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

Imaging and imagination in space

Learn about The Planetary Society’s vision for the next decade of exploration and get up to speed on space news.

A ring of fire and Titan’s explosive volcanoes

All the latest space news, plus ways you can celebrate and advocate for space.

Our New Map of Every Mars Landing Attempt, Ever

The Planetary Society has a new improved guide to all the places we've landed—or crashed—on Mars, plus planned locations for the upcoming Perseverance, Tianwen-1, and Rosalind Franklin rover missions.

Two Mars Missions Are Gutted Despite Near-Record Funding for Planetary Science

A new budget submission from the White House would continue record-high funding for planetary science, but proposes deep cuts to 2 productive Mars missions and defers funding for deep space telescope dedicated to finding hazardous near-Earth objects.

Curiosity Gazes Upon Noctilucent Clouds Over Gale Crater

Wispy clouds of stunning beauty fly over Curiosity every evening.

Curiosity Update, Sols 2313-2387: Two New Drill Holes Despite Memory Problems

The Curiosity team is touring Glen Torridon, the Valley of Clay, south of Vera Rubin Ridge, happily photographing everything and zapping rocks. It’s clearly a delight for the team to be in a place they’ve been hoping to reach for 7 years.

Curiosity Update, Sols 2257-2312: Drilling at Rock Hall and Arrival at the Valley of Clay

Curiosity completed work at Vera Rubin Ridge with an easy drilling activity at Rock Hall. Now it has finally driven on to mineral-rick rocks that were seen from orbit, long before Curiosity arrived. The team plans a lengthy traverse of the clay-bearing unit.

Curiosity Update, Sols 2163-2256: Hard Times Atop Vera Rubin Ridge

Just after a failed drill attempt at Inverness, Curiosity suffered a serious computer problem. The mission has now recovered by switching computers, and has successfully drilled at Highfield. One last drill site in

Curiosity update, sols 2093-2162: Three tries to successful drill atop Vera Rubin Ridge

Heedless of the (now-dissipating) dust storm, Curiosity has achieved its first successful drill into rocks that form the Vera Rubin ridge, and is hopefully on the way to a second. It took three attempts for Curiosity to find a soft enough spot, with Voyageurs and Ailsa Craig being too tough, but Stoer proved obligingly soft on sol 2136.

Curiosity's organics on Mars

What does it mean that the Mars rover Curiosity found organics in Martian rocks? Emily Lakdawalla translates the science.

The Bounty of Iron Meteorites Found on Mars

Something new and wonderful appeared in the Meteoritical Bulletin Database—an entire listing of meteorites found on Mars by robotic rovers and their science teams from the years 2005–2017.

Curiosity update, sols 2027-2092: Return to drilling at Duluth, sciencing the dust storm

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.

Book Excerpt: The Design and Engineering of Curiosity: How the radioisotope power system works

Readers, colleagues, friends: it's finally happened. My first book is finally out in the world. Here's an excerpt that explains the design and operation of Curiosity's MMRTG, (it also applies to the future Mars 2020 rover power supply).

Space grade electronics: How NASA’s Juno survives near Jupiter

Take a look at how electronics of spacecraft are built to survive the harshness of space environments.

Curiosity Update, sols 1972-2026: Completing the Vera Rubin Ridge Walkabout

The Curiosity team has completed its initial survey of the top of Vera Rubin Ridge, and is ready to make another attempt at drilling after the rock at Lake Orcadie proved to be too hard.

Automating Science on Mars

Since 2016, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has had the ability to choose its own science targets using an onboard intelligent targeting system called AEGIS.

Curiosity update, sols 1927-1971: Ready to resume drilling

After a hiatus of nearly 500 sols, Curiosity is ready to attempt drilling into a Mars rock again.

Ten times the solar system reminded us sample collection is hard

Some of the biggest discoveries we make in planetary science rely on the seemingly simple act of picking up and analyzing pieces of other worlds. When things go awry, scientists and engineers can sometimes squeeze amazing science out of a tough situation.

HiRISE image coverage of the Curiosity field site on Mars, Version 4.0

The latest and greatest update of Emily's list of all the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE images that contain Curiosity hardware, tracks, or traverses.

Curiosity update, sols 1814-1926: Vera Rubin Ridge Walkabout

Curiosity is climbing across the top of Vera Rubin Ridge, spying varicolored rocks. It's getting closer to being ready to drill again, and has performed a wet chemistry experiment for the first time.

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

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