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Snapshots from Space

by Emily Lakdawalla

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Emily Lakdawalla

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Follow the thrilling adventures of planetary missions, past and present, and see the stunningly beautiful photos that they return from space!

The September Equinox 2019 Issue of The Planetary Report Is Out!

Emily Lakdawalla • September 03, 2019

A new issue of The Planetary Report brings you our pride in the success of LightSail 2 and our gratitude to our members for making it happen. Plus Venus science from Akatsuki and Venus Express, and the status of planetary defense.

Where We Are

The Planetary Report • September Solstice 2019

We lost and gained spacecraft at the Moon last quarter. India’s Chandrayaan-2 left Earth orbit for the Moon on 13 August, and its Vikram lander aims at a 7 September touchdown. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter just celebrated its tenth launch anniversary. China’s smallsat Longjiang-2 crashed on 31 July, ending its successful mission.

Emily's Recommended Kids' Space Books: Special Apollo 11 Anniversary Edition for July 2019

Emily Lakdawalla • July 03, 2019

So many Apollo-related books have come out in the first half of 2019 that I decided to cover them in a special summer book-recommendation blog. I have 5 brand-new Apollo-related books to recommend for kids, and include others I've recommended in past years.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • July 02, 2019 • 3

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

Emily Lakdawalla • June 21, 2019 • 2

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

Emily Lakdawalla • June 19, 2019 • 1

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.

The June Solstice 2019 Issue of The Planetary Report Is Out!

Emily Lakdawalla • June 10, 2019

Two feature articles bring you the excitement and science of exploring two very different representatives of the solar system's smaller worlds.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • May 30, 2019 • 3

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.

Curiosity Gazes Upon Noctilucent Clouds Over Gale Crater

Emily Lakdawalla • May 28, 2019 • 1

Wispy clouds of stunning beauty fly over Curiosity every evening.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Images Beresheet Impact Site

Emily Lakdawalla • May 16, 2019 • 1

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.

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