July 2018 • Issue 153


Robotic Exploration of Mars Before Curiosity The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover continues a legacy of exploration of the martian surface and atmosphere from orbiting and landed robotic missions. The first flyby of Mars was completed by the Mariner 4 mission in 1965, with two more flybys by Mariners 6 and 7 in 1969. The images […]  (read more…)
The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), established in 1968, is devoted to the study of the formation of the solar system, its evolution into the dynamic planetary system we have today, and the potential for life elsewhere. To commemorate the LPI’s 50th anniversary, a one-day science symposium was held on March 17, 2018, in the […]  (read more…)

New and Noteworthy

Springer, 2018, 372 pp., Hardcover. $139.99. This volume discusses the evolutionary paths linking planets and their atmospheres to their origin within circumstellar disks. It reviews the main phases of this evolution, summarizes what we understand and what are the important open questions, and suggests ways toward solutions. Dust accretion within disks generates planet cores, […]  (read more…)
  Springer, 2018, 394 pp., Paperback. $39.99. This book describes the most complex machine ever sent to another planet:  Curiosity. It is a 1-ton robot with 2 brains, 17 cameras, 6 wheels, nuclear power, and a laser beam on its head. No one human understands how all of its systems and instruments work. This […]  (read more…)