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Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist

blog@planetary.org
+1-626-793-5100

Extended bio
Appearance calendar
and head shots

Emily Lakdawalla is a passionate advocate for the exploration of all of the worlds of our solar system. Through blogs, photos, videos, podcasts, print articles, Twitter, and any other medium she can put her hand to, Emily shares the adventure of space exploration with the world.

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 to oversee a portion of the Society's Red Rover Goes to Mars project, an education and public outreach program on the Mars Exploration Rover mission funded by LEGO. She has been writing and editing the Planetary Society Blog since 2005, reporting on space news, explaining planetary science, and sharing beautiful space photos. She appears weekly on the Society's Planetary Radio podcast, answering listener questions or rounding up the latest space news from the blog.

Emily has been an Administrator of the forum UnmannedSpaceflight.com since 2005, supporting a worldwide community of amateur space image processors. She is also a contributing editor to Sky & Telescope magazine.

She is now writing her first book, tentatively titled Curiosity Rover: Design, Planning, and Field Geology on Mars, due out from Springer-Praxis in 2017. The book will explain the development, design, mission, and science of Curiosity with the same level of technical detail that she delivers in the Planetary Society Blog.

Emily can be reached at blog@planetary.org or @elakdawalla on Twitter.

Latest Blog Posts

How big is that butte?

Posted 2016/08/23 05:09 CDT | 1 comment

Whenever I share images from Curiosity, among the most common questions I’m asked is “what is the scale of this image?” With help from imaging enthusiast Seán Doran, I can answer that question for some of the Murray buttes.

JunoCam "Marble Movie" data available

Posted 2016/08/22 04:56 CDT | 6 comments

Since a few days after entering orbit, JunoCam has been taking photos of Jupiter every fifteen minutes, accumulating a trove of data that can be assembled into a movie of the planet.

OSIRIS-REx launch preview

Posted 2016/08/17 03:34 CDT | 1 comment

Launch day is coming for NASA's next interplanetary explorer! OSIRIS-REx is on schedule for launch on September 8, 2016 at 19:05 EDT (16:05 PDT, 23:05 UTC) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. OSIRIS-REx is the first NASA planetary launch since MAVEN in 2013, and will be the last until InSight in 2018.

Photos: OSIRIS-REx prepares for launch

Posted 2016/08/15 11:58 CDT | 0 comment

Only 24 days remain until the opening of OSIRIS-REx's launch period, and final preparations are underway. There is a lot to do in the final months before a launch, but things seem to be going well.

Curiosity update, sols 1373-1427: Driving up to Murray buttes, drilling at Marimba

Posted 2016/08/11 11:35 CDT | 1 comment

Curiosity has now covered most of the flat ground that lay between the Naukluft plateau and the Murray buttes. The mission took only 11 days to complete drilling work at Marimba, despite a recurrence of a problematic short in the drill. The rover is ready to drive in among the buttes, shooting spectacular photos along the way.

Yutu is NOT dead (probably)

Posted 2016/08/10 07:48 CDT | 2 comments

Despite what you may have read on other websites last week, China's Yutu lunar rover is probably still functional on the surface of the Moon.

JunoCam raw data from the Juno approach movie

Posted 2016/08/09 03:03 CDT | 1 comment

As it approached Jupiter from June 12 to 29, JunoCam captured an animation of the major moons orbiting the planet. The mission released a processed version of the animation on the day of orbit insertion, but took a few weeks to release the raw image data. I've prepared a page hosting all the raw data, and share a few processed versions.

What's up in the solar system, August 2016 edition: Juno to get Jupiter close-ups, Rosetta descending, road-tripping rovers

Posted 2016/07/29 02:35 CDT | 5 comments

This month we'll finally see JunoCam's first high-resolution images of Jupiter. We'll also see OSIRIS-REx making progress toward its September 8 launch. Both rovers are road-tripping at Mars, while ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter has completed a major mid-course correction ahead of its October arrival.

Older blog posts »

Latest Processed Space Images

Thirteen Curiosity drill holes on Mars

Thirteen Curiosity drill holes on Mars

Posted 2016/08/11 | 0 comments

As of August 2016, Curiosity has drilled and sampled at thirteen locations on Mars. They are (left to right and top to bottom): John Klein, drilled on sol 182; Cumberland, on sol 279; Windjana, on sol 621; Confidence Hills, on sol 759, Mojave, on sol 882; Telegraph Peak, on sol 908; Buckskin, on sol 1060; Big Sky, on sol 1119; Greenhorn, on sol 1137; Lubango, on sol 1320; Okoruso, sol 1332, Oudam, sol 1361; and Marimba, sol 1422. All of these images were taken with the MAHLI camera on the end of the arm from a distance of about 5 centimeters. The drill holes are 1.6 centimeters wide.

3D route map for Curiosity: Across the Bagnold dune field, sols 1153-1417

3D route map for Curiosity: Across the Bagnold dune field, sols 1153-1417

Posted 2016/08/11 | 0 comments

A wide view of Curiosity's future traverse. At full resolution it is 1 meter per pixel. North is about 7 degrees to the left of up. Murray Buttes are at the left of the image, and the dark swath is the Bagnold dune field. Curiosity's route is based on mapping by Phil Stooke.

JunoCam approach image of Jupiter with Io shadow

JunoCam approach image of Jupiter with Io shadow

Posted 2016/08/09 | 0 comments

This is one of the last photos of Jupiter taken by Juno on approach to orbit insertion, on June 29, 2016. A small black dot on the photo is the shadow cast by Jupiter's innermost moon Io.

More pictures processed by Emily Lakdawalla »

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