rover the robot

Here’s What Actually Happens Inside Our Lunar Lab

Water is a precious resource – especially on the Moon! In the near future, robotic rovers may roam the Moon’s poles in search of hidden reservoirs of water beneath the lunar surface. But traversing the poles can be a perilous journey. Depending on the Sun’s position in the sky and the way that its light falls on the surface, hazards such as boulders and craters can be difficult, if not impossible, to see. 

Inside our Lunar Lab at Ames Research Center, researchers are using Hollywood light kits and a giant sandbox filled with 8 tons of artificial Moon dirt to simulate driving conditions at the poles. The research aims to provide rovers and their human supervisors with 3-D hazard maps of the Moon’s terrain, helping them to avoid potential obstacles that lie ahead. 

Here’s how it works:

STEP 1: GENERATE A MOON MAP

Researchers begin with a map of the Moon’s terrain that’s randomly generated by a computer. Each scene is based on observations made from lunar orbit. The map indicates the number, location and size of features like rocks and craters that should be placed inside the 12x12-foot testbed.

STEP 2: BUILD A MOONSCAPE

Using the map as a guide, researchers build the terrain by hand with everyday tools. The terrain is then dusted with a top layer of artificial Moon dirt to eliminate shovel and brush marks.

STEP 3: CAPTURE IMAGES

Lights are positioned at different locations around the testbed. One by one, the lights are switched on and off while a camera captures images of the terrain. Notice how the appearance of the terrain changes depending on the source of illumination.

STEP 4: CREATE A 3-D MODEL

Using a computer algorithm, a 3-D hazard detection model of the terrain is generated from the images. The model provides important information about the size of an obstacle, its height and where it’s located.

STEP 5: GO EXPLORING

With this technique, researchers can teach a rover to recognize the effect of different lighting conditions on the Moon’s poles. The tool could come in handy for future lunar rover missions like Resource Prospector, which will use a drill to search for subsurface water and other compounds on the Moon.

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The Past, Present and Future of Exploration on Mars

Today, we’re celebrating the Red Planet! Since our first close-up picture of Mars in 1965, spacecraft voyages to the Red Planet have revealed a world strangely familiar, yet different enough to challenge our perceptions of what makes a planet work.

You’d think Mars would be easier to understand. Like Earth, Mars has polar ice caps and clouds in its atmosphere, seasonal weather patterns, volcanoes, canyons and other recognizable features. However, conditions on Mars vary wildly from what we know on our own planet.

Join us as we highlight some of the exploration on Mars from the past, present and future:

PAST

Viking Landers

Our Viking Project found a place in history when it became the first U.S. mission to land a spacecraft safely on the surface of Mars and return images of the surface. Two identical spacecraft, each consisting of a lander and an orbiter, were built. Each orbiter-lander pair flew together and entered Mars orbit; the landers then separated and descended to the planet’s surface.

Besides taking photographs and collecting other science data, the two landers conducted three biology experiments designed to look for possible signs of life.

Pathfinder Rover

In 1997, Pathfinder was the first-ever robotic rover to land on the surface of Mars. It was designed as a technology demonstration of a new way to deliver an instrumented lander to the surface of a planet. Mars Pathfinder used an innovative method of directly entering the Martian atmosphere, assisted by a parachute to slow its descent and a giant system of airbags to cushion the impact.

Pathfinder not only accomplished its goal but also returned an unprecedented amount of data and outlived its primary design life.

PRESENT

Spirit and Opportunity

In January 2004, two robotic geologists named Spirit and Opportunity landed on opposite sides of the Red Planet. With far greater mobility than the 1997 Mars Pathfinder rover, these robotic explorers have trekked for miles across the Martian surface, conducting field geology and making atmospheric observations. Carrying identical, sophisticated sets of science instruments, both rovers have found evidence of ancient Martian environments where intermittently wet and habitable conditions existed.

Both missions exceeded their planned 90-day mission lifetimes by many years. Spirit lasted 20 times longer than its original design until its final communication to Earth on March 22, 2010. Opportunity continues to operate more than a decade after launch.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Our Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter left Earth in 2005 on a search for evidence that water persisted on the surface of Mars for a long period of time. While other Mars missions have shown that water flowed across the surface in Mars’ history, it remained a mystery whether water was ever around long enough to provide a habitat for life.

