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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.

A Night To Remember: Celebrating Carl Sagan

Mat Kaplan • November 13, 2012 • 1

On the evening of November 9, which would have been Carl Sagan's 78th birthday, the Planetary Society brought together some of his best friends to share their memories. We were also joined by four young scientists whose career choices were influenced by Carl.

Join Our Sagan Celebration

Mat Kaplan • November 09, 2012 • 2

The Planetary Society has invited a few friends of Carl Sagan's to a celebration of his birth and his legacy. Watch the live webcast featuring physicist Kip Thorne, Contact Executive Producer Lynda Obst and much more!

Curiosity, Endeavour, and Bill Nye on Your Phone

Mat Kaplan • November 07, 2012

This week's Planetary Radio episode presents highlights of the first Curiosity press briefing about the Martian atmosphere, and then takes you to the opening day ceremony for Shuttle Endeavour. You have till Friday, November 9, at 10am Pacific to send your 10th anniversary message to the show and possibly win Bill Nye on your answering machine.

An unheralded anniversary

Emily Lakdawalla • August 28, 2012 • 16

Yesterday, August 27th, 2012, was, in a sense, the 50th anniversary of interplanetary travel. Fifty years ago yesterday, Mariner 2 launched toward Venus, and became the first object to leave Earth and travel to another world.

Curiosity's landing site named for Ray Bradbury

Jim Bell • August 22, 2012 • 1

Ray Bradbury explored Mars, and the future of humanity, through words and ideas--vehicles of the imagination. He was a visionary author and, through his writings and lectures, was a direct or indirect mentor to so many of us involved with designing, building, and operating the actual space vehicles of today. I think it is so fitting, then, that the MSL team has memorialized Ray's contributions to the exploration of the planets -- and especially Mars -- by naming Curiosity's landing site in his honor.

Transit of Venus June 5: Why Should You Care and How to Observe

Bruce Betts • June 02, 2012 • 2

A rare astronomical event occurs June 5/6. Find out why you should care and how to observe it.

New views of Lunokhod 1 and Luna 17 from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Emily Lakdawalla • March 14, 2012

It is always thrilling to see relics of human exploration out there on other worlds. Today, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera team posted some new photos of two defunct spacecraft: the Luna 17 lander and the Lunokhod 1 rover. I've posted images of the two craft before, but the ones released today are much better.

Blast from the past: The Galileo Messenger

Emily Lakdawalla • January 20, 2012

From 1981 to 1997, the Galileo mission published an approximately quarterly newsletter called the Galileo Messenger. It eventually ran to 45 issues, until the end of the Prime Mission. The first 20 were published before Galileo ever got off the ground. That period is the subject of this post.

Steno's principles and planetary geology

Emily Lakdawalla • January 11, 2012

The Google Doodle for January 11, 2012 celebrates Nicholas Steno, one of the founding fathers of modern geology, on the occasion of his 374th birthday. This article describes Steno's set of rules that guide geologists in reading rocks to tell the story of how a place came to be and how the rules are currently used in geology.

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