Emily Lakdawalla is an internationally admired science communicator and educator, passionate about advancing public understanding of space and sharing the wonder of scientific discovery.
Emily holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in geology from Amherst College and a Master of Science degree in planetary geology from Brown University. She worked at The Planetary Society from 2001-2020. She became writer and editor of the Planetary Society Blog in 2005, reporting on space news, explaining planetary science, and sharing beautiful space photos. From 2018 to 2019 she was editor of the Society's member magazine, The Planetary Report.
Emily has been an active supporter of the international community of space image processing enthusiasts as Administrator of the forum UnmannedSpaceflight.com since 2005. She is also a contributing editor to Sky & Telescope magazine.
Her first book, titled The Design and Engineering of Curiosity: How the Mars Rover Performs Its Job, was published by Springer-Praxis in March, 2018. The book explains the development, design, and function of Curiosity with the same level of technical detail that she delivers in the Planetary Society Blog. A second book, Curiosity and Its Science Mission: A Mars Rover Goes to Work will follow in 2021.
She was awarded the 2011 Jonathan Eberhart Planetary Sciences Journalism Award from the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society for her blog entry about the Phoebe ring of Saturn. Asteroid 274860 was formally named "Emilylakdawalla" by the International Astronomical Union on July 12, 2014. She received an honorary doctorate from The Open University in 2017 in recognition of her contributions in communicating space science to the public.
After 19 years, Emily Lakdawalla is leaving The Planetary Society.
It's a banner year for sample return missions. In 2020, China, Japan, and the United States are all scheduled to have sample return missions in flight, seeking to retrieve material from near-Earth asteroids, the Moon, and eventually Mars.
Two maps by The Planetary Society show all the places we've landed or crashed on Mars as of June 2020.
Latest Planetary Radio Appearances
Creators of an outstanding new collection of poems about spaceflight and exploration join Mat Kaplan to talk about the book as Bill Nye and other notables read selections.
Planetary Society Solar System Specialist Emily Lakdawalla makes a big announcement, and shares stories from her long history with the organization.
The leader of the Mastcam-Z team talks about how the best cameras ever on the surface of Mars will help us explore a region that could once have supported life.