AidSpace Blog

Category Archives: Planetary Science

Inside Look: Celebrating New Horizons With the Mission Team

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On July 13 and 14, I was invited to visit the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, for the New Horizons Pluto Flyby Events. These included various panels and speakers including Tom Krimigis, the only person to have been a part of a mission to visit all nine major bodies in our   …Continue Reading


New Horizons: The Gift That Keeps Giving

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On July 14, the New Horizons spacecraft completed a 9.5-year-long, 4.8-billion kilometer (3-billion mile) journey to the object furthest from the Sun to be visited by a spacecraft. It is somehow fitting that the Pluto fly-by occurred 50 years, to the day, after Mariner 4 took the first images of Mars, obtained during a spacecraft   …Continue Reading


Remembering Claudia Alexander—Space Scientist

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Claudia Alexander—Space Scientist (1959-2015) Claudia Alexander was perhaps not well-known to the general public, but within the space and science community she was a valued colleague and friend whose contribution to the field of space exploration was significant and lasting. Charles Elachi, the director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where she worked said she, “had a   …Continue Reading


Finding Pluto With the Blink Comparator

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It all started at a special public lecture at the Museum in July 2014 given by Alan Stern, the lead scientist for the New Horizons mission, which will fly past Pluto this July. Among the attendees was William Lowell Putnam IV, sole trustee of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona—the place where Pluto was found   …Continue Reading


The Last Hours of MESSENGER

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Today, the MESSENGER spacecraft will succumb to the influence of gravity and impact on the surface of Mercury. Its last orbit correction maneuver was successfully executed on Tuesday, April 28– there’s nothing left in the fuel tank. I’ve been involved in the mission for more than a decade as a member of the science team and   …Continue Reading