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Want Funding? Then Be a National Priority

Jason Callahan • November 14, 2014 • 1

On Monday, Jason Callahan published an article in The Space Review discussing the importance of aligning the goals of federally funded scientific communities with national priorities. This post highlights some of the main points of the article and suggests a possible role for The Planetary Society.

With New Horizons Ready to Wake Up, Scientists Prepare for Pluto Encounter

Jason Davis • November 14, 2014 • 2

When New Horizons wakes up for the final time on Dec. 6, scientists will spend six weeks preparing for the start of the spacecraft's Pluto encounter.

Philae update: My last day in Darmstadt, possibly Philae's last day of operations

Emily Lakdawalla • November 14, 2014 • 18

Emily Lakdawalla gives a status report on Philae from the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt.

LightSail Gets Burn Wire Redesign for Round 2 of Vibration Tests

Jason Davis • November 13, 2014 • 7

The Planetary Society's LightSail-A spacecraft is less than three weeks away from an expected go/no-go decision on whether the CubeSat will be launched into space for a shakedown cruise next year.

Philae status, a day later

Emily Lakdawalla • November 13, 2014 • 9

The Philae team scrambled all morning to comprehend the initially confusing status of the lander, and the picture is much clearer today. Speaking of which, there are lots more pictures!

Brief Philae "Morning After" update: First ÇIVA panorama from the surface

Emily Lakdawalla • November 13, 2014 • 1

I'm just getting up to speed on the news from overnight, which is mostly good: Philae remained in contact with the orbiter (which means the CONSERT radar sounding experiment was working), and it's sitting stably on the surface, although it's not anchored in any way. And they released the first ÇIVA image from the ground!

PHILAE HAS LANDED! [UPDATED]

Emily Lakdawalla • November 12, 2014 • 16

The landing happened on time just after 16:02 UT today! Philae mission manager Stephan Ulamec said: "Philae is talking to us! The first thing he told us was the harpoons have been fired and rewound. We are sitting on the surface." Those words later turned out not to be true; but we do know at least that Philae survived the landing and is returning good data.

Philae update: Photo documentation of Philae's separation!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 12, 2014 • 4

Here it is. We knew hours ago that Philae separation happened, but there's nothing like seeing a photo, seeing Philae's mothership receding into the distance.

Philae update: "Go" for landing, despite apparent failure of cold-gas jet system [UPDATED]

Emily Lakdawalla • November 12, 2014 • 4

Philae is "go" for landing. But there has been drama overnight. One of the steps to prepare for landing did not proceed as planned. UPDATE: At 09:03 UTC, the lander separated from the orbiter, beginning a 7-hour descent to the surface of the comet.

Philae update: First of four "go-no-go" decisions is a GO!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 11, 2014 • 3

It's been a day of calm before the storm here at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, as we get ready for the big event tomorrow: Philae's hoped-for landing on a comet. The first of four "go-no-go" decisions has been made, and it's a "go." Mission navigators have gotten data back from Rosetta that indicates that the spacecraft is on the correct trajectory to deliver Philae to the comet.

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