Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
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.
High resolution images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera detail the 1973 path of the Soviet rover Lunokhod 2.
Pushing back the frontier, and filling in the blank spaces on the map.
A few weeks ago, a press release from the Opportunity mission celebrated Opportunity's surpassing of the previous NASA off-world driving record. That record was set in December 1972 by the Apollo 17 astronauts aboard their Lunar Roving Vehicle. They seem very close to Lunokhod 2's stated 37-kilometer driving record, but hold your horses -- we now know Lunokhod went longer than we thought.
The first human beings to see the mysterious
It is always thrilling to see relics of human exploration out there on other worlds. Today, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera team posted some new photos of two defunct spacecraft: the Luna 17 lander and the Lunokhod 1 rover. I've posted images of the two craft before, but the ones released today are much better.
There was a piece of the Lunar-Reconnaissance-Orbiter-spots-the-Lunokhods story that I was intrigued by but just didn't have the time this week to investigate properly.
I am delighted to report that within a day of the first view of Luna 21 and Lunokhod 2 since the end of that mission in 1973, the sister mission, Luna 17 and Lunokhod 1, has also been found.
Yesterday I posted a bit of a Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter camera image showing the tracks of the Russian Lunokhod 2 rover. Today, I can post for you an image showing the rover's final resting place
Today is the bonanza day for Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter: the first formal release of orbiter data happened this morning, including 10 Terabytes (that is 10 million Megabytes!) of camera data.