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Isostasy, gravity, and the Moon: an explainer of the first results of the GRAIL mission

Emily Lakdawalla • December 11, 2012 • 16

Last week the GRAIL mission published their first scientific results, and what they have found will send many geophysicists back to the drawing board to explain how the Moon formed and why it looks the way it does now. To explain how, I'm going to have to back way up, and explain the basic science behind gravity data.

Reviews of nonfiction book series for children

Emily Lakdawalla • December 10, 2012

Here are four recommended space nonfiction book series that would make excellent additions to any children's library.

Blast from the past: Mariner 4's images of Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • December 10, 2012 • 5

While hunting for photos to use in a presentation, I came across a couple of different amateur takes on the Mariner 4 photo catalog.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 3151-3153 - December 5-7, 2012

Larry Crumpler • December 07, 2012

An attempt to bump left and get a small bright vein into the instrument deployment device (IDD) work volume failed to get the target in the work plane.

Asteroid 4179 Toutatis' upcoming encounters with Earth and Chang'E 2

Emily Lakdawalla • December 06, 2012 • 6

Near-Earth asteroid 4179 Toutatis will be passing within 7 million kilometers of Earth on December 12. Both radio telescopes and the Chang'E 2 spacecraft will be acquiring images.

Curiosity update, sol 117: Progress report from AGU

Emily Lakdawalla • December 05, 2012 • 4

Monday was the big Curiosity day at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union. A morning press briefing was followed by an afternoon science session. I traveled to San Francisco briefly just to attend those two events. Here's my notes on the first science reports from the mission.

Planetary Society Weekly Hangout: present and future rovers

Emily Lakdawalla • December 05, 2012 • 3

The Planetary Society has a new weekly Google+ Hangout time slot, Thursdays at noon PT / 1800 UT. This week, Casey Dreier and I talked about the Curiosity kerfuffle and NASA's future rover plans. Here's the archived recording.

Rovers are awesome, but where's the science?

Emily Lakdawalla • December 05, 2012 • 17

Now that Casey has explained the budget implications of yesterday's 2020 rover announcement, and The Planetary Society has issued a formal statement, I thought it was time for me to talk briefly about science.

Dawn Journal: Hydrazine Haste Makes Waste

Marc Rayman • December 05, 2012 • 1

By saving fuel, Dawn will arrive at Ceres in 2015 with about half of the 45.6-kilogram (101-pound) hydrazine supply it had when it rocketed away from Cape Canaveral.

The 2020 Rover in Context

Casey Dreier • December 05, 2012 • 4

The 2020 rover announced today is entirely consistent with NASA's reduced commitment to planetary exploration due to its 2013 budget.

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