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Curiosity is on its way to Mars!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 26, 2011

It was a textbook launch for the Atlas V 541 today at 15:02 UTC, and within an hour after liftoff, the Centaur second stage had sent Curiosity on its way for an 8.5-month journey to Mars.

Mars Exploration Family Portrait

Emily Lakdawalla • November 23, 2011 • 1

Jason Davis put together this neat summary of the checkered history of Mars exploration.

Brief contact made with Phobos-Grunt after two weeks of silence

Emily Lakdawalla • November 23, 2011

On Tuesday, November 22 at 20:25 UTC, a European Space Agency ground station in Perth, Australia, successfully made brief radio contact with Phobos-Grunt.

Curiosity in context: Not exactly "Viking on wheels," but close

Emily Lakdawalla • November 21, 2011

As I was beginning my research for my two magazine articles on the Curiosity rover's upcoming mission to Mars, I needed to figure out for myself how exactly this gigantic, ungainly machine fit in to the context of past Martian missions.

SLS updates: tower crawl, engine burn and flight test

Jason Davis • November 21, 2011 • 1

A few updates on the Space Launch System, NASA's next-generation deep exploration vehicle.

NASA's Budget for 2012 Is Set--Worry About 2013 Budget Begins

Charlene Anderson • November 18, 2011

It's done. The U.S. President has signed the Appropriations bill for NASA's fiscal year 2012 budget. The fight on the FY12 budget is over.

Book Review: Atlas of the Galilean Satellites, by Paul Schenk

Emily Lakdawalla • November 18, 2011

Not many subjects remain for which it is possible to assemble everything that we know about it in one book. Even for those subjects for which our knowledge is limited, knowledge seems always to be expanding exponentially. This is not true, however, for the Galilean satellites of Jupiter.

What's Up in the Winter Sky

Ray Sanders • November 18, 2011

The warm days and cool evenings of fall are giving way to cold days and colder nights. For many amateur astronomers, observing during winter is a bit of a challenge - clouds, dew, ice, and of course, the cold.

Is Europa's ice thin or thick? At chaos terrain, it's both!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 17, 2011 • 6

Among Europa scientists there are two warring factions: the thick-icers and the thin-icers. The question is how thick is the ice shell that overlies Europa's subsurface ocean (the existence of which pretty much everyone agrees on).

Our friendly neighborhood asteroid, 2005 YU55 (an animation)

Emily Lakdawalla • November 16, 2011

Last week JPL released two animations of asteroid 2005 YU55 made from the radar data acquired by Goldstone's 70-meter radio dish.

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