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Two JAXA mission updates: Akatsuki Venus orbit entry and PROCYON Earth flyby coming up!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 19, 2015

Akatsuki is finally approaching its second attempt to enter Venus orbit, on December 7; let's all wish JAXA the best of luck! And PROCYON, whose ion engines have failed, is still an otherwise perfectly functional spacecraft that is taking photos of Earth and the Moon as it approaches for a flyby.

United Launch Alliance Unveils New CubeSat Carrier Program

Jason Davis • November 19, 2015

United Launch Alliance plans to include a CubeSat carrier on nearly every one of its Atlas V and Vulcan rockets starting in 2017, the company announced today.

DPS 2015: A little science from Rosetta, beyond perihelion

Emily Lakdawalla • November 18, 2015 • 2

Updated numbers for physical properties of the comet, and a few interesting images of surface features and surface changes on Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

At NASA's Johnson Space Center, Preparing for the Future of Human Spaceflight

Jason Davis • November 18, 2015 • 1

As NASA kicks off a multi-decadal effort to send humans to Mars, the agency's traditional human spaceflight centers have had to adapt to new challenges—often more programmatic than technical.

Curiosity update, sols 1109-1165: Drilling at Big Sky and Greenhorn, onward to Bagnold Dunes

Emily Lakdawalla • November 16, 2015 • 4

Since my last update, Curiosity drilled two new holes, at Big Sky and Greenhorn, and is now approaching Bagnold Dunes.

OSIRIS-REx Progressing Through Environmental Testing

Dante Lauretta • November 16, 2015 • 3

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft continues to make steady progress toward launch in September 2016. Environmental testing is now underway to ensure the spacecraft is ready for the many conditions it will experience over its mission.

Pretty Pictures of the Cosmos: Lesser-Known Beauty

Adam Block • November 13, 2015

Award-winning astrophotographer Adam Block shares stunning images of a few rarely-imaged pieces of our universe.

DPS 2015: First reconnaissance of Ceres by Dawn

Emily Lakdawalla • November 12, 2015 • 7

This is the first major meeting since Dawn's arrival at Ceres, and despite competition with Pluto surface science there was a well-attended Ceres talk session on Monday and poster session on Tuesday.

SpaceX Completes Crew Dragon Propulsion System Development Testing

Jason Davis • November 11, 2015

SpaceX has completed development testing on its SuperDraco propulsion system, used to propel the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft away from a Falcon rocket in the event of a launch failure.

Detecting Dust Devils with Insight

Ralph Lorenz • November 11, 2015

Planetary scientist and dust devil expert Ralph Lorenz describes how the upcoming Mars InSight lander's sensitive seismometer might be able to detect dust devils.

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