Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
Who loves the Sun?
Our host star takes center stage, and JWST demands a little more patience.
Explorers beware, you’re in for a scare!
In celebration of Halloween, take a terrifying tour through our creepy cosmos.
Processing images of the cosmos and returning to the Moon
Take a look at space image processing, and try it yourself. Plus, catch up on the week’s space news.
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.
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.
ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter takes in a rarely-imaged view of Phobos
ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter's science team enjoyed the opportunity in November to test out their science instruments on Mars. One of the tests involved imaging Phobos from an unusual angle.
European Space Agency Announces Budgetary Commitments
ESA has committed to continuing its ExoMars programme and participation with the International Space Station, but cut funding for its Asteroid Impact Mission.
Schiaparelli investigation update; crash site in color from HiRISE
ESA issued an update on the Schiaparelli landing investigation today, identifying a problem reading from an inertial measurement unit as the proximate cause of the crash. Meanwhile, ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter is operating its science instruments for the first time this week, and HiRISE has released calibrated versions of the Schiaparelli crash site images.
What's up in the solar system, November 2016 edition: Cassini takes a leap, ExoMars starts science, Long March 5 launch
Cassini is going to make a major change to its orbit, getting much close to Saturn, setting up 20
Schiaparelli crash site imaged by HiRISE
Following up the detection of the Schiaparelli crash site by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter CTX, the higher-resolution HiRISE camera has now definitively identified the locations of lander impact site, parachute with backshell, and heat shield impact site on the Martian surface.
Likely Schiaparelli crash site imaged by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
Just a day after the arrival of ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter and its lander Schiaparelli, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has taken a photo of the landing site with its Context Camera, and things do not look good.
ExoMars: Schiaparelli Analysis to Continue
The fate of the ExoMars lander, Schiaparelli, remains uncertain. European Space Agency mission controllers had been optimistic on Wednesday night that a definitive answer would be known by Thursday morning’s news briefing. However, although some more details have been made public about the lander’s descent, it is not yet clear whether it hit the martian surface at a speed it could not survive.
Brief update: Opportunity's attempt to image Schiaparelli unsuccessful
Today, the Opportunity rover attempted a difficult, never-before-possible feat: to shoot a photo of an arriving Mars lander from the Martian surface. Unfortunately, that attempt seems not to have succeeded. Opportunity has now returned the images from the observation attempt, but Schiaparelli is not visible.
ExoMars: Long day’s journey into uncertainty
Trace Gas Orbit is successfully in orbit at Mars, but the fate of the Schiaparelli lander is uncertain.
ExoMars update: Timeline for separation and orbit insertion
Schiaparelli is GO for landing, and ExoMars TGO is GO for orbit insertion! When to expect ExoMars events: Schiaparelli separation, final trajectory maneuvers, landing events, orbit insertion, and press briefings.
ExoMars arrives soon!
ESA's ExoMars will arrive at Mars on Wednesday, October 19, with Schiaparelli touching down in Meridiani Planum, and the Trace Gas Orbiter entering orbit while Mars Express watches.
What's up in the solar system, October 2016 edition: ExoMars arrives!
ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter arrives on October 19, and it will deliver the Schiaparelli lander to its brief life on the Martian surface. Juno's headed into its science orbit, MOM has released science data, and New Horizons will finally finish downlinking Pluto flyby data.
What's up in the solar system, August 2016 edition: Juno to get Jupiter close-ups, Rosetta descending, road-tripping rovers
This month we'll finally see JunoCam's first high-resolution images of Jupiter. We'll also see OSIRIS-REx making progress toward its September 8 launch. Both rovers are road-tripping at Mars, while ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter has completed a major mid-course correction ahead of its October arrival.
ExoMars sights Mars
Today ESA released ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter's first photo of Mars, taken from a distance of 41 million kilometers. It's no more detail than you can get through a pair of a binoculars, just a little taste of what's to come.
What's up in the solar system, May 2016 edition: Good news in cruise for Juno and ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter
May 2016 will be yet another month of fairly routine operations across the solar system -- if you can ever use the word