Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
Touchdown for InSight's Heat Probe
InSight has gone two for two, placing the second of its instruments gently on the Martian ground.
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Spots InSight Hardware on Mars
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has finally spotted the InSight lander, its parachute, and its heat shield resting on the Martian surface. The images confirm the location of InSight's landing site, a little to the north and west of the center of the landing ellipse. The lander is located at 4.499897° N, 135.616000° E.
New Cameras on Mars!
There was jubilation when InSight landed, but I'm just as happy to be writing about a distinct InSight event: The flow of raw images sent from Mars, straight to the Web, has begun.
Following perfect launch, BepiColombo takes self-portraits from space
BepiColombo's launch was nominal -- the best thing any launch can be. Following launch, the spacecraft documented successful solar array and antenna deployments with self-portraits.
MASCOT landing on Ryugu a success
For 17 hours on 3 October, the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) lander sent data to the waiting Hayabusa2 orbiter from multiple locations on Ryugu.
OSIRIS-REx shows us space isn't entirely empty
What a cool photo of OSIRIS-REx's sample return capsule! But wait, what's that black dot near the top?
Opportunity's sol 5000 self-portrait
Last week the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity celebrated its 5000th sol on Mars, and it celebrated by taking the first complete Mars Exploration Rover self-portrait.
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.
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.
OSIRIS-REx’s cameras see first light
As OSIRIS-REx speeds away from Earth, it’s been turning on and testing out its various engineering functions and science instruments. Proof of happy instrument status has come from several cameras, including the star tracker, MapCam, and StowCam.
Philae spotted on the surface of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Ever since its landing, Philae has been elusive. It went silent just three days later and never returned any more science data, though it made brief contact with the orbiter last summer. Now, just a month until the planned end of the Rosetta mission, the orbiter has finally located the lander in a stunning high-resolution view of the surface.
National Selfie Day: Spacecraft self-portraits
It's apparently National Selfie Day. I'm not entirely sure who has the authority to declare these things, or why they decided we needed a National Selfie Day, but since the self-portrait is one of my favorite subgenres of spacecraft photography, I couldn't resist writing about them.
UPDATED: ESA activates a new old space camera
Inspired by the Mars Webcam on Mars Express, ESA's Cluster mission has turned on a camera on the Cluster spacecraft for the first time since their launch more than 15 years ago. UPDATE: It has now acquired images of Earth.
Fun with a new data set: Chang'e 3 lander and Yutu rover camera data
Here, for the first time in a format easily accessible to the public, are hundreds and hundreds of science-quality images from the Chang'e 3 lander and Yutu rover.
For the first time ever, a Curiosity Mastcam self-portrait from Mars
In a remarkable and wholly unexpected gift to Curiosity fans, the rover has just taken the first-ever color Mastcam self-portrait from Mars.
Finding the Surveyor retro-rockets on the Moon
Planetary scientist Phil Stooke may have found the retro-rockets from NASA's Lunar Surveyor missions, sent to the Moon in preparation for Apollo.
The story behind Curiosity's self-portraits on Mars
How and why does Curiosity take self-portraits? A look at some of the people and stories behind Curiosity's
Beagle 2 found?
What happened to Beagle 2? It's been a mystery for 11 years. That mystery appears to have been solved.
A new Chang'e 3 and Yutu image archive
A treasure trove of newly released images from the Chang'e 3 program includes a photo sequence of a waxing Earth and lots of high-resolution views of rover and lander on the Moon.
Hayabusa2 launches toward asteroid rendezvous
Hayabusa2 successfully launched on December 3, 2014 at 04:22 UTC, and embarked on its interplanetary journey about two hours later. During the launch, cameras captured video of the spacecraft fairing separation.