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Have two spacecraft ever docked to two separate space stations on the same day?

Jason Davis • November 02, 2011

The Chinese spacecraft Shenzhou 8 docks with space station Tiangong 1, on the same day a Progress resupply capsule arrives at the International Space Station.

Book Reviews: Otherworldly skies, real and imagined

Emily Lakdawalla • November 02, 2011

Today I'm reviewing -- and recommending -- two art-laden books. Michael Carroll's Drifting on Alien Winds is nonfiction, while the IAAA's The Beauty of Space is an art book, but both books are about describing our understanding of the alien-yet-familiar worlds across our solar system, and what they'd look like if we could stand on them.

What do Dawn's color ratio images of Vesta mean?

Emily Lakdawalla • November 01, 2011

The Dawn mission to Vesta continues to release an image every day, and recently they have been releasing lots of color images. I like color pictures for aesthetic reasons, but color is actually a very important property of planetary surfaces.

Scale solar system presentation slide, version 2

Emily Lakdawalla • October 31, 2011

Last month I posted a preliminary version of a slide I was working on for use in my public presentations, a slide that contains everything in the solar system bigger than 400 kilometers across, and invited comment. I've listened to all of your comments and corrections and come up with a second version.

NPP Earth observatory launched successfully, and I was there!

Emily Lakdawalla • October 28, 2011

Well, that was awesome. The NPP Earth observation satellite launched successfully an hour or so ago, and I was with a chilled but thrilled crowd of a few hundred people to watch it at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

NPP Tweetup schedule and launch timeline

Emily Lakdawalla • October 26, 2011

This evening I'll be headed up to Lompoc, California, to participate in my first Tweetup along with 25 other Tweeters.

What's up in the solar system in November 2011

Emily Lakdawalla • October 25, 2011

For a few weeks over November and December, a rare launch window to Mars opens, and then slams shut agin. Mars launch windows only happen once each 26 months, so if you miss the window, you have to wait more than two years for the next one.

Mars Climate Sounder confirms a Martian weather prediction

Emily Lakdawalla • October 25, 2011

The Mars Climate Sounder team has recently confirmed a prediction of a weather phenomenon on Mars that we haven't been able to observe before.

Nighttime Water Ice Clouds Predicted by Models are Confirmed by MCS Observations

Jim Shirley • October 25, 2011

The Mars Climate Sounder instrument provides routine nightside observations of atmospheric temperature and opacity that document the presence of rapidly evolving water ice cloud layers in the Martian tropics during the northern summer season.

Science from Vesta at the Geological Society of America meeting

Emily Lakdawalla • October 24, 2011

I'm nearly two weeks late getting to this news but better late than never, right? There was a press briefing from the Dawn mission at the Geological Society of America (GSA) meeting on October 12.

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