In addition to using the rover to study Mars, we’re using data and imagery from this mission to survey possible future human landing sites on the Red Planet.

Curiosity

The Curiosity rover is the largest and most capable rover ever sent to Mars. It launched November 26, 2011 and landed on Mars on Aug. 5, 2012. Curiosity set out to answer the question: Did Mars ever have the right environmental conditions to support small life forms called microbes? 

Early in its mission, Curiosity’s scientific tools found chemical and mineral evidence of past habitable environments on Mars. It continues to explore the rock record from a time when Mars could have been home to microbial life.

FUTURE

Space Launch System Rocket

We’re currently building the world’s most powerful rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS). When completed, this rocket will enable astronauts to begin their journey to explore destinations far into the solar system, including Mars.

Orion Spacecraft

The Orion spacecraft will sit atop the Space Launch System rocket as it launches humans deeper into space than ever before. Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities.

Mars 2020

The Mars 2020 rover mission takes the next step in exploration of the Red Planet by not only seeking signs of habitable conditions in the ancient past, but also searching for signs of past microbial life itself.

The Mars 2020 rover introduces a drill that can collect core samples of the most promising rocks and soils and set them aside in a “cache” on the surface of Mars. The mission will also test a method for producing oxygen from the Martian atmosphere, identify other resources (such as subsurface water), improve landing techniques and characterize weather, dust and other potential environmental conditions that could affect future astronauts living and working on the Red Planet.

For decades, we’ve sent orbiters, landers and rovers, dramatically increasing our knowledge about the Red Planet and paving the way for future human explorers. Mars is the next tangible frontier for human exploration, and it’s an achievable goal. There are challenges to pioneering Mars, but we know they are solvable. 

To discover more about Mars exploration, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/topics/journeytomars/index.html

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Just taking Roxi on a leisurely stroll in the sand.

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ROVr Mk.3 by TOKYO TAG TEAM
Via Flickr:
Reconnaissance and Observation Vehicle (robotic)

Solar System: Things to Know This Week

Reaching out into space yields benefits on Earth. Many of these have practical applications — but there’s something more than that. Call it inspiration, perhaps, what photographer Ansel Adams referred to as nature’s “endless prospect of magic and wonder." 

Our ongoing exploration of the solar system has yielded more than a few magical images. Why not keep some of them close by to inspire your own explorations? This week, we offer 10 planetary photos suitable for wallpapers on your desktop or phone. Find many more in our galleries. These images were the result of audacious expeditions into deep space; as author Edward Abbey said, "May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.”

1. Martian Selfie

This self-portrait of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover shows the robotic geologist in the “Murray Buttes” area on lower Mount Sharp. Key features on the skyline of this panorama are the dark mesa called “M12” to the left of the rover’s mast and pale, upper Mount Sharp to the right of the mast. The top of M12 stands about 23 feet (7 meters) above the base of the sloping piles of rocks just behind Curiosity. The scene combines approximately 60 images taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager, or MAHLI, camera at the end of the rover’s robotic arm. Most of the component images were taken on September 17, 2016.

2. The Colors of Pluto

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft captured this high-resolution, enhanced color view of Pluto on July 14, 2015. The image combines blue, red and infrared images taken by the Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera (MVIC). Pluto’s surface sports a remarkable range of subtle colors, enhanced in this view to a rainbow of pale blues, yellows, oranges, and deep reds. Many landforms have their own distinct colors, telling a complex geological and climatological story that scientists have only just begun to decode.

3. The Day the Earth Smiled

On July 19, 2013, in an event celebrated the world over, our Cassini spacecraft slipped into Saturn’s shadow and turned to image the planet, seven of its moons, its inner rings — and, in the background, our home planet, Earth. This mosaic is special as it marks the third time our home planet was imaged from the outer solar system; the second time it was imaged by Cassini from Saturn’s orbit, the first time ever that inhabitants of Earth were made aware in advance that their photo would be taken from such a great distance.

4. Looking Back

Before leaving the Pluto system forever, New Horizons turned back to see Pluto backlit by the sun. The small world’s haze layer shows its blue color in this picture. The high-altitude haze is thought to be similar in nature to that seen at Saturn’s moon Titan. The source of both hazes likely involves sunlight-initiated chemical reactions of nitrogen and methane, leading to relatively small, soot-like particles called tholins. This image was generated by combining information from blue, red and near-infrared images to closely replicate the color a human eye would perceive.

