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Meet our bloggers...CEO, Bill Nye, Emily Lakdawalla, Bruce Betts, Mat Kaplan, Casey Dreier, and a host of expert and entertaining voices from throughout our vast space community.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 Returns to Flight, Sticks Landing at Cape Canaveral

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/12/21 08:43 CST | 2 comments

SpaceX returned its Falcon 9 rocket to flight with flair tonight, successfully deploying 11 communications satellites after returning the rocket's first stage to Cape Canaveral for an upright landing.

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Pluto updates from AGU and DPS: Pretty pictures from a confusing world

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/12/21 05:38 CST | 7 comments

Pluto is reluctant to give up its secrets. Last week at the American Geophysical Union meeting I attended sessions featuring results from the New Horizons mission, and most of the presentations could be summed up thusly: the data sets are terrific, but there are still a lot of Pluto features that have scientists scratching their heads.

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Spacewalkers Unstick Cart ahead of Cargo Ship Arrival

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/12/21 12:05 CST

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Tim Kopra successfully completed a spacewalk to free a stuck Mobile Transporter cart outside the International Space Station.

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Curiosity stories from AGU: The fortuitous find of a puzzling mineral on Mars, and a gap in Gale's history

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/12/18 05:51 CST | 1 comment

Yesterday at the American Geophysical Union meeting, the Curiosity science team announced the discovery of a mineral never before found on Mars. The finding was the result of a fortuitous series of events, but as long as Curiosity's instruments continue to function well, it's the kind of discovery that Curiosity should now be able to repeat.

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Rail-riding ISS Cart Jams, Prompting Contingency Spacewalk Plans

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/12/18 12:07 CST

A rail-riding cart weighing nearly a metric ton jammed while moving along the International Space Station's exterior yesterday, prompting ground controllers in Houston to prepare for an unscheduled spacewalk.

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OSIRIS-REx Completes Mechanical Environmental Testing

Posted by Dante Lauretta on 2015/12/18 08:03 CST | 2 comments

The OSIRIS-REx team successfully and safely completed sine vibration (sine vibe) testing on the spacecraft prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. The sine vibe tests are designed to verify the system performs as expected after being exposed to flight-like low frequency vibration input.

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[Updated] An Extraordinary Budget for NASA in 2016

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/12/18 08:00 CST | 14 comments

Congress's plan to fund the U.S. government in 2016 includes a stellar $1.3 billion increase for NASA over last year, nearly $730 million above the President's request.

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LightSail Program Wraps Busy Year with Test Readiness Review

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/12/17 11:52 CST

On Monday, LightSail engineers and mission managers met at The Planetary Society's Pasadena, California headquarters to prepare for a rigorous suite of spacecraft tests that are expected to begin in January.

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Our Global Volunteers: December 2015 Update

Posted by Kate Howells on 2015/12/17 08:03 CST | 2 comments

As 2015 wraps up, The Planetary Society celebrates yet another year of public outreach.

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Worth the wait: First public release of Rosetta science camera images of comet 67P

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/12/17 12:30 CST | 4 comments

Finally! It has been a long wait, but so worth it: the Rosetta OSIRIS science camera team has delivered the first pile of data from the rendezvous with comet 67P to ESA's Planetary Science Archive. I have spent a good chunk of the last three days playing with the data, and it's spectacular.

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