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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!

Poised on the threshold of Victoria Crater

Emily Lakdawalla • August 29, 2007

Although Mars' atmosphere continues to be rather dusty, the storm has abated enough that both Mars Exploration Rovers have resumed a relatively normal level of activity. For Opportunity, that means a drive to the very edge of Victoria crater.

A little good news on the rovers

Emily Lakdawalla • August 08, 2007

The skies aren't quite as dark as they have been, for both Spirit and Opportunity. In fact, Spirit has enough power now to be doing a little work with its robotic arm.

High tau for Spirit and Opportunity

Emily Lakdawalla • July 30, 2007

Over the weekend I fiddled with the "tau" images that Mars Exploration Rover Pancam lead Jim Bell gave me, and I produced a couple of different ways to visualize the darkness of the rovers' skies.

Dust storm update: rovers still OK

Emily Lakdawalla • July 27, 2007

The dust storm continues at Mars, but both rovers continue to be power-positive.

Mars Exploration Rovers update: Spirit and Opportunity are both still talking to Earth

Emily Lakdawalla • July 23, 2007

Both Spirit and Opportunity are still suffering under incredibly dark skies, but, amazingly, they are both "power-positive," meaning that they are managing to produce enough power from the limited amount of sunlight to keep the batteries fully charged.

The dust storm has brought gloom to Opportunity's skies, but everything is OK

Emily Lakdawalla • July 10, 2007

Opportunity has ceased operations for a couple of days because the amount of sunlight available is low due to an unpredicted dust storm.

Spirit gets brushed off

Emily Lakdawalla • June 19, 2007

There was great news last night from Mars Exploration Rover mission operations: Spirit seems to have enjoyed another "cleaning event."

The original "Puddles on Mars" story has been retracted

Emily Lakdawalla • June 12, 2007

Today, New Scientist and researcher Ron Levin retracted the "puddles on Mars" claim in the face of evidence that the "puddles" were on sloping surfaces. I've updated my original blog entry in response to the claim to that effect.

Windows Onto the Abyss: Cave Skylights on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • May 23, 2007

Today's set of image releases from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE team included this one, of a fairly bland-looking lava plain to the northeast of Arsia Mons. Bland, that is, except for a black spot in the center.

Rosetta Was Here

Emily Lakdawalla • February 25, 2007

This amazing view was captured by the CIVA camera on Rosetta's Philae lander just four minutes before its closest approach to Mars on February 25, 2007. The spacecraft was only 1,000 kilometers above the planet.

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