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Planetary Science Gets Its Day in Congress

Casey Dreier • September 09, 2014

Watch Planetary Society President Jim Bell testify before a congressional subcommittee on Wednesday, September 10th.

So Close and Yet So Far: Why isn't Siding Spring going to sandblast Mars?

Tony Farnham • September 09, 2014 • 5

Comet Siding Spring is going to make a very close approach to Mars in October. Any comet dust that reaches Mars has the potential to inflict significant damage on the spacecraft orbiting the planet. As it turns out, however, Mars and its orbiters are likely to see very few, if any, impacts. Why?

Curiosity update, sols 697-726: Mars thwarts driving and drilling

Emily Lakdawalla • August 22, 2014 • 2

The Mars gremlins really had it in for Curiosity this month. A computer glitch and slippery sand conspired to delay the rover's progress toward Mount Sharp. And shifting rocks proved unsafe for drilling. The rover will continue driving toward Mount Sharp, departing Bonanza King without drilling, skirting Hidden Valley along a plateau to its north.

Comet Flyby Missions for Mars Rovers

Mark Lemmon • August 21, 2014 • 2

On October 19, the Mars rovers — like their orbiting cousins — will become comet flyby missions. Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will pass within 140,000 km of Mars.

Curiosity wheel damage: The problem and solutions

Emily Lakdawalla • August 19, 2014 • 29

Now that a Tiger Team has assessed the nature and causes of damage to Curiosity's wheels, I can finally answer your frequently-asked questions about what wheel damage means for the mission, and why it wasn't anticipated.

New Postcards from Mars

Bill Dunford • August 18, 2014 • 7

The latest snaphots from the "Mars Webcam" include something special.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 3753 – August 15, 2014

Larry Crumpler • August 18, 2014 • 2

Opportunity just completed its first drives upslope on its long journey toward the crest of the highest rim segment of Endeavour crater, “Cape Tribulation.” Larry Crumpler gives us an update on what to expect next from the little rover that could.

Mars orbiters plan for their October encounter with comet Siding Spring

Emily Lakdawalla • August 13, 2014 • 2

Now that we have reasonable confidence that our Mars orbiters will be safe from the close passage of comet Siding Spring, we are free to be excited about the opportunity that the encounter represents. At a community workshop on August 11, representatives from Mars missions shared their plans for great comet science.

Mars 2020 Instruments – A Plan for Sample Return

Van Kane • August 08, 2014 • 14

Van Kane gives us a tour of the instruments selected for the Mars 2020 rover.

Comet Siding Spring: Risk Assessment

Karl Battams • August 07, 2014 • 6

On October 19, 2014, Comet Siding Spring is going to have an extremely close encounter with the planet Mars. The bottom line: it seems most likely that our Martian spacecraft will be absolutely fine.

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