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Blog Profile / Planetary Society Weblog


URL :http://www.planetary.org/blog/
Filed Under:Academics / Astronomy
Posts on Regator:3618
Posts / Week:10.3
Archived Since:March 16, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Seven Mars spacecraft attempted observations of comet Siding Spring. How did they go?

It's been two weeks since comet Siding Spring passed close by Mars, and six of the seven Mars spacecraft have now checked in with quick looks at their images of the encounter. I round up all the results.

Chang'e 5 test vehicle flying on to Earth-Moon L2

The Chang'e 5 test vehicle service module did not follow the sample return capsule into Earth's atmosphere. Instead, it successfully performed a divert maneuver, and is now on its way to the Earth-Moon L2 point

SpaceShipTwo Feathering System Prematurely Deployed before Fatal Breakup

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo disintegrated shortly after the space plane's tail stabilizers prematurely deployed, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Dawn Journal: Ion thrusting (or not)

Marc Rayman gives the latest update on the Dawn mission, focusing this time on the performance of its ion propulsion system.

Chang'e 5 test vehicle lands successfully

The Chang'e 5 test vehicle landed successfully in Inner Mongolia today after an 8-day mission. It demonstrated technology that China plans to use for automated sample return by the Chang'e 5 mission in 2017.

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Destroyed in Testing Accident

The private spaceflight company's spaceplane was destroyed in an accident over California's Mojave Desert.

The Art of Planetary Science

On October 17-19, 2014, the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory on the University of Arizona campus hosted the second annual Art of Planetary Science exhibition. This exhibition featured works of art inspired by the solar system, alongside works by scientists created from their scientific data.

LightSail Vibration Test Shakes Loose New Problems

LightSail's random vibration test, meant to simulate the stress of an Atlas V rocket launch, shook loose new problems that the team will have to address.

Hayabusa 2 nearly ready for launch: Photos from Tanegashima, and new artist's renderings

On October 27, JAXA provided media with an opportunity to view the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft at the Tanegashima space center, where it's making final preparations for launch. Koumei Shibata was there, and took several photos. And artist Go Miyazaki has shared several terrific new renderings of the spacecraft in flight.

The Antares Accident: Who's Rocket Was It?

Despite some in the media declaring it a NASA rocket disaster, Antares represents a new way of doing business. It's owned by a private company providing a service to NASA to resupply the space station. How is this different from other rockets NASA uses?

Antares Rocket Explodes Seconds after Liftoff

An Antares rocket fell back to the launch pad shortly after liftoff, exploding into a fireball that appeared to destroy the vehicle.

New Planetary Deep Drill Project

The Planetary Society has a futuristic new project: the Planetary Deep Drill with Honeybee Robotics to develop a prototype of a drill that could allow drilling hundreds of meters to even kilometers through planetary ices.

Chang'e 5 T1 rounds the lunar farside, returns lovely photo of Earth and the Moon together

The Chang'e 5 test vehicle's short mission is more than half over. It has rounded the far side of the Moon and is on its way back to Earth for a planned October 31 test of lunar sample return technology. It's not a science mission --...Show More Summary

When Nixon Stopped Human Exploration

Society Board Member John Logsdon describes how the decisions made by Richard Nixon in late 1969 and early 1970 effectively ended human exploration beyond Earth orbit for the indefinite future.

A feast of comet features from Rosetta at Churyumov-Gerasimenko

I have been horribly behind in posting images from Rosetta's exploration of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and that's a shame, because the spacecraft has lately been exploring the comet from a range of only 10 kilometers. From that range, the NavCam gets sub-meter resolution, and we're seeing a menagerie of odd surface features

Rosetta NAVCAM's Shades of Grey

What do “light” and “dark” mean for an object like Comet 67P/C-G? Here are some details on how Rosetta's NAVCAM images are taken and displayed to make a wide range of surface features possible.

Surveyor Digitization Project Will Bring Thousands of Unseen Lunar Images to Light

A team of scientists at the University of Arizona plan to digitize 87,000 vintage images from the surface of the moon, of which less than two percent have ever been seen.

GSA 2014: The puzzle of Gale crater's basaltic sedimentary rocks

At the Geological Society of America conference this week, Curiosity scientists dug into the geology of Gale crater and shared puzzling results about the nature of the rocks that the rover has found there.

UPDATED: China successfully launched test mission for Chang'e 5 program today

China launched to the Moon today! The spacecraft will have a brief, 8-day mission, out to the Moon and back. It is an engineering test for the technology that the future Chang'e 5 sample return mission will need to return its precious samples to Earth.

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