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

Emily Lakdawalla • June 19, 2019

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.

Apollo 11 Little West Crater Panorama

Mike Constantine • June 10, 2019

Apollo 11’S landing on 20 July 1969 was the day humans first set foot on another world. For the risky, challenging endeavor, NASA sought a smooth landing site, one lacking craters or mountains.

Curiosity Gazes Upon Noctilucent Clouds Over Gale Crater

Emily Lakdawalla • May 28, 2019

Wispy clouds of stunning beauty fly over Curiosity every evening.

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.

Pretty Pictures of the Cosmos: Lesser-Known Luminaries

Adam Block • March 22, 2019

Award-winning astrophotographer Adam Block shares some of his latest images highlighting some hidden gems.

The subtle color difference between Uranus and Neptune

Björn Jónsson • March 11, 2019

The color of Uranus and Neptune is similar, but not identical. Uranus appears greener and Neptune bluer.

Watch Hayabusa2's incredible touchdown on asteroid Ryugu

Jason Davis • March 05, 2019

The spacecraft fired a bullet into the surface and unleashed a massive spray of debris.

Pretty Pictures of the Cosmos: Hidden Gems

Adam Block • February 22, 2019

Award-winning astrophotographer Adam Block shares of his latest views of our universe.

Looking Back at MU69

Emily Lakdawalla • February 08, 2019

A crescent view of MU69 reveals its bizarre shape. Let's look at lots of other fun-shaped space crescents.

Curiosity Update, Sols 2257-2312: Drilling at Rock Hall and Arrival at the Valley of Clay

Emily Lakdawalla • February 06, 2019

Curiosity completed work at Vera Rubin Ridge with an easy drilling activity at Rock Hall. Now it has finally driven on to mineral-rick rocks that were seen from orbit, long before Curiosity arrived. The team plans a lengthy traverse of the clay-bearing unit.

Pretty Pictures of the Cosmos: Sensational Spirals

Adam Block • February 05, 2019

Award-winning astrophotographer Adam Block shares some of his latest galactic treasures.

Why are there no stars in most space images?

Emily Lakdawalla • January 28, 2019

Look up at space at night from a dark location and you can see innumerable stars. Why, then, do photos of so many things in space show black space, devoid of stars?

A few new images of MU69

Emily Lakdawalla • January 15, 2019

New Horizons is back in action after going quiet for a period of solar conjunction following the 1 January flyby of 2014 MU69 (informally nicknamed "Ultima Thule"). The spacecraft is returning new data, as exemplified by these images.

MU69 appears as a bi-lobed baby comet in latest New Horizons images

Emily Lakdawalla • January 02, 2019

The latest images downlinked from New Horizons show MU69 to be a textbook example of a contact binary. How do contact binaries form? Updated with images released on 3 January.

New Horizons fast approaching 2014 MU69

Emily Lakdawalla • December 27, 2018

Unaffected by the shutdown of the U.S. government, New Horizons is still on course for its New Year’s encounter with 2014 MU69 (nicknamed “Ultima Thule”). This post collects the latest images from New Horizons' approach to the tiny Kuiper belt object and will be updated regularly.

New Cameras on Mars!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 27, 2018

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.

We're going to Jezero!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 20, 2018

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.

Following perfect launch, BepiColombo takes self-portraits from space

Emily Lakdawalla • October 22, 2018

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.

My 18-Month Affair With Titan

Ian Regan • October 11, 2018

Ian Regan, producer of the Titan segment of In Saturn's Rings, describes the meticulous process of creating the stunning visuals of this shrouded moon.

MASCOT landing on Ryugu a success

Emily Lakdawalla • October 05, 2018

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.

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