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Dawn Journal: Riding gravitational currents to LAMO

Marc Rayman • December 01, 2011

In this update on the Dawn mission, project system engineer Marc Rayman reports that the probe is headed for its low altitude mapping orbit (LAMO), where it will focus on making a census of the atomic constituents and on mapping the gravity field in order to determine Vesta's interior structure.

At last, I've finished my scale solar system presentation slide/poster

Emily Lakdawalla • December 01, 2011

A presentation providing a correctly scaled, reasonably correctly colored view of the largest bodies in the solar system is made available for use by teachers, professors, and informal educators.

Reviews of space-themed books & products for young children

Emily Lakdawalla • November 30, 2011

As I do every year, I've collected a bunch of new (or relatively new) books and other products on space themes for children.

What's up in the solar system in December 2011

Emily Lakdawalla • November 29, 2011

What's going on with our planetary explorers in December?

Bye-bye, Curiosity

Emily Lakdawalla • November 29, 2011

A few fortunate (and forward-thinking) skywatchers looked upward in the hours after Curiosity's launch and were able to see the spacecraft leaving Earth.

The 70-meter dishes of the Deep Space Network

Emily Lakdawalla • November 28, 2011

I was inspired by my recent trip to Goldstone to put together this poster showing all three of the great 70-meter dishes of the Deep Space Network. There's one at each of the three complexes, at Goldstone, at Robledo (near Madrid, Spain), and at Tidbinbilla (near Canberra, Australia).

How did they make the nuclear power source for the Curiosity rover?

Emily Lakdawalla • November 28, 2011

Maybe it's because I was a kid during the Cold War; I always assume that information about anything nuclear only comes out on that "need-to-know basis."

Curiosity is on its way to Mars!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 26, 2011

It was a textbook launch for the Atlas V 541 today at 15:02 UTC, and within an hour after liftoff, the Centaur second stage had sent Curiosity on its way for an 8.5-month journey to Mars.

Mars Exploration Family Portrait

Emily Lakdawalla • November 23, 2011 • 1

Jason Davis put together this neat summary of the checkered history of Mars exploration.

Brief contact made with Phobos-Grunt after two weeks of silence

Emily Lakdawalla • November 23, 2011

On Tuesday, November 22 at 20:25 UTC, a European Space Agency ground station in Perth, Australia, successfully made brief radio contact with Phobos-Grunt.

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