5. Catching Its Own Tail

A huge storm churning through the atmosphere in Saturn’s northern hemisphere overtakes itself as it encircles the planet in this true-color view from Cassini. This picture, captured on February 25, 2011, was taken about 12 weeks after the storm began, and the clouds by this time had formed a tail that wrapped around the planet. The storm is a prodigious source of radio noise, which comes from lightning deep within the planet’s atmosphere.

6. The Great Red Spot

Another massive storm, this time on Jupiter, as seen in this dramatic close-up by Voyager 1 in 1979. The Great Red Spot is much larger than the entire Earth.

7. More Stormy Weather

Jupiter is still just as stormy today, as seen in this recent view from NASA’s Juno spacecraft, when it soared directly over Jupiter’s south pole on February 2, 2017, from an altitude of about 62,800 miles (101,000 kilometers) above the cloud tops. From this unique vantage point we see the terminator (where day meets night) cutting across the Jovian south polar region’s restless, marbled atmosphere with the south pole itself approximately in the center of that border. This image was processed by citizen scientist John Landino. This enhanced color version highlights the bright high clouds and numerous meandering oval storms.

8. X-Ray Vision

X-rays stream off the sun in this image showing observations from by our Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, overlaid on a picture taken by our Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). The NuSTAR data, seen in green and blue, reveal solar high-energy emission. The high-energy X-rays come from gas heated to above 3 million degrees. The red channel represents ultraviolet light captured by SDO, and shows the presence of lower-temperature material in the solar atmosphere at 1 million degrees.

9. One Space Robot Photographs Another

This image from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows Victoria crater, near the equator of Mars. The crater is approximately half a mile (800 meters) in diameter. It has a distinctive scalloped shape to its rim, caused by erosion and downhill movement of crater wall material. Since January 2004, the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has been operating in the region where Victoria crater is found. Five days before this image was taken in October 2006, Opportunity arrived at the rim of the crater after a drive of more than over 5 miles (9 kilometers). The rover can be seen in this image, as a dot at roughly the “ten o'clock” position along the rim of the crater. (You can zoom in on the full-resolution version here.)

10. Night Lights

Last, but far from least, is this remarkable new view of our home planet. Last week, we released new global maps of Earth at night, providing the clearest yet composite view of the patterns of human settlement across our planet. This composite image, one of three new full-hemisphere views, provides a view of the Americas at night from the NASA-NOAA Suomi-NPP satellite. The clouds and sun glint — added here for aesthetic effect — are derived from MODIS instrument land surface and cloud cover products.

Discover more lists of 10 things to know about our solar system HERE.

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The Misadventures of a Team Called Voltron

It’s been a while but I’ve missed my cinabun in the actor!AU. School is school and work is work but I wanted to write again. This is part of @ackerchou actor!AU (check it out if you haven’t already and the other AUs). I swear it was funnier in my head as I was writing this, I promise guys.

x.V.x

“Er, hi guys? Wait, is this thing even on? How do I know if it’s streaming? Lance!” The camera shifted and a face left the focus of the screen before being shifted several times. Viewers watching this livestream were disappointed at the lack of face and were forced to watch a few seconds of a bland wall.


“Keith, is it on? What the heck are you doing?” A new voice filled the speakers of the camera and viewers stood on the edges of their seats in excitement.


“I don’t know. Is it streaming?” The first voice said and the camera shifted again. Now viewers had the chance to stare at a very ugly carpet on screen.


“How should I know?”


“Haven’t you done this before?!”


“Yeah…”


“Lance!” The first voice cried, voice full of nervousness. The camera shifted several times more and viewers could only see the blurred focus of nothing for a while. Eventually, (with much patience) two familiar faces filled the screen. One was beaming, wearing a smile that was familiar with everyone while the other was nervously waving into the camera.

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There For You

Fuck titles honestly. 

OKAY! For that one anon who wanted cheerleading langst! 

I honestly didn’t made it THAT angsty, just…you know, small moments when you are vulnerable and feel bad, but he’s okay, the team and Keith arrive and patches him with love! 

1.4k words so, read under the cut (: 

Ps. I honestly didn’t beta’d so, pls excuse any mistakes on it! D: DONE RAMBLING. ENJOY. 

