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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

Plans for China's farside Chang'e 4 lander science mission taking shape

Posted 2016/06/22 12:09 CDT | 2 comments

The future Chang'e 4 lunar farside landing mission is rapidly taking shape. Now the mission's team is coming to a consensus on the landing location, as well as on the mission's instrument package.

National Selfie Day: Spacecraft self-portraits

Posted 2016/06/21 11:27 CDT | 6 comments

It's apparently National Selfie Day. I'm not entirely sure who has the authority to declare these things, or why they decided we needed a National Selfie Day, but since the self-portrait is one of my favorite subgenres of spacecraft photography, I couldn't resist writing about them.

Timeline of Juno Jupiter Orbit Insertion events

Posted 2016/06/16 02:55 CDT | 0 comment

Today NASA held a press briefing and released a press kit for the impending orbit insertion of the Juno spacecraft. The 35-minute orbit insertion burn is scheduled to begin July 5 at 03:18 UTC (July 4 20:18, PDT). Here's a timeline for events relating to orbit insertion.

ExoMars sights Mars

Posted 2016/06/16 12:26 CDT | 0 comment

Today ESA released ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter's first photo of Mars, taken from a distance of 41 million kilometers. It's no more detail than you can get through a pair of a binoculars, just a little taste of what's to come.

Curiosity update, sols 1311-1369: Drilling at Lubango, Okoruso, and Oudam, and a turn to the south

Posted 2016/06/15 05:24 CDT | 0 comment

Curiosity is at a turning point in its mission to Mount Sharp, both literally and figuratively. Having drilled at three sample sites in 7 weeks, the rover took a left turn, changing its trajectory from a generally westward driving path to a southward one. It is now poised to cross the Bagnold dune field at Murray buttes.

Nadia Drake: NSF investigating how to shut down Arecibo

Posted 2016/06/13 03:28 CDT | 8 comments

Reporter Nadia Drake has been following the status of Arecibo very closely, and recently wrote two articles explaining what it means that the National Science Foundation has begun an environmental review process for the giant radio telescope.

Video: Two talks featuring pretty pictures from space

Posted 2016/06/10 01:30 CDT | 1 comment

Videos of two recent talks I've given, one intended for a general audience and one aimed at professionals.

What to expect from JunoCam at Jupiter

Posted 2016/06/09 09:37 CDT | 15 comments

Juno will go in to orbit at Jupiter on July 5 (July 4 in North and South American time zones), and it's carrying a camera that's going to take really awesome photos of Jupiter. But you're going to have to be patient. Emily Lakdawalla explains why.

Older blog posts »

Latest Processed Space Images

Cruise image of Mars by ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (colorized)

Cruise image of Mars by ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (colorized)

Posted 2016/06/16 | 0 comments

ExoMars captured its first image of Mars on June 13, 2016. This version of the image has been colorized a Mars color and given more space to emphasize the distance remaining, about 41 million kilometers.

Twelve Curiosity drill holes on Mars

Twelve Curiosity drill holes on Mars

Posted 2016/06/04 | 0 comments

As of May 2016, Curiosity has drilled and sampled at eleven 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, and Oudam, sol 1361. 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.

Philae descending

Philae descending

Posted 2016/05/11 | 0 comments

A mosaic of two OSIRIS photos taken at 14:40 and 14:45 on November 12, 2014, shows the tiny Philae lander (a speck near the bottom of the photo) descending toward comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko (top). Philae's first landing happened at 16:03.

More pictures processed by Emily Lakdawalla »

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