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Selecting the Next Creative Idea for Exploring the Solar System

Van Kane • December 01, 2014

With the release of the official Announcement of Opportunity (AO) early in November, NASA has officially begun the competition to select its next low cost ($450M) Discovery program planetary mission. Because planetary scientists are free to propose missions to any destination in the solar system other than the sun and Earth, these competitions bring out the creativity in the planetary science program.

Join me in Washington, D.C. for a post-Thanksgiving Celebration of Planetary Exploration

Casey Dreier • November 26, 2014

See Bill Nye, Europa scientist Kevin Hand, and Mars scientist Michael Meyer speak at a special event on Capitol Hill on December 2nd.

A Rich Potpourri of Future Mission Concepts

Van Kane • November 26, 2014

The past few months have brought announcements for new missions from India and China as well as a wealth of creative ideas for future missions.

Lunar Polar Volatile Puzzle

Deepak Dhingra • November 21, 2014

Deepak Dhingra gives an exciting update from the recent Lunar Exploration and Analysis Group (LEAG) meeting at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (JHU-APL) in Baltimore.

Planetary Society President Testifies Before Congress

Casey Dreier • September 29, 2014 • 2

Society President Dr. Jim Bell provided expert testimony at a September hearing on the state (and fate) of planetary science.

Mars 2020 Instruments – A Plan for Sample Return

Van Kane • August 08, 2014 • 14

Van Kane gives us a tour of the instruments selected for the Mars 2020 rover.

[Updated]: NASA Selects 7 Science Instruments for its Next Mars Rover

Casey Dreier • July 31, 2014 • 12

Seven science instruments will help the Mars 2020 rover identify biosignatures and understand the history of the rocks it encounters on the surface of the red planet.

NASA Announces the Suite of Science Instruments on its Next Mars Rover Today

Casey Dreier • July 31, 2014

Today marks the unveiling of the suite of science instruments that will travel to Mars to look for signs of past life and help determine samples to store for possible return to Earth. The next rover mission will launch in 2020.

Our Pathway to Exploration Should Start with the Asteroid Redirect Mission

Louis D. Friedman and Tom Jones • June 30, 2014 • 51

Despite its rejection by the NRC Committee, we argue that the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) is an affordable and logical first step in such a sequence. ARM is not only consistent with the NRC Committee’s own principles, but is also the only near- term initiative that can shape their recommendations into a sustainable human space exploration program. ARM would launch U.S. explorers into deep space beyond the Moon, and fits logically into an exploration program aimed at Mars.

A Checkup on Future Mars Missions

Van Kane • June 09, 2014 • 3

NASA’s Mars Exploration Analysis Group (MEPAG) recently reviewed plans by Europe, the Japanese, and NASA for future Mars exploration. The prognosis is for another exciting decade of Mars exploration.

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