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What's Up in the Solar System in September 2012

Emily Lakdawalla • August 31, 2012 • 4

It's an active time in interplanetary exploration! Curiosity has begun roving Mars, and Opportunity's not wasting any time either. Dawn has just departed Vesta and begun the more than two-year cruise to Ceres. Juno is in the middle of a big deep-space maneuver, setting up next year's Earth flyby.

HiRISE's best view of Curiosity yet

Emily Lakdawalla • August 31, 2012 • 10

HiRISE's best opportunity to view Curiosity so far came 12 days after landing, when the orbiter passed nearly directly overhead. The photo resolves amazing detail on the huge rover.

FAA smooths path to commercial spaceflight

Andrew Rush • August 31, 2012

The FAA will allow operators of Class III amateur rockets to apply for launch licenses, smoothing the path for commercial spaceflight providers.

Optical SETI Gets a Major Upgrade

Bruce Betts • August 30, 2012 • 5

The Planetary Society Optical SETI Telescope in Harvard, Massachusetts just got a major upgrade of its electronics.

An unheralded anniversary

Emily Lakdawalla • August 28, 2012 • 16

Yesterday, August 27th, 2012, was, in a sense, the 50th anniversary of interplanetary travel. Fifty years ago yesterday, Mariner 2 launched toward Venus, and became the first object to leave Earth and travel to another world.

A True Pioneer of the Science and Art of Flight

John M. Logsdon • August 27, 2012

Although Neil Armstrong may have passed away, his name will be part of human history forever.

NITARP seeks educators for NASA astronomy research

Luisa Rebull • August 27, 2012

NITARP seeks educators interested in teaming up with NASA astronomers to perform genuine astronomical research.

Neil Armstrong changed the world

Bill Nye • August 25, 2012 • 15

Neil Armstrong changed the world. He was an excellent engineer and an outstanding pilot. He got the assignment to land a completely novel rocket machine on the Earth’s Moon, because he was the perfect man for the job: He could really fly; he had excellent judgment about the capabilities of his ship; and above all, he had a remarkable ability to keep his wits about him in extraordinarily dangerous situations.

Chang'e 2: The Full Story

Bill Gray • August 25, 2012 • 4

An update on China's second lunar orbiter, Chang'e 2, which is now heading for asteroid Toutatis.

Manned Missions to Mars Aren't Just Sci-Fi

Louis D. Friedman • August 24, 2012 • 9

Space exploration is not just valuable to scientists; it is also popular with the public who pays taxes. And why not? The exploration of Mars is not only a search for signs of alien life. It is an exploration of the human future.

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