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

PlanetVac Project Underway

Bruce Betts • July 01, 2013 • 1

The Planetary Society's PlanetVac project with Honeybee Robotics is now fully underway. Here we provide a just released statement by Honeybee, and an introduction to this lab test of a new planetary surface sampling system.

How radar really works: The steps involved before getting an image

Alessondra Springmann • June 24, 2013 • 3

Arecibo Observatory is known for its 1000-foot diameter telescope and its appearances in Goldeneye and Contact. Aside from battling Bond villains and driving red diesel Jeeps around the telescope (grousing at the site director about the funding status of projects is optional), several hundred hours a year of telescope time at Arecibo go toward radar studies of asteroids.

Astronomy Enters a New Era

Mat Kaplan • May 26, 2013 • 3

A live conversation about just a few of the powerful new instruments that will revolutionize our knowledge of the cosmos once again.

Instruments for the JUICE Jovian Mission

Van Kane • March 07, 2013 • 6

The European Space Agency (ESA) announced the list of instruments selected for its JUICE mission to explore the Jovian system for three years starting in the 2030 following a 2022 launch.

Curiosity's Scoop Campaign, a Summary

Stephen Kuhn • January 08, 2013 • 4

Stephen Kuhn is the CHIMRA and the scoop systems lead on the Curiosity rover. He explains what the team was doing at Rocknest, and why it took so long!

SpaceX's Grasshopper makes leap toward reusability

Jason Davis • December 26, 2012 • 14

SpaceX's Grasshopper rocket passed its most ambitious test flight yet, rising 12 stories before hovering and settling gently back down onto its landing pad.

Planetary Society Weekly Hangout: present and future rovers

Emily Lakdawalla • December 05, 2012 • 3

The Planetary Society has a new weekly Google+ Hangout time slot, Thursdays at noon PT / 1800 UT. This week, Casey Dreier and I talked about the Curiosity kerfuffle and NASA's future rover plans. Here's the archived recording.

More than you probably wanted to know about Curiosity's SAM instrument

Emily Lakdawalla • November 30, 2012 • 26

With all the hoopla surrounding the unknown results of the first analysis of a soil sample by Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument, I thought an explainer would be useful. What is SAM, what is it designed to measure, and what is the nature of its results? Here you go.

Visiting Viking at Seattle's Museum of Flight

Tom Dahl • November 14, 2012

One of the nicest aerospace museums in the United States is the Museum of Flight, outside Seattle, Washington. I traveled cross-country in order to visit the "Flight Capsule 3" Viking lander, a backup unit that was never completed. Its partially built state exposes its internal structures, making it a boon to study.

Curiosity sol 38 update: arm tests done, on the road again, and an important question answered

Emily Lakdawalla • September 14, 2012

Curiosity has completed Commissioning Activity Period 2 and is on the road again. I asked Daniel Limonadi to explain a couple of the photos of tests being performed on CHIMRA, and took the opportunity to ask him an amusing question that came up during a previous Google+ Hangout.

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