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

A picture-perfect launch for ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission

The PSLV carrying ISRO's Mars Orbiter mission shot like a firework off the launch pad today, placing the spacecraft precisely into its planned elliptical orbit of Earth. Now the 10-month cruise phase begins. Congratulations to ISRO!

Pretty picture: An Atlas launch and a very surprised bird

If you take hundreds of photos of every single spacecraft launch you can get to, you will eventually get lucky shots like this one. It was taken by Ben Cooper at today's launch of the U.S. Navy satellite MUOS-2 and features a very surprised turkey vulture in a striking pose in front of the American flag.

One Year Ago

MSL Curiosity left the Earth one year ago today. This is my experience of the launch.

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.

Curiosity is on its way to Mars!

It was a textbook launch for the Atlas V 541 today at 15:02 UTC, and within an hour after liftoff, the Centaur second stage had sent Curiosity on its way for an 8.5-month journey to Mars.

NASA unveils Space Launch System

After months of political wrangling, NASA has finally unveiled the design of the Space Launch System, America's next deep space transportation system.

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