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71. What's up in the solar system in January 2011 - and the rest of the year in preview

(Web Page; Fri May 29 17:18:00 CDT 2015)

Ready for the New Year? It's going to be an exciting one. Those of you who are reading this and who are going to New Year's Eve parties and who are geeky enough to bring up your interest in space in casual conversation may well hear comm...

Description: Ready for the New Year? It's going to be an exciting one.

72. What's up in the solar system in May 2012

(Web Page; Sun Mar 01 16:23:00 CST 2015)

Welcome to my monthly roundup of the activities of our intrepid robotic emissaries across the solar system! I count 16 spacecraft that are actively performing 13 scientific missions at Mercury, Venus, the Moon, Mars, Vesta, Saturn, and a...

Description: Welcome to my monthly roundup of the activities of our intrepid robotic emissaries across the solar system! I count 16 spacecraft that are actively performing 13 scientific missions at Mercury, Venus, the Moon, Mars, Vesta, Saturn, and at the edge of the heliosphere. This month's highlight: Cassini's about to fly close past Enceladus and Dione.

73. Looking ahead to spacecraft activities in 2013

(Web Page; Fri May 18 14:31:00 CDT 2018)

Hello, 2013! I'm looking forward to a fun year in planetary exploration -- but then every year is a fun year. What's ahead? First of all, there are four solar system launches planned. The biggest solar system launch of this year was one ...

Description: 2013 is going to be a busy year in space exploration. Two missions launch to the Moon (LADEE and Chang'E 3), and another two to Mars (MAVEN and India's mission). Curiosity should drive to the Mountain, and Opportunity to the next site on Endeavour's rim. Cassini will be seeing rings and Titan. Others should continue routine operations, except maybe MESSENGER, whose fate after March is not yet decided.

74. What's up in the solar system in October 2009

(Web Page; Wed Aug 29 15:51:00 CDT 2012)

Phew! With the MESSENGER flyby over, I can focus now on what's ahead for October. The biggest thing to look forward to, without a doubt, is the planned smash of LCROSS into the Moon, a week from Friday, in the wee hours of the morning ...

Description: What's up in the solar system in October 2009

75. What's up in the solar system in October 2010

(Web Page; Sun Aug 23 11:42:00 CDT 2015)

Out in space, the most exciting things cooking this month are on Deep Impact, which is fast approaching comet Hartley 2 for a November 4 encounter, and at the Moon, which should soon see a second orbiter, China's Chang'E 2, which is set ...

Description: Out in space, the most exciting things cooking this month are on Deep Impact, which is fast approaching comet Hartley 2 for a November 4 encounter, and at the Moon, which should soon see a second orbiter, China's Chang'E 2, which is set to launch Friday.

76. What's up in the solar system in June 2010

(Web Page; Sat Sep 19 19:43:00 CDT 2015)

The greatest drama in June 2010 will come from two Japanese missions. If all goes well, Hayabusa will plunge to a fiery death in Earth's atmosphere on June 13, sacrificing himself in order to return a small container that probably doesn'...

Description: The greatest drama in June 2010 will come from two Japanese missions.

77. A few random items from last week

(Web Page; Mon Apr 23 02:11:00 CDT 2012)

But before the space news, let me mention that I will be hosting the Carnival of Space this Thursday! If you've said something interesting about space, go read the instructions for submission.A reader pointed out to me, after my remark ...

Description: A few random items from last week

78. What's up in the solar system for the week of August 11

(Web Page; Wed Aug 29 15:51:00 CDT 2012)

Let's check in on each of the 20 spacecraft actively exploring the solar system.But first, a calendar reminder: on August 14-15, there is a conference at APL called the Great Planet Debate. As part of this conference, on August 14 at 16...

Description: What's up in the solar system for the week of August 11

79. What's up in the solar system for the week of August 18

(Web Page; Wed Aug 29 15:51:00 CDT 2012)

I'm posting my weekly update a bit early because I'm going on vacation this week. I was writing like crazy last week to have stuff ready for posting next week, so there will still be posts to read, but if you're wondering next week why ...

Description: What's up in the solar system for the week of August 18

80. Polar vortices across the solar system

(Web Page; Thu Jan 09 23:47:00 CST 2014)

If you live in the U.S. you've heard a lot about the "polar vortex" that's making lives miserable for nearly everybody on the continent this week. (Everybody, that is, except for southern Californians. Ahem.) I guess a comment was made s...

Description: Earth's polar vortex has been in the American news all week. But we're not the only planet that has one; basically every world that has an atmosphere has a polar vortex. Here are lots of pretty pictures and animations of polar vortices.

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