Author

All

Keyword

All

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

India's Vikram Spacecraft Apparently Crash-Lands on Moon

Communications were lost with the lander, which was carrying a small rover named Pragyan to the lunar surface.

Your Impact: September Equinox 2019

Your LightSail 2 spacecraft is in space, controlling its orbit solely on the power of sunlight.

Venus’ Ocean of Air and Clouds

Javier Peralta plumbs the depths of Venus’ atmosphere through the eyes of the Venus Express and Akatsuki orbiters.

Hayabusa2 Lander Mania: Results from MASCOT, Plans for MINERVA-II2

Japan's sample return spacecraft only has about 3 months left at asteroid Ryugu. Its next action will be to drop more stuff on the surface.

OSIRIS-REx Team Picks 4 Candidate Sample Sites on Asteroid Bennu

The sites each have unique characteristics that would advance the field of asteroid science.

Hayabusa2 makes second touchdown on asteroid Ryugu

Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft has touched down on Ryugu for a second time, bagging samples which hopefully contain material from the subsurface of the asteroid.

InSight Update: A Couple More Tiny Quakes and Heat Probe Progress

InSight has detected a couple more small Marsquakes, and the team has lifted the housing of the heat probe off the ground, exposing the top of the mole in a surprisingly wide hole.

ESA to Launch Comet Interceptor Mission in 2028

With Comet Interceptor, ESA plans to meet a comet on its first trip into the inner solar system. The mission was selected yesterday after a fast-track proposal process and will be developed on a rapid (for ESA) timeline, with a launch planned for 2028.

OSIRIS-REx Sets Low-Orbit Record, Enters New Orbital B Mission Phase

Last week, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample-return mission announced that they had achieved an orbit above asteroid Bennu with an altitude of only 680 meters. Now they are surveying for landing sites and have invited the public's help.

LightSail 2 Launch Viewing: Tips & Tricks

LightSail 2 is launching on the next SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It is one payload of many on the mission known collectively as STP-2. Space Test Program (STP) is a crucial part of the US Air Force’s development of advanced technologies in space.

Where We Are on 1 July 2019

The last quarter has seen few changes in the roster of planetary exploration spacecraft. SpaceIL’s lunar lander Beresheet is now on the lunar surface. Its descent on 11 April seemed to go nearly perfectly. Unfortunately, a cascade of events shortly before its planned landing caused it to hit the ground too fast, and it did not survive.

Treasure Hunting With Hayabusa2

IN THE EARLY hours of 22 February, light was just beginning to brighten the campus of JAXA’s Institute of Space and Astronautical Sciences (ISAS) in Kanagawa, Japan. It should have been a quiet time, but the Hayabusa2 control room was packed with people. We were about to land on an asteroid.

ESA Prepares for ExoMars Rover 2020 Launch at Mars and on Earth

Preparations for the ExoMars rover mission are in their final stages. ESA made two announcements today: ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter is shifting orbit, and they officially opened a new Rover Operations Control Centre (ROCC) in Turin, Italy.

LightSail Launch Event

LightSail 2’s launch window opens on June 22, and we are finalizing plans for our launch viewing celebrations. Once we have finished coordinating the details with the Air Force’s STP-2 mission team and the Kennedy Space Center, we will share them with all of our members and backers so that you can join us in person or remotely via the internet.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Images Beresheet Impact Site

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has successfully imaged the impact site of the Beresheet lander, which made a really good run at performing the first privately funded Moon landing on 11 April, but crashed after the failure of its main engine.

Chang’e-4 may have discovered material from the Moon’s mantle

The first science results from the unprecedented Chang’e-4 lunar far side mission are in. The mission’s Yutu-2 rover, deployed from the lander shortly after the Chang’e-4 landing on 3 January, has, with the help of the Queqiao relay satellite, returned data which suggests it has discovered material derived from the Moon’s mantle.

China’s SmallSat Lunar Mission Longjiang-2 to Deorbit on 31 July

According to amateur spacecraft tracker Daniel Estévez, Longjiang-2 will crash into the Moon on 31 July after more than a year in lunar orbit.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: The Final Report

It’s a fall afternoon at Endeavour Crater. The summer winds finally lost their energy and the dust storm season is over. But there are no more signals coming from Earth. No more comm sessions with the orbiters. Nothing like it used to be.

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.

InSight Detects Some Very Small Marsquakes

InSight has finally detected its first Marsquakes, but so far, none have been large enough to produce good science. Still, it’s great news that the seismometer is producing sensible data.

12 ... 76 >

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

You can increase discoveries in the worlds of our solar system and beyond. When you join The Planetary Society, you help build public support for planetary science, encourage decision makers to prioritize human and robotic exploration, and support technological advances in planetary exploration.

Become A Member