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

Say hello to Saturn and bon voyage to Perseverance

With 3 spacecraft en route to Mars, we’re sharing mission news, Martian maps, and a chance to meet Bill Nye.

The Cost of Perseverance, in Context

The cost of the Perseverance rover disappears into the noise of U.S. spending and represents a more modest investment than you might think.

Missions to Mars, and exoplanets caught on camera

Everything you need to know about two missions en route to Mars and another gearing up for launch, plus the rest of the week’s space news.

Perseverance Microphones Fulfill Planetary Society Campaign to Hear Sounds from Mars

The first Mars microphone, sponsored by The Planetary Society, flew aboard NASA's Polar Lander spacecraft, which crashed on the Red Planet in 1999.

Asteroids, asteroids, asteroids!

Gear up for Asteroid Day on 30 June, explore the latest issue of The Planetary Report, and get your fill of space news for the week.

Sample Return Roundup

It's a banner year for sample return missions. In 2020, China, Japan, and the United States are all scheduled to have sample return missions in flight, seeking to retrieve material from near-Earth asteroids, the Moon, and eventually Mars.

Visiting Perseverance During Its Final Week at JPL

An undergraduate physics research student describes her visit to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to see the Perseverance rover before it shipped to Florida for launch.

Here's How Scientists Mapped the Perseverance Rover's Landing Site

The maps will help plan scientific field trips for the rover as it explores an ancient river delta.

What Comes Next on Mars?

Javier Gómez-Elvira anticipates the next phase of the search for life on the Red Planet.

Mars 2020 Rover almost Assembled

Last week, technicians installed the carousel that holds the tools and drill bits that will be used to collect samples for future return to Earth.

Practicing Mars 2020 rover operations, on Earth

Jeff Johnson files a report from ROASTT, the Rover Operations Activities for Science Team Training.

We're going to Jezero!

NASA announced this morning the selection of Jezero crater for the landing site of the Mars 2020 mission. Jezero is a 45-kilometer-wide crater that once held a lake, and now holds a spectacular ancient river delta.

Mastcam-Z Team Blog: A Special Team Photomosaic

Mastcam-Z will help the Mars 2020 rover explore the surface of Mars. Dozens of amazing scientists and engineers from across the globe contribute to the development of Mastcam-Z. This year, the team photo was taken with our very own Mastcam-Z testbed unit.

Mastcam-Z team blog: We've got flight hardware!

Right after the last Mastcam-Z team meeting a year ago (link here to last two blog posts), our team finalized the design of the cameras, and then the fantastic voyage of creating Martian panoramic zoom cameras began.

‘SuperCam’ Update: Multi-purpose Instrument Coming Together for 2020 Launch to Mars

Excitement is building within the SuperCam team as the instrument enters the final stages of assembly and testing toward an anticipated launch aboard NASA’s Mars 2020 rover.

Maintaining the health of an aging Mars orbiter

NASA has announced changes to how engineers are operating Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in order to prolong its life as long as possible, long enough to support the Mars 2020 rover mission.

Engineering Qualification Model confirms performance of the Mastcam-Z!

Just this past week, assembly of the Mastcam-Z EQM was completed, and we saw for the first time what one of our Mars zoom cameras would really look like.

Mastcam-Z team blog: Landing sites

It takes years to decide where a Mars rover is going to land. Members of NASA's Mars 2020's camera team describe their participation in the process.

Mastcam-Z team blog: Preparing for five-hour operations

It takes hundreds of scientists and engineers many years to design and build just one instrument for a Mars mission. In the first Mastcam-Z team blog post, we'll talk about the special challenges we expect for Mars 2020 operations, and how we're planning to overcome them.

A future comes into focus for the Mars Exploration Program

Casey Dreier says NASA's decision to pursue a Mars sample return mission is good news for Mars fans, Mars scientists and supporters of the decadal survey process.

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