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

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Mission Completes 14 Years of Exploring, Opportunity Roves into Year 15!

A.J.S. Rayl • January 31, 2018

In January, Opportunity quietly completed 14 years of surface operations on Mars—the longest-lived robot on another planet.

Bill Nye and the State of a Polarized Union

Casey Dreier • January 30, 2018 • 19

Last week, The Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye accepted an invitation by NASA Administrator nominee Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) to join him as his guest at the State of the Union address. We anticipated this would be a controversial decision, and we were right.

Engineering Qualification Model confirms performance of the Mastcam-Z!

Jim Bell • January 30, 2018 • 1

Just this past week, assembly of the Mastcam-Z EQM was completed, and we saw for the first time what one of our Mars zoom cameras would really look like.

Reconstructing the Viking '75 Mars lander Surface Sampler Collector

Tom Dahl • January 29, 2018 • 1

Viking enthusiast Tom Dahl has created an animation demonstrating the operation of the Viking lander's Surface Sampler Acquisition Assembly, or "scoop."

Some big moons in the Kuiper belt

Emily Lakdawalla • January 25, 2018 • 2

In a new preprint, Mike Brown and Bryan Butler show evidence that two Kuiper belt moons are even bigger than we used to think. They are Eris' moon Dysnomia, and Orcus' moon Vanth.

Creating a guidebook for Earth's hypothetical twin

Jason Davis • January 25, 2018 • 3

Early Earth's atmosphere wasn't a place for humans. Yet the planet had microbial life—something we should keep in mind for exoplanets.

International meetings: Moon initiatives

James D. Burke • January 25, 2018 • 1

Interest is rising globally in expanded lunar science, resource exploration and eventually permanent human settlement. Also, the potential for commercial lunar enterprises is being seriously examined.

New Horizons prepares for encounter with 2014 MU69

Emily Lakdawalla • January 24, 2018 • 6

Throughout 2018, New Horizons will cruise toward its January 1 encounter with 2014 MU69. Preparations for the flyby are nearly complete.

Here's our rolling list of space things affected by the U.S. government shutdown

Jason Davis and Emily Lakdawalla • January 22, 2018 • 2

The International Space Station stays open for business; everything else is at least somewhat affected.

Space Policy & Advocacy Program Quarterly Report - January 2018

Casey Dreier • January 19, 2018

As a service to our members and to promote transparency, The Planetary Society's Space Policy and Advocacy team publishes quarterly reports on their activities, actions, priorities, and goals in service of their efforts to promote space science and exploration in Washington, D.C.

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