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How to follow BepiColombo's launch

Emily Lakdawalla • October 12, 2018 • 2

I’m thrilled to be anticipating the beginning of a new mission to Mercury. Here's a timeline for BepiColombo's planned launch on 20 October (19 October in the U.S.).

MASCOT landing on Ryugu a success

Emily Lakdawalla • October 05, 2018 • 4

For 17 hours on 3 October, the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) lander sent data to the waiting Hayabusa2 orbiter from multiple locations on Ryugu.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Team Initiates Plan to Recover Oppy, Orbiter Sends Postcard, Storm Ends

A.J.S. Rayl • October 04, 2018 • 1

As the global storm that wrapped the Red Planet in a cloud of dust since late June finally gave up the ghost in September, the sky continued to clear over Endeavour Crater and the Opportunity team initiated the NASA-approved two-step plan to reestablish contact with the rover.

The day I caught rocket fever

MaryLiz Bender • September 20, 2018 • 3

On February 6, 2018, I found myself shoulder to shoulder with two of my heroes: Bill Nye on the left, Buzz Aldrin on the right. Our eyes were fixed on the first vertical Falcon Heavy rocket. Figuring the world's most powerful rocket might send me flying backwards once the countdown hit zero, I gripped the railing so tightly I started to lose the feeling in my fingertips.

Farside Landing and Nearside Sample Return

The Planetary Report • September Equinox 2018

Long Xiao previews two ambitious Chinese lunar missions, one of which will make the first-ever landing on the far side of the Moon.

Chandrayaan-2

The Planetary Report • September Equinox 2018

Sriram Bhiravarasu anticipates India’s 2019 lunar venture with an orbiter, lander, and rover.

Where We Are

The Planetary Report • September Equinox 2018

Emily Lakdawalla introduces an at-a-glance spacecraft locator to The Planetary Report.

Hayabusa2 stops short of close approach on first touchdown rehearsal

Emily Lakdawalla • September 13, 2018 • 1

Hayabusa2 didn’t quite make it down to its intended 60-meter distance from asteroid Ryugu yesterday. There is nothing wrong with the spacecraft; it’s healthy and returning to its home position. The team will adjust parameters and give it another try in the future.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: NASA Focuses on Recovering Opportunity as Storm Diminishes and Dust Settles

A.J.S. Rayl • September 09, 2018 • 1

The dust raising power of the storms that wrapped Mars in a cloud in June and July diminished in August. Meanwhile, on Earth, the Opportunity team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory reviewed recovery plans, conducted additional simulations, and began wrapping the month with newfound reasons to believe Opportunity can emerge from her hibernation.

Curiosity update, sols 2093-2162: Three tries to successful drill atop Vera Rubin Ridge

Emily Lakdawalla • September 06, 2018

Heedless of the (now-dissipating) dust storm, Curiosity has achieved its first successful drill into rocks that form the Vera Rubin ridge, and is hopefully on the way to a second. It took three attempts for Curiosity to find a soft enough spot, with Voyageurs and Ailsa Craig being too tough, but Stoer proved obligingly soft on sol 2136.

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