Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
In the middle of the night on June 1, 2011, millions of passengers returned safely to Earth as part of the great conclusion to space shuttle Endeavour's last flight, STS-134. Many of those millions of passengers were part of the Planetary Society's Shuttle LIFE experiment. Five different kinds of creatures from all three domains of life are part of Shuttle LIFE.
Space exploration is an international endeavor and I usually try to speak as a citizen of Earth rather than one of my nation, state, or city, but I'm going to ask you to indulge me in a little local boosterism today.
April 2011 will see MESSENGER begin the science phase of its orbital mission at Mercury, and should, I think, also see the start of Dawn's approach observations of Vesta. At Mars, Opportunity is back on the road again, rolling inexorably toward Endeavour. At Saturn, Cassini will continue its focus on Saturn and Titan science.
The Planetary Society is contributing this thing called the Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment (LIFE) to Russia's Phobos sample return mission -- it's basically a sealed puck with dormant microbes inside that'll fly to Mars and back in the return capsule, and biologists will take a look to see what damage the little bugs suffered during their space journey.
In the past week there have been 25th anniversaries of two events in 1986, one great, one terrible: the closest approach of Voyager 2 to Uranus on January 24, and the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger upon liftoff on January 28.
The launch has been scrubbed once again due to a critical hydrogen leak detected once fueling had been underway for a while.
Discovery has suffered an electrical problem related to one of the main engines. Thanks to delays related to that, and to weather concerns, the launch was scrubbed until Friday at 3:04pm.
Mat Kaplan is at the Kennedy Space Center, 22 hours before shuttle Discovery is due to launch. Parts of the KSC are old and uncared for, while others are at the bleeding edge of space-flight technology.
A brief musing on the public opinion of the shuttle when it was first unveiled, and now, as it's about to be retired.
Mat Kaplan relays his experiences and thoughts as he makes his way to the Kennedy Space Center to witness the launch of the shuttle Discovery.
Pam Chadbourne, one of the many engineers who made the Magellan Radar Mapper mission possible, sent this note out to Magellan team members this morning, and graciously permitted me to post it here.
Planetary Society volunteer Ken Kremer witnessed the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on its STS-131 mission to the International Space Station in person and filed this report on the successful mission.
Planetary Society volunteer Ken Kremer is reporting for us from the Kennedy Space Center, where he is covering the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour, set to launch this weekend.
The crew for the STS-130 flight of shuttle Endeavour arrived at the Kennedy Space Center late in the evening on Tuesday February 2. Blastoff is slated for February 7 at 4:39 AM and will be the final night time shuttle launch.
Space Shuttle Atlantis and her crew of six rocketed into orbit on Monday (November 16) precisely as planned at 2:28 PM EST from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida.
Under overcast skies and unusually cold Florida weather, the six man astronaut crew of STS 129 flew into Cape Canaveral on November 12 aboard a NASA Gulfstream II jet.
Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Planetary Society founder Lou Friedman argue that it is time for humans to go beyond the Moon.
Space Shuttle Atlantis and her crew of 7 astronauts glided in to a smooth and triumphant touchdown today, Sunday, May 24.
Apollo gave us our money's worth. The Apollo lunar samples, totaling 381 kilograms (838 pounds), along with thousands of photographs and other data, are still yielding clues to the world that has been our Rosetta stone for deciphering planetary evolution.
Carl Sagan writes that once upon a time, we soared into the solar system. For a few years. Then we hurried back. Why? What happened? What was Apollo really about?
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