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The Next 10 Years

The Planetary Society • March 10, 2020

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.

The Downlink: Mercury Transits the Sun, Hayabusa2 Leaves Ryugu

Jason Davis • November 15, 2019

Planetary exploration news for busy people

The Downlink: Station Crew Home, Hayabusa2 Deploys Rover

Jason Davis • October 04, 2019

Planetary exploration news for busy people

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Images Beresheet Impact Site

Emily Lakdawalla • May 16, 2019

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.

#DPS17: The Moon's Giordano Bruno crater through many eyes

Emily Lakdawalla • October 30, 2017

Today's story from the Division for Planetary Sciences meeting looks at one youthful rayed crater on the Moon from many different spacecraft.

Finding spacecraft impacts on the Moon

Phil Stooke • February 20, 2017

Over nearly 60 years of spacecraft exploration of the Moon, lots of spacecraft have crashed on the lunar surface—some accidental, some intentional. Phil Stooke hunts for their impact sites.

Spaceflight in 2017, part 2: Robots beyond Earth orbit

Emily Lakdawalla • December 30, 2016

What's ahead for our intrepid space explorers in 2017? It'll be the end of Cassini, but not before the mission performs great science close to the rings. OSIRIS-REx will fly by Earth, and Chang'e 5 will launch to the Moon, as a host of other spacecraft continue their ongoing missions.

What's up in the solar system, November 2016 edition: Cassini takes a leap, ExoMars starts science, Long March 5 launch

Emily Lakdawalla • November 01, 2016

Cassini is going to make a major change to its orbit, getting much close to Saturn, setting up 20 "F-ring" orbits. ExoMars will get two science orbits before beginning aerobraking. Long March 5 will have its first launch, while many Earth-observing missions, including Himawari-9 and GOES-R, will go up. But Juno science is on hold.

What's up in the solar system, September 2016 edition: OSIRIS-REx launches, Rosetta ends

Emily Lakdawalla • August 31, 2016

The month of September begins with an annular solar eclipse visible from much of Africa on September 1. On or after September 8, we'll see OSIRIS-REx launch into a two-year cruise toward a rendezvous with asteroid Bennu. But September will close, sadly, with the end of the wonderful Rosetta mission.

LPSC 2016: The Moon Keeps on Giving

Ryan Clegg-Watkins • April 14, 2016

There was no shortage of interesting lunar science talks at last month’s Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Dr. Ryan Clegg-Watkins highlights some of the interesting results for us.

What's up in solar system exploration: February 2016 edition

Emily Lakdawalla • January 29, 2016

What's going on with our robotic planetary missions? In February I count more than 20 planetary spacecraft exploring six targets beyond Earth or cruising to new destinations.

Two epic photos of Earth -- but which one is truer?

Emily Lakdawalla • December 29, 2015

Two images of Earth taken from different spacecraft at the same time illustrate differences in "true" color imaging among spacecraft.

Preparing for the Journey to the Moon, Mars and Beyond

Deepak Dhingra • October 21, 2015

Deepak Dhingra reports on a planetary analog field trip exploring a very young volcanic terrain in Idaho at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve.

Zero Dollars for 2016: Two Stalwart Planetary Missions Face a Troubling Future

Casey Dreier • October 19, 2015

In its 2016 budget request, the White House inexplicably proposed to end two active, scientifically productive planetary missions: the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

What's up in solar system exploration: August 2015 edition

Emily Lakdawalla • August 10, 2015

I'm back from two weeks' vacation, so it's time to catch up on the status of all our intrepid planetary missions, from Akatsuki to the Voyagers and hitting the Moon, Mars, asteroids, comets, and Saturn in between.

Latest New Horizons picture of Charon: oddly familiar

Emily Lakdawalla • July 16, 2015

The New Horizons team released one more picture from Tuesday's encounter, one of three high-resolution images from a mosaic that crossed the center of Charon's disk, and it took me a while to figure out what it reminded me of.

FOIA Request Sheds Light on NASA Mission Extension Process

Jason Davis • February 06, 2015

A FOIA request offers insight into NASA's planetary science extended mission review process, which seems, at best, confusing, and at worst—with adjectival ratings like “Very Good/Good”—arbitrary.

The Moon, In Depth

Bill Dunford • January 20, 2015

Explore a new collection of 3D lunar landscapes.

Lunar Polar Volatile Puzzle

Deepak Dhingra • November 21, 2014

Deepak Dhingra gives an exciting update from the recent Lunar Exploration and Analysis Group (LEAG) meeting at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (JHU-APL) in Baltimore.

Curiosity Rover Science Plan Slammed by NASA Review Panel

Casey Dreier • September 03, 2014

Senior review recommends continuing all major planetary exploration missions, but not without some changes.

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