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

The Next 10 Years

Six scientists share the major planetary science discoveries of the past decade, and the questions that will drive the next 10 years of solar system exploration.

Planetary discovery over the past quarter century

2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the creation of what has become one of the primary venues for the publication of research in planetary science: the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. This occasion is a good opportunity to look back at what we have learned in this era of expanded exploration and to try to take a peek at the future.

Farewell, MESSENGER

There is one less robot exploring the solar system today. MESSENGER, which has orbited Mercury for four years, finally ran out of fuel and crashed into the planet at 17:26 UT on Thursday, April 30, 2015.

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.

Flawed Beauties

More examples of imperfect--but tantalizing--images from deep space.

Europa: How Less Can Be More

Van Kane explains three factors that make exploring Europa hard—factors that can make a mission concept that seems like less actually be more.

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.

What's up in planetary missions in 2014

With the New Year upon us, what can we look forward to in 2014? For me, the main event of 2014 is that ESA's Rosetta mission finally -- finally! -- catches up to the comet it has been chasing for a decade. We will lose LADEE, gain two Mars orbiters, and launch Hayabusa2. The year begins with an amazing 24 spacecraft exploring or cruising toward various planetary destinations.

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