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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.

Power From the Isotopes - Members-Only Content

Casey Dreier • October 29, 2013

The United States is trying to generate plutonium fuel for the first time in 25 years. Will it succeed?

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.

Our Improved Optical Search for ET

Bruce Betts • October 08, 2013

The Planetary Society Optical SETI (OSETI) Telescope was successfully upgraded and fully tested, and is now fully operational looking for aliens. Here are some updates on the performance and progress. In summary, the upgraded telescope is performing just as hoped and is scanning the skies.

The "Starship Century" Beckons

Mat Kaplan • October 01, 2013

The Benford brothers provide inspiration and hard fact in their excellent new anthology about interstellar travel.

Go LADEE!

Mat Kaplan • September 10, 2013

Listen to or watch the recording of our live celebration for LADEE as the spacecraft blasted off for the moon.

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