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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about MAVEN's launch and mission

Emily Lakdawalla • November 15, 2013 • 13

MAVEN is just about to launch! The mission has just released their launch press kit. This post summarizes the press kit's high points, and hopefully answers most of your questions about NASA's next Mars orbiter, scheduled for liftoff Monday at 10:28 PT / 13:28 ET / 18:28 UT.

Features at both rover field sites on Mars named for Bruce Murray

Emily Lakdawalla • November 14, 2013

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced today that the geologists on both Mars rover teams -- Opportunity and Curiosity -- have named landmarks at their field sites after the late Bruce Murray.

Curiosity Update: A stop at Cooperstown and a warm reset, sols 433-451

Ken Herkenhoff • November 14, 2013

Having racked up several kilometers in the drive to Mount Sharp, Curiosity paused for a second science stop at an outcrop called "Cooperstown." While there, the rover performed a software upgrade and then lost a few days to a software anomaly. The rover has now resumed normal science operations.

ARTEMIS Mission Update

Jasper S. Halekas • November 14, 2013

ARTEMIS is a mission that retasked two probes from the 5-spacecraft Heliophysics constellation THEMIS to study the interaction of the Moon with the space plasma environment.

Just what is going on in that magnificent Cassini image of Saturn?

Emily Lakdawalla • November 13, 2013 • 7

It took months of work (and no wonder) but the wait was worth it: here is Cassini's spectacular view of Saturn, captured on July 19, 2013, as Cassini passed through Saturn's shadow. If you're a little confused by the image, I'm here to help: I've posted a video explainer.

Reviews of space-themed books for children

Emily Lakdawalla • November 13, 2013

It's time for my annual roundup of reviews of space-themed books for children! I have lots of fiction and nonfiction books to recommend, for toddlers to teens.

Video: Comet ISON: Super Bright or Super Lame?

Bruce Betts • November 12, 2013 • 2

Comet ISON (C/2012 S1) was touted months ago by media as the possible comet of the century. Will it be that, or a cosmic dud? Find out the basics about the in this short video.

Will We Lose Cassini’s "New" Mission at Saturn to Budget Cuts?

Van Kane • November 12, 2013 • 5

NASA’s shrinking budgets for planetary exploration may force it to decide between continued funding for the Saturn Cassini mission and the continued funding for its Mars missions.

Cosmos with Cosmos Episode 5: Blues for a Red Planet

Casey Dreier • November 12, 2013 • 12

Episode 5 focuses on Mars, the planet that has stubbornly refused to conform to the wishes of humanity for hundreds of years, from Lowell to Sagan. Grab your cosmo and join our discussion of 'Blues for a Red Planet.'

Mars Orbiter Mission Update: Supplemental burn planned for today

Emily Lakdawalla • November 11, 2013 • 25

Yesterday, the Mars Orbiter Mission was commanded to perform a rocket burn that would have raised the apogee of its orbit around Earth. The spacecraft began its burn, but underperformed. ISRO has planned a supplemental burn for November 12 at 05:00 IST (today at 15:30 PT / 23:30 UT) in order to make up the deficit.

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