Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
Both OSIRIS-REx and New Horizons achieved first light on their still-distant targets this week. Between now and the end of 2018, Bennu and 2014 MU69 will turn from points of light into places.
Two months after arrival, the team has reported some preliminary facts about Ryugu. They also announced the selection of candidate landing sites for the spacecraft sample collection, for the German-built MASCOT hopper, and for the MINERVA-II microrovers
Chandrayaan-2, expected to launch in October, will now be launching no earlier than 3 January 2019, with its lander and rover touching down in February.
This week Hayabusa2 completed its closest approach yet to asteroid Ryugu. In a successful gravity measurement experiment on August 6, the spacecraft dipped to within 1 kilometer of the asteroid.
For the second time, JAXA navigators have zoomed their cameras and other instruments in on asteroid Ryugu. The August 1 operation was quicker than the previous one, requiring only 26 hours for the descent, science, and ascent.
What does it mean that the Mars rover Curiosity found organics in Martian rocks? Emily Lakdawalla translates the science.
A radar instrument on one of the oldest operational Mars orbiters has discovered possible evidence of present-day liquid water on Mars.
Last week, Hayabusa2 approached to within 6000 meters of the surface of Ryugu, taking new photos. The team has developed a set of terminology to describe Hayabusa2's navigational positions around the asteroid.
I'm honored to be the new editor of The Planetary Society's flagship magazine, The Planetary Report.
Emily Lakdawalla is on vacation from 1 to 22 July. Jason Davis will reign over the blog in her absence.
Hooray! Curiosity has triumphantly returned to drilling with a successful drill and delivery to its lab instruments at a site named Duluth. It's now studying the dust storm as it drives to new drill sites on Vera Rubin ridge.
On 26 June 2018, Hayabusa2 arrived at its target asteroid, Ryugu. In a very brief status update, I present comparisons of Ryugu to other previously visited asteroids and comets.
Ryugu has continued to grow in Hayabusa2's forward view, resolving into a diamond-shaped body with visible bumps and craters! They've done hazard searches, optical navigation imaging, and measured the rotation rate at 7.6 hours.
Hayabusa2 is now less than 1000 kilometers away from Ryugu, and the tiny asteroid is beginning to betray its shape.
NASA's OSIRIS-REx will get the first sight of its target Bennu in August and go into orbit in December.
On June 3, Hayabusa2 ended use of its ion engines, for now, and is coasting the remaining distance toward Ryugu. It's using an optical navigation camera to image the asteroid's position against a field of background stars to help it navigate.
A post for kids whose teachers have told them to send emails to scientists asking questions.
One of the Cassini mission's goals was to figure out how long a day on Saturn is. We still don't know. A new paper reports a measurement of the rotation period of Saturn that is different from past measurements.
Hayabusa2 is approaching asteroid Ryugu! Here's how to stay on top of mission news and the mission's planned schedule for 2018.
One of the great things about space exploration is how it can shift your perspective. And you don't even need to leave home.