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

Live from Sagamihara: Akatsuki Orbit Insertion Success!

The Akatsuki team achieved something that no mission as done before – put a spacecraft into orbit around a planet using only the attitude control thrusters. An event that one could not even conceive or propose!

Back from the Brink: Akatsuki Returns to Venus

Perhaps forgotten by the general public in the West, a long-lost spacecraft is set to enter orbit around our sister planet in December, picking up where ESA’s Venus Express left off when its operations ended last year.

Transient hot spots on Venus: Best evidence yet for active volcanism

In a paper released in Geophysical Research Letters today, Eugene Shalygin and coauthors have announced the best evidence yet for current, active volcanism on Venus. The evidence comes from the Venus Monitoring Camera, which saw transient hot spots in four locations along a system of rifts near Venus' equator. They saw the hot spots in two distinct episodes in 2008 and 2009.

Venus From 33 Years Ago, and Why We Need to Explore

Thirty-three years ago today, Venera 14 plunged through the thick Venusian atmosphere to the surface. Ted Styrk shares some of his processed images from the Venera lander missions to Venus—and makes a plea for us to return.

Understanding why our most Earth-like neighbor, Venus, is so different

Van Kane introduces us to EnVision—a proposed European mission to help improve our understanding of Venus.

Tracking a Ghost Mission 238 Million Km Away

Daniel Scuka describes the impending demise of the Venus Express spacecraft.

Close to the end for Venus Express

Venus Express is nearly out of fuel. Any day could be the last of its long mission to Venus.

Standing on Venus in 1975

Venera 9 and 10 landed on Venus in 1975 and sent back the first images of the planet's surface. Now, Ted Stryk brings new life to these images to show us what it would be like to stand on the Venusian surface.

Skimming the inner planets: Updates on MESSENGER and Venus Express

The two spacecraft currently orbiting the two innermost planets are both flying low in their orbits in the final phases of their missions. MESSENGER just performed a rocket burn to raise its orbit slightly, while Venus Express did the opposite.

LPSC 2014: The Curious Case of Active Volcanism on Venus

She’s alive! She’s alive! Or is she? A little more than a week ago, at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 2014, evidence was presented that Venus was geologically active, not in the recent past, like 100,000 years ago, but right now.

A Spin Through the Inner Solar System

Animated maps of the planets show the spheres in motion.

Russia's Ambitious Planetary Exploration Goals

Roscosmos has ambitious planetary exploration plans in the coming decades, including a series of solo lunar missions and joint missions to Mars with the European Space Agency.

Polar vortices across the solar system

Earth's polar vortex has been in the American news all week. But we're not the only planet that has one; basically every world that has an atmosphere has a polar vortex. Here are lots of pretty pictures and animations of polar vortices.

Pretty picture: Two crescents: New moon, old Venus

A baby Moon and aging Venus crescents are positioned close in the sky today, and lots of people are taking beautiful photos.

Cosmos with Cosmos Episode 4: Heaven & Hell

Humans face the consequences of our own knowledge about the cosmos in this latest episode recap and analysis of Carl Sagan's classic series.

Europe Will Select Its Next Major Science Mission in November

The European Space Agency will announce two major science missions this November, one of which is likely to be devoted to solar system exploration.

Results of ten Venus years of cloud tracking by Venus Express

What Venus Express' Visual Monitoring Camera images of Venus have taught us about the motions of Venus' atmosphere.

A Map of the Evening Star

Beautiful maps of a mysterious place.

One Ocean World Among Many

I'm absolutely floored when I stop to think that our beautiful blue ocean is only one of perhaps a half dozen or more oceans on other worlds in our solar system, and only one of probably millions (or more) oceans on other Earth-like planets in our galaxy. Oceans abound!

One Day in the Solar System

Dispatches from five different worlds--all sent by robotic spacecraft on the same day.

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