Disclaimer; Voltron doesn’t belong to me. 


It was a clean break.

Lance traces the cast around his foot, fingers barely touching it, almost as if afraid to make more damage.

He passes the white hard surface in what could be wonder, already imagining the colorful marked names of his squad and the ‘get well’ messages from both his team, friends and family that the entire cast will be decorated with as soon as he’s out of the hospital. A warm feeling travels inside him at the thought only to drop abruptly on his stomach in the last second, remorse and guilt replacing any of the warmth from the beginning.

Lance sighs, pushing his healthy leg up so he could be able to lean his elbow against his knee and rubs his face tiredly, dirt and sweat still covering his face. The brunet scoffs as he feels the dried tear tracks on his cheeks; he rubs them angrily, huffing annoyed.

The small ER room he’s inside in is quiet and it makes him even more anxious than when the doctor was putting the cast on his broken foot. He doesn’t like small places, that’s a given, but being in a cramped place plus sitting alone inside one with small to almost no way to move easily around, it’s worse.

It only makes him recall the voices from before; the taunting, the teasing, the mocking bombs that were thrown before the game and after half time. Lance can still clearly hear the Galra Squad’s laughter as he laid on the ground in pain even now.

The brunet takes a deep breath, closing his eyes to control the unleashed tears, and then he exhales shakily. He tries to recall Allura’s soothing voice as they carried him towards the ambulance.

“You haven’t ruined anything, Lance.” She had said, even before he had the chance to open his mouth, her voice strong and firmly, the very same way she shouts orders to the entire squad. Strong, caring and graceful like a captain should be. “Screw the competition and the entire contest; you are what is important, so hush now and focus on breathing through your nose, follow my lead.”

He barely had the time to look back at the field and catch Keith’s worried eyes, trying to break free from his coach’s hold, hand raised as if to reach him. Lance couldn’t even send him a reassuring smile before the door of the ambulance closed.

Hunk and Pidge had been by his side the entire ride to the ER. Both of the had left the bleachers as soon as he had fell to the ground. Hunk had been rambling about his newest robobeast that served pancakes in hopes to ease his mind and distract him enough from the gruesome sight of his broken foot and Pidge went on and on about the new updates she had made on Rover, the small robot that helped her win first place on the science convention from last year, making him laugh with small teasing and the newest memes.

It had helped, honest to God, it had; but the humiliation of his screw up in front of the entire school still lingered inside his mind. He had let down his school, his squad, his friends, his family and himself.

He had let the Galra squad get into his head. He let them poke and slash at his buried insecurities. He allowed them to distract him during their performance.

“You will never be good enough.” One of them had said, their words echoing inside his head like a broken record, “You don’t belong in the field. You will never be on the same level as Allura, you won’t ever accomplish anything.”

He had believed them.

Lance groans and lays back on the bed, rubbing his eyes stubbornly before moving his arms over his eyes, blocking any light around him.

He hears the door open a few minutes later and quiet soft footsteps make their way to his side. Lance limits himself to hum as a greeting, not bothering to remove his arm.

“Lay it on me Doc, I might never walk ever again or do cheerleading. I can take it.” He jokes, chuckling wetly under his breath but it comes out choked and forced.

The person besides him stays quiet and then suddenly, and arm grabs his wrist and lifts his arm from his eyes. Lance stares wide eyed at the sight of his boyfriend above him.

Keith stares right back at him unblinking, his navy blue eyes scanning every corner of his face before sighing and leaning down, lips pressing themselves above Lance’s dirty eyebrow.

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Solar System: Things to Know This Week

We marked the 20th anniversary of Pathfinder’s landing on Mars this week. 

We have had an active robotic presence there ever since—in fact, no one under 20 has experienced a day without NASA at Mars—but the Pathfinder mission was the first-ever robotic rover to explore the Red Planet. Below are 10 things to know about this iconic mission as we celebrate two decades of unprecedented science and discovery.

1. A Date to Remember

Pathfinder launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Dec. 4, 1996, and landed at Mars’ Ares Vallis on July 4, 1997. The landing site, an ancient flood plain in Mars’ northern hemisphere, is among the rockiest parts of the planet. Scientists chose it because they believed it was a relatively safe surface to land on and contained a wide variety of rocks deposited during a catastrophic flood.

