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The Planetary Post - Testing LightSail 2

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Good morning, Robert Picardo here.

Welcome to The Planetary Post! This month, I visited LightSail 2’s day-in-the-life test to see the progress of our next citizen-funded solar sail spacecraft. Check it out!

A special thanks to Physics Girl for stopping by Planetary Society HQ. Go beyond my video log and discover more:

Juno meets Jupiter: After its five-year journey, Juno has arrived! Now that Juno has successfully entered orbit at Jupiter, scientists are able to turn on their instruments and study the giant planet. Juno's first two orbits will each take about seven weeks to complete. The next time it approaches close to Jupiter will be on Perijove 1 on August 27. JunoCam will then take close-up pictures of Jupiter's poles and view the planet's gorgeous clouds. 

Global Asteroid Day: The Planetary Society is a proud founding partner of Asteroid Day, a global campaign to educate people about asteroids and the importance of defending Earth from impacts. On June 30, Planetary Society volunteers around the world hosted events in their communities, bringing people together to raise awareness about the asteroid threat and to have a little fun while they were at it.

Planetary Society membership: Our membership is growing, and we're adding new ways to welcome you. At the end of this month, watch for our special announcement about new levels and premiums, including the coveted Planetary Society pin—just like Bill and I wear. Visit planetary.org on July 26 for details.

New crew launches to ISS: The International Space Station crew roster is back to full strength this month, following the launch of NASA's Kate Rubins, JAXA's Takuya Onishi, and Anatoli Ivanishin of Roscosmos from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 7. The trio will remain aboard the ISS for six months. This is Rubins' first spaceflight. She has a Ph.D. in cancer biology from Stanford University and is expected to be the first person to sequence DNA in space.

Journey to Mars: The current heavyweight champion of the solid rocket booster world roared to life recently, passing a major milestone on the journey to Mars. The QM-2 completed a two-minute qualification test that paves the way for the booster's use on NASA's new heavy lift rocket, the Space Launch System.

Thanks for reading. You can click here to download a magnificent, high-resolution copy of this month’s Picardo’s Pic.

Auroras in Jupiter’s Atmosphere

NASA / ESA / J. Nichols (University of Leicester)

Auroras in Jupiter’s Atmosphere
These auroras were photographed during a series of Hubble Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph far-ultraviolet-light observations taking place as NASA's Juno spacecraft approached and entered into orbit around Jupiter. The full-color disk of Jupiter in this image was separately photographed at a different time by Hubble's Outer Planet Atmospheres Legacy (OPAL) program, a long-term Hubble project that annually captures global maps of the outer planets.

I hope you enjoyed this issue of The Planetary Post. See you in August!

Robert Picardo

Robert Picardo
Board Member, The Planetary Society

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