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Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.

Shenzhou-9 reaches orbit

China’s fourth human spaceflight mission got underway this morning after a Long March 2F rocket blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 10:37 UTC.

NRO gives NASA two hand-me-down telescopes

The National Reconnaissance Office has donated two, partially-completed space telescopes to NASA, revealed at a National Academies' Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics meeting this week.

Dragon packed and ready for reentry

After making history at the International Space Station, SpaceX's Dragon capsule has been re-loaded with cargo and is preparing for reentry.

SpaceX successfully launches Dragon into orbit

SpaceX moved closer to spaceflight history last night as their Falcon 9 rocket rose from its launch pad, sending the Dragon capsule on a journey to berth with the International Space Station.

Of inclinations and azimuths

A classified U.S. military satellite recently launched into an orbital inclination of 123 degrees. What makes this trajectory so unique? Pondering the answer affords the opportunity to learn some deceptively tricky concepts about the nature of all spacecraft orbits.

Adventures in urban astrophotography

Just because you live in an urban area with skyglow doesn't mean you can't have fun with astrophotography. How to capture the planets, constellations and the ISS.

Solar flares from Skylab

Before automated space observatories like SDO could send pictures and videos of solar phenomenon in real-time, humans had to do it manually, as in the case of the groundbreaking Skylab space station missions, which featured the Apollo Telescope Mount.

The state of Earth observation, January 2012

As of November 2011, the Earth Observing Handbook counts 109 active missions to study the Earth as a planet, with 112 more approved and planned for the future. Jason Davis provides an overview of key current and upcoming earth-observing missions.

A recap of Comet Lovejoy

A timeline of one of the most memorable solar events in recent memory: the observations by six Sun-observing spacecraft of Comet Lovejoy making its perihelion passage.

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