2. Precious Cargo 

Pathfinder delivered to Mars a tiny, 23-pound (11.5 kilogram) rover named Sojourner, which carried scientific instruments to analyze the Martian atmosphere, climate and geology. To put its small size in perspective, the mechanisms at the end of the Curiosity Rover’s robotic arm are heavier than all of Sojourner. You can check out a 360 video of Pathfinder and Sojourner here.

3. Who Named the Rover? 

The name Sojourner was chosen after a year-long, worldwide competition in which students up to 18 years old were invited to write about a historical heroine and how she would translate their accomplishments to the Martian environment. Twelve-year-old Valerie Ambroise of Bridgeport, Connecticut, submitted the winning essay on Sojourner Truth, a Civil War-era abolitionist who made it her mission to “travel up and down the land” advocating for the rights of all people to be free and participate fully in society.

4. Quite the Entrance 

Pathfinder’s landing was innovative and unprecedented. It entered the thin Martian atmosphere assisted by parachute to slow its descent and with a giant system of airbags to cushion the impact. This mission marked the first time this airbag technique was used. Spirit and Opportunity later used the same method successfully.

5. Mobile Matters 

The wireless modem between Pathfinder and Sojourner was a commercial, off-the-shelf product. The project team acquired several and stress-tested them until they found the best ones to send off to Mars.

6. It’s in the Details 

Sojourner had bumpers—actual mechanical fenders—painted with black and white stripes. It also had two forward-facing black-and-white cameras, and one rear-facing camera (all one-third of a Megapixel). And Sojourner’s tiny wheels measured just 12.5 centimeters in diameter.

7. Viral-worthy

Pathfinder was widely regarded as one of the first “internet sensations.” There was so much web traffic from around the world, the entire internet backbone of France crashed under the load.

8. We’re Getting Warmer 

Among the many scientific discoveries from Pathfinder and Sojourner: Rounded pebbles and cobbles at the landing site suggested that Mars might have had running water during a warmer past when liquid water was stable on the planet. Early morning water ice clouds also were seen in the lower atmosphere.

9. Long Live the Mission 

The lander and the rover both outlived their design lives—the lander by nearly three times, and the rover by 12 times.

10. Pathfinder’s Photo Album 

Go back in time and see historical photographs of Pathfinder’s assembly process here.

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Testing the use of #omniwheels to double as casters.

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@KIDGEWEEK DAY FOUR: CRUSH

↳  He wasn’t sure whether it was the fact he’d been caught off-guard, or…whatever that was, which had caused his face to heat up like that.

He was a Galra of the Blade, for quiznak’s sake! No way that was the case. It was embarrassment from being caught off-guard that caused him to flush. Clearly.

(It wasn’t.)

I honestly used this prompt as an excuse to draw Altean Pidge and Galra Keith. Fight me.

Used @jen-iii‘s awesome Altean Pidge design! Except she has a ponytail because she really had no need to cut her hair in this AU.

Anyways I was just drawing this as kind of a tie-in to the whole Altean Lance bodyguard AU thing, but it turned into a kind of AU of an AU? So the story is, Altean groups have been allied with the Blade of Marmora in the battle against Zarkon for some time, and Alteans are scattered in settlements throughout the galaxy…

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Weekly Voltron Fic Recs #30

Officially no longer a youngster. Get a job and get out of your parents’ basement, “weekly” rec list, for pete’s sake. Get it together.

Rules: You can find past weekly rec lists here, and non-list recs in my general fic rec tag. This is stuff I like, and I have a huge bias toward Lance, hurt/comfort, and general fluff, in that order. Gen unless otherwise noted. Please comment on the fics if you read and enjoy them!

A Lonely Mind by Bandity
Words:  11,292 (WIP ½)
Author’s Summary:  Lance struggles with depression, choosing to hide his problems, he starts down a dangerous road alone.
My Comments: I think I kinda freaked the author by leaving a RIDICULOUSLY long comment on this one. Go read that for my expanded thoughts. But yeah, fave of the list. You remember that post going around not long ago about how healing pods are scary? This fic takes that concept in a FABULOUS direction, and I love it to death.

