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

Space is really, really big – except sometimes it isn’t

ESA Mars Express Team • March 04, 2014

Here's the next installment in the continuing story of how the Mars Express team is preparing for Comet Siding Spring flyby, 19 October 2014. This week: introducing the spacecraft's subsystems and structure – and wondering how we can absorb impacts.

Intro Astronomy Class 4: Eclipses, Mercury, Venus-Earth-Mars Atmospheres, Venus

Bruce Betts • February 28, 2014

This video of class 4 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class discusses eclipses, Mercury, Venus, and a comparison of the atmospheres of Venus, Earth, and Mars.

Comet Siding Spring Mars encounter: Why orienting Mars Express is the heart of the challenge

ESA Mars Express Team • February 28, 2014

Today's post continues where we started last week with an update from the Mars Express Flight Control Team at ESOC on their preparations for the 19 October Comet Siding Springs flyby. Today: defining the challenge!

Intro Astronomy Class 3: Telescopes, the Moon

Bruce Betts • February 21, 2014

Explore optical, radio, and space telescopes and the Moon in the video of class 3 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

Curiosity update: imaging the nonfunctioning REMS boom, closer to Dingo Gap

Emily Lakdawalla • January 29, 2014 • 2

At long last, on sol 526, Curiosity imaged the part of the weather instrument that was damaged during landing, but no obvious damage is visible, to me anyway. On sol 527 they drove even closer to Dingo Gap, with plans to drive onto the dune in the sol 528 drive.

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.

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