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NPP's launching next week, and I'll be there to see it! (Hopefully.)

Emily Lakdawalla • October 21, 2011

I'm (hopefully) headed to the launch of a Delta II (the last currently scheduled Delta II!) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, as one of only 20 people selected to participate out of more than 600 who registered.

The fish that sent us to the moon

Jason Davis • October 20, 2011

The tale of NASA's Super Guppy aircraft, which ferried parts of America's space program to their launch pads.

Pretty pictures & movies: Eye candy from two recent Cassini Enceladus flybys

Emily Lakdawalla • October 20, 2011

Cassini has completed two very close flybys of Enceladus in less than three weeks, one of them just this morning, and the images from that encounter have already arrived on Earth.

NOVA: Finding Life Beyond Earth airs tonight, with lots of planetary stars

Emily Lakdawalla • October 19, 2011

Programming note: tonight, public television stations will be airing a new, two-hour NOVA documentary, "Finding Life Beyond Earth."

A new trick for IKAROS: Spinning the other way

Emily Lakdawalla • October 19, 2011

JAXA's solar sail demonstration craft IKAROS is still puttering along, 17 months after it launched, and its controllers back on Earth keep coming up with new things to try with it. I'm pretty amazed by the most recent trick: reversing its spin direction. This may not sound like a big deal, but it is, especially for IKAROS.

Book Reviews: Two books that deliver knowledge in little chunks

Emily Lakdawalla • October 18, 2011

I consider October and November to be book review season. We're well out of the mental coasting of summer and have gotten into the groove of school and work in fall, and are in the relative quiet before the insanity of the season that stretches from Thanksgiving to the New Year, when much of the Western world will be scrambling to shop for presents for friends and family.

The National Science Foundation's Science360 Radio

Mat Kaplan • October 18, 2011

Announcing a new service! The National Science Foundation's Science360 Radio will fulfill your science needs. Science360 Radio has over 100 shows in it's lineup, including Planetary Radio, so go take a listen. Links inside.

Phobos-Grunt unpacked! With Yinghuo-1 and LIFE!

Emily Lakdawalla • October 18, 2011 • 1

I know I just posted about Phobos-Grunt on Friday, but there are lots of new pictures from Baikonur Cosmodrome (Russia's main launch facility in Kazakhstan) showing Phobos-Grunt being removed from its shipping crate and tipped upright in preparation for its launch in early November.

Heads up! ROSAT is coming down this week

Emily Lakdawalla • October 17, 2011

It should give you a feeling of déjà vu: a defunct satellite's orbit is decaying, and because that orbit is circular it's going to be impossible to predict where and when along its ground track it's going to happen.

Earth observing satellites record large Arctic ozone loss

Jason Davis • October 14, 2011

Data from Earth observing satellites Aura and CALIPSO have shown record losses of seasonal ozone in the Arctic.

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