Starve the Ego, Feed the Soul by Agapostemon
Words: 1,595
Author’s Summary:
“So you want me to spy for you,” Keith observes blandly. “Exactly!” Hunk nods, “Oh, and keep an eye out for food stashes. I wanna know where all my ingredients are going. ”Keith sighs, “Fine, whatever. I’ll spy for you. But only because he’s my brother and I care about him.”
My Comments: Really sweet and heart-achey exploration of Keith and Shiro’s relationship, through the scenario of Shiro hoarding food in his room.

Pizza, Pasta and some comfort by SerenePhenix
Words: 4,405
Author’s Summary: I love taylor_tut’s sickfics to death but the one that really stuck with me was the one about the college AU where Lance appeared on the gang’s doorstep and they all were like “let’s take care of this sick stranger”.I really couldn’t help myself…
———————————————————————————————————–
Getting Lance to stop before he can collapse Shiro wonders what can be done to help the poor guy.
Besides making sure that his temperature doesn’t go through the roof…
My Comments: Not long ago, I recced “The Pizza One” as my favorite taylor_tut fic, and here’s a nice long sequel! I love it almost as much as everyone in the fic loves Lance.

Food for Thought by WildWolf25
Words: 9,094
Author’s Summary: After a very uncomfortable breakfast his first morning in the Castle of Lions, Ulaz learns that Galra and Earthlings (and Alteans) have some very prominent cultural differences, specifically relating to food. Once they get some misunderstandings cleared up, though, Lance gets a certain idea…
My Comments: Crack alert! This is delightful. Gen, but technically NSFW for…reasons. Just read it, if you’re of age.

Stretch the Day by Stratagem
Words: 886
Author’s Summary: Lance and Hunk hang out with their siblings at a lake and have a nice day where nothing bad happens. Really!
My Comments: I’m actually reccing every fic in this series, Voltron Space Family, this one just happened to come up first in my AO3 history because I read it the most recently. But yeah, you should consume everything. This author is SUPER good at child mannerisms, as well character interaction and feels. There’s a story where Shiro is rescued after the end of Season 2 by a misfit band of space pirates including one Matt Holt, and another where the Galra kidnap Lance and Hunk’s siblings, which is heart-rending. Very, very good stuff. I’ll be following this author with eager anticipation.

Distance by nawsies
Words: 1,381
Author’s Summary: Pidge misses her Mum so much and most of the time she refuses to think about it, Lance is in the right place at the right time and wants to help his friend (he helps).
My Comments: Sweet, achey, homesick Lance and Pidge. Beautiful little fic.

Mermaid Rescue and Rehab Inc. by isabeau25
Words: 1,064
Author’s Summary: Sadly, this isn’t the strangest phone call Pidge has ever gotten from Lance. The mermaid is new though.
My Comments: MERBABY SHIRO RESCUED BY THE GARRISON TRIO. If that doesn’t make you want to read it I don’t know what will. Just go. It’s great.

Voltron Hug Collection by hufflepirate
Words: 12,761
Author’s Summary: 15 microfics, minifics, or oneshots featuring Voltron hugs. These were written based on tumblr prompts (plus 2) and to get me through finals week. Every chapter involves at least one hug, all hugs are platonic, and chapter titles will tell you the people involved and some idea of the plot or prompt, so keep an eye out for those.
My Comments: I’ve been reblogging these fics in their tumblr post form, because they are all amazing, but if you missed any, here they are all handily collected for your convenience! I intend to comment on every single chapter, just haven’t gotten to it yet.

Lionhearted by Pidgeon_Online
Words: 9,539
Author’s Summary: It’s a struggle for everyone. They’re struggling to stay afloat in the sea of stress and anxiety.And Pidge accidentally tipped the boat.or
Pidge gets sick and everyone helps while trying to juggle their own problems.
My Comments: Sick Pidge with bonus angsty Lance and supportive everyone else. A pleasure to read.

One Day at a Time by dem_hips
Words: 2,818
Author’s Summary: Being away from home at school is a little different from being away from home defending the universe, as it turns out.
My Comments: Kind, supportive Garrison Trio. They’re all so very far away from home. Another fic where Pidge and Lance level up their friendship. I love it.

