Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
Planets are beautiful and fascinating enough on their own, but there’s no denying that moons and rings add a little something special.
Some good old-fashioned space mysteries
Exploration is teaching us a lot about the cosmos, and a lot about how much we still don’t know.
Rocky worlds rock
This week we're all about the rocky planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.
Following perfect launch, BepiColombo takes self-portraits from space
BepiColombo's launch was nominal -- the best thing any launch can be. Following launch, the spacecraft documented successful solar array and antenna deployments with self-portraits.
How to follow BepiColombo's launch
I’m thrilled to be anticipating the beginning of a new mission to Mercury. Here's a timeline for BepiColombo's planned launch on 20 October (19 October in the U.S.).
The September Equinox 2018 Issue of The Planetary Report Is Out!
With my first issue of The Planetary Report as editor, I am taking the magazine open-access. Return to Mercury features articles by Elsa Montagnon on BepiColombo and by Long Xiao on the Chang'e-4 and -5 landers.
Voyage to Mercury
Elsa Montagnon details the challenges of delivering BepiColombo’s two spacecraft from Earth to Mercury.
#Mercury2018: From MESSENGER to BepiColombo and beyond
A Mercury meeting held May 1-3 summarized the current and future science of the innermost planet. Emily Lakdawalla was there and shares her notes.
What's Up in Solar System Exploration in 2018
Three launches to the Moon and one each to Mercury and Mars; two arrivals at near-Earth asteroids; and an approach to an encounter with a distant Kuiper belt object are highlights we anticipate in 2018.
Back to Mercury! Europe and Japan's BepiColombo mission moves closer to launch
Next year, a pair of probes head to Mercury to answer outstanding questions about our innermost planet, as well as the formation of the solar system.
Four mission assembly progress reports: ExoMars TGO, InSight, OSIRIS-REx, and BepiColombo
2015 has seen few deep-space-craft launches, but 2016 is shaping up to be a banner year with three launches, followed quickly by a fourth in early 2017. All of the missions under development have reported significant milestones recently.
LPSC 2015: MESSENGER's low-altitude campaign at Mercury
At last week's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, the MESSENGER team held a press briefing to share results from the recent few months of incredibly low-altitude flight over Mercury's surface. The mission will last only about five weeks more.
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.
What are Mercury's hollows?
I've been fascinated by Mercury's hollows ever since MESSENGER discovered them. Two recent papers look at where they are found to try to figure out how they form.
BepiColombo's launch date has slipped to August 2015
ESA announced this morning that the launch of their BepiColombo mission, a cooperative effort with JAXA, has been delayed from its originally planned July 2014 to the backup launch window in August 2015.