AidSpace Blog

Category Archives: Planetary Science

Bruce C. Murray

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1931– 2013 Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) from 1976 to 1982, Bruce Murray was a geologist whose vision was never earthbound. He earned his PhD from MIT and served two years in the U.S. Air Force before joining the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1960. Caltech manages JPL for NASA, and soon   …Continue Reading


Mars Rover Discovers Chocolate on Mars

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Scientists at the National Air and Space Museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies announced an astounding discovery at a press conference this morning: the NASA Mars rover Curiosity has found chocolate on Mars.* “Definitely more than just a trace,” said CEPS spokesperson Dr. John Grant. “More than a trace, less than a Snickers. But   …Continue Reading


An Artistic Search for Pluto

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How do you illustrate a non-fiction book for kids based on the former ninth planet? Some people still have some pretty strong feelings about Pluto’s demotion: protest signs, student protest speeches, public demonstrations. Cries of unfairness could be heard when news of poor Pluto’s removal from the planetary ranks occurred. It is the intention of   …Continue Reading


Scratching Beneath the Surface

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What’s inside a planet? What instruments do scientists use to figure it out? And what clues does a planet’s surface give us? On Saturday, April 21, Lisa Walsh and I, scientists from the Museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, invited visitors to the National Air and Space Museum’s Explore the Universe Family Day to   …Continue Reading


Climate Change in the Solar System

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We are all familiar with the climate on Earth: the seasons, the range of surface temperatures that are just right for being a water world, the oxygen we breathe, the ozone layer that protects us from UV radiation. In short: habitable. So what other bodies in the Solar System might be (or might have been)   …Continue Reading