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Finding new language for space missions that fly without humans

Emily Lakdawalla • October 05, 2015 • 88

Historically, human spaceflight was described using the words "manned" and "unmanned," but NASA has shifted to using gender-neutral words to describe human space exploration, even though the Associated Press has not. A recent discussion on Twitter among science writers and scientists highlighted some alternatives.

New Horizons releases new color pictures of Charon, high-resolution lookback photo of Pluto

Emily Lakdawalla • October 02, 2015 • 15

Now that New Horizons is regularly sending back data, the mission is settling into a routine of releasing a set of captioned images on Thursdays, followed by raw LORRI images on Friday. The Thursday releases give us the opportunity to see lovely color data from the spacecraft's Ralph MVIC instrument. This week, the newly available color data set covered Charon.

Thousands of Photos by Apollo Astronauts now on Flickr

Jason Davis • October 02, 2015 • 2

A cache of more than 8,400 unedited, high-resolution photos taken by Apollo astronauts during trips to the moon is now available for viewing and download on Flickr.

Cargo Craft Completes Six-Hour Schlep to ISS

Jason Davis • October 01, 2015

A Russian cargo craft laden with more than three tons of food, fuel and supplies arrived at the International Space Station today.

Favorite Astro Plots #1: Asteroid orbital parameters

Emily Lakdawalla • October 01, 2015 • 3

This is the first in a series of posts in which scientists share favorite planetary science plots. For my #FaveAstroPlot, I explain what you can see when you look at how asteroid orbit eccentricity and inclination vary with distance from the Sun.

NASA announces five Discovery proposals selected for further study

Casey Dreier and Emily Lakdawalla • September 30, 2015 • 21

NASA announced the first-round selections for its next Discovery mission today. A total of five planetary mission concepts -- three targeted at asteroids, two at Venus -- will move to the next stage of the competition.

The solar system at 1 kilometer per pixel: Can you identify these worlds? The answers

Emily Lakdawalla • September 30, 2015 • 13

Last Friday I posted an image containing 18 samples of terrain, all shown at the same scale. Were you able to figure out which square was which? Here are the answers.

Mars Week Continues: We've Released Our 'Humans Orbiting Mars' Workshop Report

Casey Dreier • September 29, 2015 • 2

Learn all about a sustainable, affordable path to get humans to the Red Planet—a path that goes through Mars orbit and Phobos.

NASA's Mars Announcement: Present-day transient flows of briny water on steep slopes

Emily Lakdawalla • September 28, 2015 • 25

NASA held a press briefing today to publicize a cool incremental result in the story of present-day liquid water on Mars. How big a deal is this story? Was all the pre-announcement hype justified? Is this just NASA discovering water on Mars for the zillionth time? What does this mean for things many space fans care about: life on Mars or future human exploration?

Dawn Journal: 8 Years in Space

Marc Rayman • September 28, 2015 • 18

On the 8th anniversary of the launch of the Dawn spacecraft, Chief Engineer and Mission Director Marc Rayman gives his annual summary of Dawn’s progress on its interplanetary travels.

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