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The Making of Life

The Planetary Report • December Solstice 2018

Michael L. Wong asks how our understanding of the origin of life on Earth informs our search for it elsewhere.

Timing Is Everything

The Planetary Report • December Solstice 2018

The tradition of giving to charities like The Planetary Society at year’s end often brings up questions about how to make those gifts, as well as their tax implications.

A Busy Summer

The Planetary Report • December Solstice 2018

Bruce Betts reports on LightSail 2’s status and looks to the future of solar sailing.

Where We Are

The Planetary Report • December Solstice 2018

Emily Lakdawalla adds several spacecraft but retires several more from her at-a-glance spacecraft locator.

Planetary Radio celebrates 16 years of PB&J

MaryLiz Bender • December 16, 2018 • 1

Planetary Radio host Mat Kaplan has spent sixteen years sharing the “passion, beauty, and joy” of space exploration with the world. We picked our sixteen favorite episodes to share with you.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Spots InSight Hardware on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • December 13, 2018

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has finally spotted the InSight lander, its parachute, and its heat shield resting on the Martian surface. The images confirm the location of InSight's landing site, a little to the north and west of the center of the landing ellipse. The lander is located at 4.499897° N, 135.616000° E.

Go Out and See the Geminid Meteor Shower

Bruce Betts • December 13, 2018

The Geminid meteor shower, which peaks tonight, is usually the best meteor shower of the year,

Chang’e-4 Successfully Enters Lunar Orbit

Luyuan Xu • December 12, 2018

Following a 4.6-day cruise, on 12 December at 8:45 Beijing time (16:45 UTC), the spacecraft arrived in lunar orbit, preparing for a landing in early January.

Mastcam-Z Flight Hardware!

Jim Bell • December 12, 2018

After a more-than-four-year adventure, the flight Mars 2020 rover Mastcam-Z cameras have been fully assembled!

Curiosity Update, Sols 2163-2256: Hard Times Atop Vera Rubin Ridge

Emily Lakdawalla • December 11, 2018

Just after a failed drill attempt at Inverness, Curiosity suffered a serious computer problem. The mission has now recovered by switching computers, and has successfully drilled at Highfield. One last drill site in "red Jura" rocks is planned before leaving Vera Rubin ridge behind.

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