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

Spaceflight in 2017, part 2: Robots beyond Earth orbit

Emily Lakdawalla • December 30, 2016 • 4

What's ahead for our intrepid space explorers in 2017? It'll be the end of Cassini, but not before the mission performs great science close to the rings. OSIRIS-REx will fly by Earth, and Chang'e 5 will launch to the Moon, as a host of other spacecraft continue their ongoing missions.

Spaceflight in 2017, part 1: Earth-centric edition

Jason Davis • December 29, 2016 • 21

Our preview of spaceflight in 2017 starts with highlights of missions and events happening on and around our home planet.

GOES-R: What’s Next?

Heather Hunter • December 23, 2016 • 1

After a series of maneuvers in-orbit, GOES-R—now known as GOES-16—has reached its designated location in space. What happens next?

Field Report from Mars: Sol 4588 - December 20, 2016

Larry Crumpler • December 20, 2016

Opportunity continues to climb up the inner crater wall of Endeavour crater, heading south on its journey toward its next valley target.

Curiosity update, sols 1489-1547: Drilling at Sebina, driving up through Murray, drill problems at Precipice

Emily Lakdawalla • December 12, 2016 • 1

It's been a drive-heavy two months for Curiosity. Since my last update, the rover has drilled at a site named Sebina, then traveled about 500 meters to the south across increasingly chunky-looking Murray rocks to a new attempted drill site at Precipice. They were planning to attempt a new drilling technique at Precipice, but encountered a new problem with the drill instead.

Field Report from Mars: Sol 4577 - December 9, 2016

Larry Crumpler • December 09, 2016

Opportunity has begun the ascent of the steep slopes here in the inner wall of Endeavour crater after completion of a survey of outcrops close to the crater floor. The goal now is to climb back to the rim, drive south, and arrive at the next major mission target on the rim before the next Martian winter.

Countdown to the Next NASA Discovery Mission Selection

Van Kane • December 08, 2016 • 8

If NASA’s managers hold to their schedule, we will learn sometime this month what NASA’s next planetary mission will be.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Departs Spirit Mound, Embarks on Toughest Exit Ever

A.J.S. Rayl • December 02, 2016 • 1

Opportunity worked along Endeavour Crater's western rim through November, taking pictures, hiking slopes, and finishing work in the depths of Cape Tribulation.

What's the matter with Russia's rockets?

Jason Davis • December 02, 2016 • 9

Fifteen Russian rockets have failed in the past 6 years. Of those mishaps, all but two involved upper stages. So what's going on? The problem may actually lie far beyond the country's aerospace industry.

TeamIndus Announces Launch Contract with ISRO

Sandhya Ramesh • December 01, 2016 • 3

TeamIndus, India’s only entry for the Google Lunar XPRIZE, just announced their launch contract with ISRO. If successful, TeamIndus would be the first private company from India to land a craft on an extraterrestrial body.

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