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Blog Profile / Planetary Society Weblog


URL :http://www.planetary.org/blog/
Filed Under:Academics / Astronomy
Posts on Regator:3436
Posts / Week:10.3
Archived Since:March 16, 2008

Blog Post Archive

A close look at Saturn's closest moons

A new composite image of the eight named moons that orbit closest to Saturn, and a list of all the best Cassini observations of these moons.

Curiosity update: One Mars Year! Sols 662-670

On Monday JPL put out a press release marking one year since Curiosity landed -- one Mars year, that is! There was a new version of the Kimberley self-portrait, and a video update on wheel wear testing. While we've been celebrating on...Show More Summary

Skimming the inner planets: Updates on MESSENGER and Venus Express

The two spacecraft currently orbiting the two innermost planets are both flying low their orbits in the final phases of their missions. MESSENGER just performed a rocket burn to raise its orbit slightly, while Venus Express did the opposite.

The latest on NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission

During televised updates on June 18 and 19, NASA showcased its progress on Orion and ARM. Here's the latest news.

Book Review: Mars Rover Curiosity: An Inside Account from Curiosity's Chief Engineer, by Rob Manning and William Simon

I am both elated and relieved that Rob Manning and William Simon have written Mars Rover Curiosity: An Inside Account from Curiosity's Chief Engineer. The book delivers on the promise of its title, in a slender volume that is full of great stories you'll read nowhere else.

The Senate's Flawed NASA Bill Hits a Bump in the Road

For the second day in a row, the Senate failed to vote on a bill that would fund NASA and other agencies in 2015. Without passage, no progress can be made on addresses the flaws contained within.

NASA selects Planetary Society LIFE Proposal

NASA has selected a Planetary Society proposal to study accommodation of the Society’s LIFE (Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment) biomodule on NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM).

We could find life on another planet, but do we have the will?

Are we alone in the universe? This month’s National Geographic cover story takes a look at the question, and I weighed in on the subject.

Rosetta completes another rocket burn, spies decreasing activity on comet

Rosetta has now completed its three largest rendezvous burns as it approaches ever closer to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Beginning on July 2, Rosetta will now conduct weekly burns, through August 6. Meanwhile, the cometary activity of April and May has quieted again, leaving the comet looking smaller than it did before.

LightSail update: Three steps forward, one step back

The LightSail team has found potential workarounds to solve the spacecraft’s boom deployment problems, but more analysis lies ahead.

One Number, Two Budgets

The Senate and House have both agreed to increase NASA's budget to $17.9 billion, but they have very different ways of spending that money. The House bill would add additional funding to almost every category of the Planetary Science budget and would greatly strengthen NASA’s program of planetary exploration. Show More Summary

Hubble to the rescue! The last-ditch effort to discover a Kuiper belt target for New Horizons

Will New Horizons have a mission after Pluto? Ground-based searches have failed to turn up anything that New Horizons can reach. Now Hubble is joining the search, but time is running out: a discovery must be made within the next two months.

Curiosity update, sols 645-661: Driving, driving, driving

Curiosity has been busy. The rover has traveled more than half a kilometer since my last update, making steady progress beyond the Kimberley toward Murray Buttes. There hasn't been much time for science, but they sneaked in an observation of a Mercury transit across the sun, and a neat MARDI video of the rover driving.

Is Mainstream Space News Adrift?

The Houston Chronicle has a new, interactive web series on America’s space program. Why don’t we see more space coverage in this format?

Walking the Blue Carpet with Samsung

Bill Nye reports from the Samsung Hope for Children gala event in New York City.

The OSIRIS-REx Design Reference Mission

This week the OSIRIS-REx team gathered at the Lockheed Martin facility in Denver to perform a “Design Reference Mission (DRM)” walkthrough. The DRM is basically the battle plan for OSIRIS-REx for accomplishing our goal of returning pristine samples from asteroid Bennu.

Mars-bound mission updates: Mars Orbiter Mission maneuvers, MAVEN detects Mars

India's Mars Orbiter Mission has accomplished its second trajectory correction manuever, a small rocket burn lasting only 16 seconds. Meanwhile, NASA's MAVEN is testing out its instruments, with one obtaining "first light" on Mars.

LightSail update: Boom deployment diagnosis continues

The LightSail team continues to investigate problems with the spacecraft’s boom deployment system that postponed a flight system test earlier this month.

Rosetta update: Both "big burns" completed successfully

Rosetta is now in the final phase of its approach to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko after a decade-long journey. The two largest burns have now succeeded, and Rosetta reported this morning via Twitter that the second burn was close to perfect.

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