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 came to The Planetary Society in 2001. She has been writing and editing the Planetary Society Blog since 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.
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.
The Planetary Society has a new improved guide to all the places we've landed—or crashed—on Mars, plus planned locations for the upcoming Perseverance, Tianwen-1, and Rosalind Franklin rover missions.
Since some services like Zoom allow you to create virtual backgrounds, The Planetary Society offers you the opportunity to take your home office to Mars, or the Moon, or other fun places in space.
Latest Planetary Radio Appearances
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.
Six scientists give us a preview of where planetary science may be taken in the next 10 years by a new NASA decadal survey.
Leaders of the just-ended Spitzer Space Telescope mission help us celebrate sixteen years of discoveries about our solar system, exoplanets and galaxies nearly as old as the universe itself.