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

Shuttle LIFE Organisms Return from Space

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.

What's up in the solar system in April 2011

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.

Phobos LIFE gets a ride on Endeavour as Shuttle LIFE!

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.

Uranus and Challenger

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.

Discovery Launch Scrubbed, Again

The launch has been scrubbed once again due to a critical hydrogen leak detected once fueling had been underway for a while.

Days of Downs and Ups

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.

Discovery's penultimate mission to the Space Station

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.

Endeavour Launch Ignites Night Sky

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.

Endeavour Crew Arrives at KSC

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.

STS 129 Astronauts Arrive at Cape Canaveral

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.

The Gift of Apollo

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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Space is vast. There's a lot of exploring to do.

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