype PlanetVac system, a new planetary surface sampling technique, sponsored by The Planetary Society. PlanetVac is a reliable system that effectively vacuums up planetary surface materials.

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.

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.

Planetary Radio: Looking for Intelligence in a Flash

Mat Kaplan • November 05, 2013 • 1

An update on the Planetary Society's improved Optical SETI search, with Harvard's Paul Horowitz and Curtis Mead.

Power From the Isotopes

Casey Dreier • October 29, 2013 • 2

We report on the current state of Plutonium-238 production in the United States, a crucial fuel source for planetary exploration spacecraft.

The Potential of CubeSats

Van Kane • October 23, 2013

Planetary spacecraft originally tended to be large missions. However, technology is shrinking, and before the decade is out, I expect that we will have at least one planetary mission based on a CubeSat.

Alpha Centauri Planet Hunt Update

Bruce Betts • October 15, 2013 • 2

An update from Yale’s Debra Fischer about the Alpha Centauri planet hunt, partially sponsored by The Planetary Society, as well as her team’s efforts to remove “noise” from parent stars to help find exoplanets.

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