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Blogs

Meet our bloggers...CEO, Bill Nye, Emily Lakdawalla, Bruce Betts, Mat Kaplan, Casey Dreier, and a host of expert and entertaining voices from throughout our vast space community.

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When Good Rockets Go Bad: Orion's Launch Abort System

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/10/20 01:30 CDT | 6 comments

One of the tricky parts of launching humans into space is deciding what to do if something goes wrong. And that's where Orion's Launch Abort System comes in.

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Status update: All Mars missions fine after Siding Spring flyby

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/10/20 12:07 CDT | 1 comment

All seven Mars spacecraft are doing perfectly fine after comet Siding Spring's close encounter with Mars.

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Collaboration Between OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa-2

Posted by Dante Lauretta on 2014/10/20 10:35 CDT

The University of Arizona (UA) hosted representatives of the Hayabusa-2 asteroid sample return mission to explore opportunities for collaboration with the OSIRIS-REx team.

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Watching Siding Spring's encounter with Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/10/17 04:11 CDT | 5 comments

The nucleus of comet Siding Spring passes close by Mars on Sunday, October 19, at 18:27 UTC. Here are links to webcasts and websites that should have updates throughout the encounter.

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Curiosity update, sols 764-781: Work complete at Confidence Hills; puzzling arm issues

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/10/17 12:53 CDT | 6 comments

Curiosity spent a total of four weeks at Confidence Hills, feeding samples to SAM and CheMin several times. On two weekends during this period, the rover's activities were interrupted by faults with the robotic arm. Curiosity drove away from Confidence Hills on sol 780, and is ready to observe comet Siding Spring over the weekend.

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As Deadlines Loom, LightSail Bends but Doesn't Break

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/10/15 09:49 CDT | 5 comments

The Planetary Society's LightSail-A spacecraft is close to completing a final series of tests that pave the way for a possible 2015 test flight. But as deadlines loom, a new problem has sent the team scrambling to make a quick repair.

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Finally! New Horizons has a second target

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/10/15 01:02 CDT | 16 comments

What a huge relief: there is finally a place for New Horizons to visit beyond Pluto. A team of researchers led by John Spencer has discovered three possible targets, all in the Cold Classical part of the Kuiper belt. One is particularly easy to reach. New Horizons would fly past the 30-45-kilometer object in January 2019.

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Field Report from Mars: Sol 3808 — October 10, 2014

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2014/10/15 10:22 CDT | 1 comment

Opportunity will become a comet flyby mission beginning in mid-October. The comet Siding Spring will zoom past Mars at a distance of about 135,000 km on October 19.

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Phobos over Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/10/14 08:05 CDT | 10 comments

Today the Mars Orbiter Mission released a nice four-image animation of teeny dark Phobos crossing Mars' huge orange disk. Mars Orbiter Mission joins a long line of Mars missions that have produced images of Mars and Phobos together.

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Video Introduction to Comet Siding Spring’s Near Miss at Mars

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/10/13 05:14 CDT

On October 19, 2014, Comet Siding Spring will fly very close to Mars. Here’s a 5 minute video introduction to get you up to speed on this planetary near miss, and some suggestions on how to find out more now, during, and after the encounter.

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