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How to follow MESSENGER's orbit insertion today

Emily Lakdawalla • March 17, 2011

The day is finally here! In only five and a half hours, at 00:45 on March 18 (according to the spacecraft's clock), MESSENGER must ignite its main engine and run though a third of its fuel in only 15 minutes in order to enter its planned orbit around Mercury.

Two days from MESSENGER's Mercury arrival

Emily Lakdawalla • March 15, 2011

Today the MESSENGER team briefed the press on the impending arrival of their spacecraft at Mercury.

The curse of living on a geologically active planet

Emily Lakdawalla • March 14, 2011

As the disaster of the magnitude 8.9 Sendai quake of Friday, March 11, at 05:46:23 UTC continues to unfold in Japan, I have been unable to tear my attention away.

365 Days of Astronomy Podcast: A MESSENGER to Mercury

Emily Lakdawalla • March 14, 2011

I've got another 365 Days of Astronomy podcast airing today, this one an overview of the MESSENGER mission with particular attention to what's been learned in the three Mercury flybys, and what's going to happen when it enters orbit only a little more than three days from now!

The Solar System from the Inside Out - and the Outside In

Emily Lakdawalla • February 18, 2011

Space probes grant us perspective, the ability to see our place within the vastness of the solar system. But opportunities to see all of the solar system's planets in one observation are rare. In fact, there's only been one opportunity on one mission to see the whole solar system at once, until now.

365 Days of Astronomy Podcast: Unmanned Space Exploration in 2011

Emily Lakdawalla • January 12, 2011

Today the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast aired my contribution, Unmanned Space Exploration in 2011, about what to look forward to in solar system exploration this year.

Door 30 in the 2010 advent calendar

Emily Lakdawalla • December 30, 2010

Time to open the thirtieth door in the advent calendar. Where in the solar system is this ridged crater?

Door 2 in the 2010 advent calendar

Emily Lakdawalla • December 02, 2010

Time to open the second door in the advent calendar. Until the New Year, I'll be opening a door onto a different landscape from somewhere in the solar system. Can you guess where this crater-scarred surface lies?

One month, one journal, so many missed space stories!

Emily Lakdawalla • June 24, 2010

Or: Emily reads you the table of contents of Icarus.

A Martian Moment in Time, revisited

Emily Lakdawalla • May 12, 2010

A good start to my day today: The New York Times' Lens Blog featured the "Martian Moment in Time" photo that Opportunity took last week in a really nice writeup. I'm so grateful, and still a little surprised, that the folks on the Mars Exploration Rover mission took this idea and ran with it!

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