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Snapshots from Space

by Emily Lakdawalla

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Emily Lakdawalla

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Follow the thrilling adventures of planetary missions, past and present, and see the stunningly beautiful photos that they return from space!

A second successful medium-altitude operation for Hayabusa2

Emily Lakdawalla • August 03, 2018

For the second time, JAXA navigators have zoomed their cameras and other instruments in on asteroid Ryugu. The August 1 operation was quicker than the previous one, requiring only 26 hours for the descent, science, and ascent.

Curiosity's organics on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • July 30, 2018 • 4

What does it mean that the Mars rover Curiosity found organics in Martian rocks? Emily Lakdawalla translates the science.

Liquid Water on Mars! Really for Real This Time (Probably)

Emily Lakdawalla • July 25, 2018 • 10

A radar instrument on one of the oldest operational Mars orbiters has discovered possible evidence of present-day liquid water on Mars.

Hayabusa2 descends from Home Position to take its first close look at Ryugu

Emily Lakdawalla • July 25, 2018 • 3

Last week, Hayabusa2 approached to within 6000 meters of the surface of Ryugu, taking new photos. The team has developed a set of terminology to describe Hayabusa2's navigational positions around the asteroid.

Hello from the new editor of The Planetary Report

Emily Lakdawalla • July 23, 2018 • 3

I'm honored to be the new editor of The Planetary Society's flagship magazine, The Planetary Report.

Programming note

Emily Lakdawalla • July 01, 2018 • 3

Emily Lakdawalla is on vacation from 1 to 22 July. Jason Davis will reign over the blog in her absence.

Curiosity update, sols 2027-2092: Return to drilling at Duluth, sciencing the dust storm

Emily Lakdawalla • June 29, 2018 • 1

Hooray! Curiosity has triumphantly returned to drilling with a successful drill and delivery to its lab instruments at a site named Duluth. It's now studying the dust storm as it drives to new drill sites on Vera Rubin ridge.

Hayabusa2 arrived at Ryugu, so I can make comparisons of asteroid scales!

Emily Lakdawalla • June 27, 2018 • 2

On 26 June 2018, Hayabusa2 arrived at its target asteroid, Ryugu. In a very brief status update, I present comparisons of Ryugu to other previously visited asteroids and comets.

Hayabusa2 update: New views of Ryugu and corkscrew course adjustments

Emily Lakdawalla • June 21, 2018 • 2

Ryugu has continued to grow in Hayabusa2's forward view, resolving into a diamond-shaped body with visible bumps and craters! They've done hazard searches, optical navigation imaging, and measured the rotation rate at 7.6 hours.

Hayabusa2: Ryugu takes shape

Emily Lakdawalla • June 14, 2018

Hayabusa2 is now less than 1000 kilometers away from Ryugu, and the tiny asteroid is beginning to betray its shape.

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Emily Lakdwalla
The Planetary Fund

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