Caught in the Rain by WildWolf25
Words: 3,611
Author’s Summary: “Hi, um, do you need help with your… robot car?”Pidge looked up to find a man looking down in bemusement at them. His black hair was cropped close to his head, shorter at the undercut and only slightly longer on top, save for a white-dyed tuft that fell over his forehead.
“It’s a rendition of the Mars Rover, but ‘robot car’ works too.” Pidge said. “And I’m okay, I just need to dry it off. My teammates are delayed, so I just need somewhere out of the rain to wait for them. Sorry about using your awning.” (While waiting for their robotics club members, Pidge gets caught in the rain and takes refuge in the lobby of an onsen, where they meet Shiro)
My Comments: This is such a warm, gentle, relaxing fic, much like I imagine an onsen visit to be. Love this modern version of Pidge and Shiro, with Lance being a disaster and Hunk being a suspicious mechanic, as it should be.

Heathens by TheCookieMonster77
Words: 8,785
Author’s Summary: “You…"Keith looked completely bewildered and lost at Lance’s outburst and Lance thought that that was probably the worst part of all of this. The heathen didn’t even realize his error.Keith’s face looked startlingly close to a kicked puppy. "What did I do?”“I- You-” Lance let out a muffled shriek shout of irritation. “You,” he growled, jaw clenched and teeth grinding, “just asked for pineapple. On pizza."What. An. Out. Rage.Keith blinked. ”…Yes?“Hunk is an amazing angel (like always) who figured out how to make space pizza. Lance was ready to sing his praises to the universe, but then his teammates have to go ruin everything by insisting on pineapple pizza.Heathens.
My Comments: Very fun and funny fic! I loved everyone’s different reactions.

A (Space) Mother’s Work is Never Done by BajillionKittens
Words: 2,851 (WIP 3/?)
Author’s Summary: A Mother’s Day celebration for the team mom. Six times Coran took care of his kids and one time they returned the favor.
My Comments: SO CUTE. I love the way Coran takes care of all of these children he’s suddenly stuck with. The different scenarios are all very good and fitting, and I’m looking forward to more.

Little Drops of Poison by Saereneth for BossToaster (ChaoticReactions)
Words: 2,607
Author’s Summary: Shiro had been trying to catch up to them, clawing his way through years of separation just to feel like he was part of them once more, but sometimes it was just too much, and he had to excuse himself for a while so he could come to grips with everything he’d missed.
My Comments: @bosstoaster‘s Ten Years On AU bothers me on a very visceral level that I have trouble articulating, but this little exploration in the sandbox is lovely. I love Pidge unable to stick with her original concept and expanding into thing she finds interesting or just pretty, and the way Lance notices Shiro spiraling and subtly grounds him without being flashy is really lovely characterization. Very believable development of both of them, and Shiro is heartbreaking as always, but everyone’s going to take care of him.

Be Water, My Friend by xLoLix
Words: 8,531
Author’s Summary: So there are the quieter moments between missions, between exciting events, between the moments that matter. (The real secret are that those are the moments that matter the most.)Here are some moments between the paladins, starring Lance.Or; I air out some of my general grievances and de-stress from school by writing a fic about my favourite character.
My Comments: Really lovely exploration of Lance and his relationships. I enjoyed it.

Finding Family by squirenonny
Words: 17,214
Author’s Summary: A collection of drabbles that don’t fit neatly into the main Duality plotline. Most can be read independently of the main story, though each entry contains a note on where it fits in the timeline.Written based on prompts from readers.
My Comments: Some mild Klance and Shatt. Every single of one of these is delightful. You should just read everything this author writes. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

Previously Recced Fics That Updated:

As Color Fades Away by IcyPanther
Truce by kyanve
The Times They Remembered Pidge Was a Girl by MagmaWrites
The Color Of Our Planet From Far Far Away by LonelyGirlInSpace
Someplace Like Home by squirenonny  (THE GANG IS BACK TOGETHER)
Secret of the Blood by exclamation (now complete)
Garrison Days by castlestormed
Towards The Sun by Eastofthemoon
The Machinations of Perception by HapaxLegomenon
Must Surely Be Learning by BossToaster (ChaoticReactions) (now complete)
The Garden of Heaven by Genesister (papirini)  (now complete)
Love and Other Questions by squirenonny
The Size Of Our Actions by buttered_onions
Scattered by avidbeader
A Dream Away by BossToaster (ChaoticReactions)
Stardust, Silk and Steel by CalicoTomcat
Shifting Sands by Cardigan_Quincy