August Advocacy Update: Where We Stand
The House and Senate have increased funding for Planetary Science thanks to your letters and phone calls
Planetary exploration sees strong support from both parties in the current budget process, but we have a long way to go before a budget is passed this year.
Sierra Nevada Corporation's Dream Chaser spacecraft recently completed a series of range and taxi tow tests, which pave the way for free flights that could begin this fall.
Yesterday I enjoyed my second-ever opportunity to suit up and enter the clean room of the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. On display were SMAP, an Earth orbiting radar mission, and ISS-RapidScat, which will perform a different radar experiment from the Space Station.
For several weeks now, ground-based observers have been blind to Comet ISON as our local star was sitting directly between us and the comet. I am delighted to share two pieces of good news: first, that ISON is still alive and well, and secondly that it has been recovered.
Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/08/13 10:51 CDT
This week's Planetary Radio talks with the head of the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Program about its mission and 12 newly-funded projects that could change the world.
The Planetary Society and Cosmoquest have teamed up to offer a short course in space image processing, and I'll be teaching! The course comprises four one-hour sessions from October 14 to 23.
Posted by Daniel Fischer on 2013/08/09 02:15 CDT
Space blogger Daniel Fischer provides a preview of the exciting interplanetary observing campaign that has recently begun to study comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) from vantage points across the solar system.
Professional astrophotographer Adam Block created a video showing the expansion of M1, the Crab Nebula, using two images taken more than a decade apart.
Six months ago, I wrote about the Russian weather satellite Elektro-L, which has more than two years of successful experience in the geostationary orbit. Then I promised that I would be here to share the materials that we collected. I think it's time to deliver on the promise.
Yesterday was the first anniversary of Curiosity's landing on Mars, and there was much rejoicing. It's been fun to look back at that exciting day, and it's been an opportunity to reflect on what Curiosity has accomplished in her first year. What science do we have to show for it?
Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2013/08/06 06:54 CDT
This week Opportunity finished up a quick investigation of the strange rocky terrain out here in the plains where it is approaching the next mountain rim segment of Endeavour crater, Solander Point.
It seems like it was just yesterday that 2000 people gathered in the Pasadena Convention Center to celebrate Curiosity's landing on Mars. All of Planetfest 2012 is online for your enjoyment.
The Ancient Snows of Mars on Planetary Radio
Grad student Kat Scanlon leads research indicating precipitation may have helped shape the surface of the red planet
Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/08/06 10:20 CDT
Kat Scanlon tells Planetary Radio that Hawaii and Mars have more in common than you might think.
Shoemaker NEO Grant winner Bob Stephens specializes in lightcurves of near Earth asteroids to determine their physical properties. Here is an update on recent progress using his 2013 Planetary Society grant. This is the first in a series of updates on Shoemaker NEO Grant winners.