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Somewhere Over the Bay of Rainbows

Bill Dunford • December 02, 2013 • 4

Pay a visit to the Chang'e 3 lunar landing site.

Chang'e 3 departs for the Moon, with amazing images and video

Emily Lakdawalla • December 02, 2013 • 3

On December 1 at 17:30 UTC, Chang'e 3 launched atop a Long March 3B rocket on a direct lunar transfer trajectory. It is scheduled to enter orbit December 6 and land December 14. The rocket was equipped with cameras that recorded thrilling video of the launch and final departure of the probe.

Comet ISON Hangouts November 25 and December 2

Emily Lakdawalla • December 02, 2013 • 3

Two Hangouts bookended comet ISON's perihelion, hosted by Chuck Beuter of Comet Festival South Bend. On November 25, it was I and Ron Kaitchuck. On December 2, Alex Filippenko and I discussed what happened to the comet over Thanksgiving.

Congratulations due to India: Mars Orbiter Mission is on the way to Mars!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 30, 2013 • 35

Today I am delighted to welcome India into the ranks of interplanetary travelers: Mars Orbiter Mission has successfully propelled itself onto an interplanetary trajectory, departing Earth forever and setting sail for Mars. Congratulations to India, to the Indian Space Research Organisation, to the mission's scientists and engineers, and to the people of India.

Chang'e 3 ready to launch to the Moon

Emily Lakdawalla • November 30, 2013 • 5

A brief update on Chang'e 3, which is scheduled for launch December 2 at 01:30 China time, or December 1 at 17:30 UT / 09:30 PT.

Mars Orbiter Mission ready to fly onward from Earth to Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • November 30, 2013 • 10

Today is the day when India's Mars Orbiter Mission will fire its rocket to depart Earth and begin its 300-day journey to Mars. The rocket burn begins on December 1 at 00:49 IST (today at 19:19 UT / 11:19 PT).

The Mariner Mars Globe

Don Davis • November 29, 2013 • 3

In 1971 I was being trained to work with the airbrush by the map artists at the U.S. Geological Survey's Branch of Astrogeologic Studies in Flagstaff. However, the project I ended up spending about a quarter of a man-year on was a hand-painted map globe of Mars.

Schrödinger's Comet

Karl Battams • November 28, 2013 • 9

After impressing us yesterday, comet ISON faded dramatically overnight, and left us with a comet with no apparent nucleus in the SOHO/LASCO C2 images. As the comet plunged through the solar atmosphere, and failed to put on a show in the SDO images, we understandably concluded that ISON had succumbed to its passage and died a fiery death. Except it didn't. Well, maybe...

Chang'e 3 may launch December 1 with Yutu rover, will not harm LADEE mission

Emily Lakdawalla • November 27, 2013 • 8

Yesterday the Chinese space agency held a press briefing about the Chang'e 3 lunar lander. They announced that the rover has been named Yutu (or "Jade Rabbit," a legendary companion of the goddess Chang'e). Although it will land during the LADEE mission, it will not harm LADEE's goals -- quite the opposite, in fact.

Planetary Radio: Rise of the Europa Underground?

Mat Kaplan • November 26, 2013 • 2

This week's PlanRad talks to one of the creators of a new effort to build support for the Europa Clipper, a spacecraft that would tell us far more about what's going on under that icy moon's surface.

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