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Fall Issue of The Planetary Report is Here!

Donna Stevens • November 04, 2014

The fall issue of The Planetary Report has mailed and is on its way to our members’ doors. Those of you who prefer an electronic file, or a preview of the printed copy, can pick it up online.

Seven Mars spacecraft attempted observations of comet Siding Spring. How did they go?

Emily Lakdawalla • November 03, 2014 • 6

It's been two weeks since comet Siding Spring passed close by Mars, and six of the seven Mars spacecraft have now checked in with quick looks at their images of the encounter. I round up all the results.

Chang'e 5 test vehicle flying on to Earth-Moon L2

Emily Lakdawalla • November 03, 2014 • 3

The Chang'e 5 test vehicle service module did not follow the sample return capsule into Earth's atmosphere. Instead, it successfully performed a divert maneuver, and is now on its way to the Earth-Moon L2 point

SpaceShipTwo Feathering System Prematurely Deployed before Fatal Breakup

Jason Davis • November 03, 2014 • 1

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo disintegrated shortly after the space plane's tail stabilizers prematurely deployed, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Dawn Journal: Ion thrusting (or not)

Marc Rayman • November 02, 2014 • 8

Marc Rayman gives the latest update on the Dawn mission, focusing this time on the performance of its ion propulsion system.

Chang'e 5 test vehicle "Xiaofei" lands successfully

Emily Lakdawalla • October 31, 2014 • 1

The Chang'e 5 test vehicle landed successfully in Inner Mongolia today after an 8-day mission. It demonstrated technology that China plans to use for automated sample return by the Chang'e 5 mission in 2017.

[Update 1] Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Destroyed in Testing Accident, 1 Dead, 1 Injured

Jason Davis • October 31, 2014 • 2

The private spaceflight company's spaceplane was destroyed in an accident over California's Mojave Desert.

The Art of Planetary Science

Dante Lauretta • October 31, 2014

On October 17-19, 2014, the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory on the University of Arizona campus hosted the second annual Art of Planetary Science exhibition. This exhibition featured works of art inspired by the solar system, alongside works by scientists created from their scientific data.

A (Difficult) Day in the Solar System

Bill Dunford • October 30, 2014 • 13

After a bad day on the launch pad, some perspective.

LightSail Vibration Test Shakes Loose New Problems

Jason Davis • October 30, 2014 • 2

LightSail's random vibration test, meant to simulate the stress of an Atlas V rocket launch, shook loose new problems that the team will have to address.

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