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Chang'e 3 update with lots of pictures: Yutu begins lunar journey

Emily Lakdawalla • December 23, 2013 • 9

There was a lot of action on Chang'e 3 over the weekend! I have lots of pictures to share, including the highest-quality one I've seen of the rover on the surface, plus video of the rover making tracks on the Moon and a 3D view of the lander.

Book reviews: On habitable environments, and the rovers that explore them

Emily Lakdawalla • December 21, 2013 • 2

I've got some books to recommend on astrobiology, planet Earth and its living creatures, impact cratering, and Mars rovers.

Habitability, Taphonomy, and Curiosity's Hunt for Organic Carbon

John Grotzinger • December 21, 2013 • 4

Lots of people ask questions about how the Curiosity mission, and future missions, will forge ahead to begin with looking for evidence of past life on Mars. There is nothing simple or straightforward about looking for life.

Chang'e 3 and LADEE updates: Yutu active again, LADEE didn't detect landing

Emily Lakdawalla • December 20, 2013 • 3

Chinese state television broadcast a display of a Chang'e 3 lander image; the Yutu rover is awake; and LADEE reports a surprising non-detection of the Chang'e 3 landing.

NASA re-creates the Apollo 8 Earthrise using Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter data

Andrew Chaikin • December 20, 2013 • 1

If there's one thing I've learned after decades of studying the first human voyages to another world, it's that there is always more to discover about Apollo. Case in point: The Apollo 8 Earthrise photo that became one of the iconic images of the 20th century.

Book Review: Alien Seas, and so much more

Emily Lakdawalla • December 19, 2013

Alien Seas is ostensibly a book about "oceans in space," but it delivers so much more. The slender volume contains essays by many active planetary scientists who also happen to be excellent writers, each one of them playing a different riff on the idea of oceans in different environments in the solar system.

Curiosity update, sols 465-487: Wheel inspection, software upgrade, Cumberland dump

Ken Herkenhoff • December 19, 2013

Curiosity activities over sols 465 to 487 included monitoring the condition of the wheels; a flight software upgrade; and dumping the Cumberland drill sample. Curiosity put approximately 200 meters on the odometer during this period.

This Week's Planetary Radio: Reporting Big News from AGU

Mat Kaplan • December 18, 2013

Major revelations about our solar system at last week's AGU conference came from near and far. Emily Lakdawalla and Casey Dreier share a few, while Bill Nye salutes China's Chang'e 3 lunar lander and rover.

An Updated Mars Exploration Family Portrait

Jason Davis • December 18, 2013 • 6

The Mars Exploration Family Portrait shows every dedicated spacecraft mission to Mars, and now includes India's Mars Orbiter Mission and NASA's MAVEN.

Chang'e 3 update: 6 instruments active, new fan-produced landing video

Emily Lakdawalla • December 17, 2013 • 28

Today there was a lengthy press briefing by several members of the Chang'e 3 science team. A complete transcript was posted in Chinese. I have run it through two machine translators and found it to be quite informative, not just about the mission but also about attitudes about Chinese space exploration and foreign cooperation. I also have a cool fan-produced video to share.

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