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[Updated] The Senate Proposes $17.9B for NASA, Matching the House's Increase
Senate committee "deeply disappointed" with the President's budget cut for NASA

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/06/04 05:37 CDT | 2 comments

The Senate released early details about its budget for NASA in 2015. The top-line level, $17.9 billion, is an increase over the President's proposal and matches the level passed by the full House last week.

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Making the Rounds on Capitol Hill

Posted by Bill Nye on 2014/06/04 04:54 CDT | 2 comments

There's an old saying about Washington, D.C.: it’s a small town, based on relationships. We are establishing very good relationships with members of the U.S. Congress and the Administration. Three of us made the rounds recently, going from one Congressional Member’s office to another to support planetary exploration and a mission to Europa. Our team included Casey Dreier, our Director of Advocacy; Bill Adkins, our lobbyist in Washington; and me.

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If You Propose to Take Money from NASA, We Notice

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/06/03 03:28 CDT | 8 comments

During the floor debate for the House's budget for NASA and other agencies, three members of Congress submitted amendments to shift money from NASA to other programs. We noticed.

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Tracks in the Wilderness

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2014/06/03 11:17 CDT

Pioneer trails extend all the way to Mars.

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Dawn Journal: Survey Orbit at Ceres

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2014/06/03 09:59 CDT | 2 comments

This month Dawn's mission director Marc Rayman continues the preview of how Dawn will explore Ceres, this time in its survey orbit.

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LightSail is happening, and I'll be your new guide

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/06/02 12:19 CDT

Today, I'm joining The Planetary Society full-time as a media producer. My first task is to become an embedded reporter for LightSail, the Society's solar sailing spacecraft.

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Curiosity update, sols 631-644: On the road again

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/05/30 06:51 CDT | 6 comments

The last couple of weeks have seen Curiosity return to the business of making steady headway toward Murray Buttes and, beyond them, Mount Sharp. Eight of the last 14 sols have seen drives ranging in length from 30 to 104 meters, racking up a total of more than half a kilometer. They are now occasionally working a shortened planning timeline that allows them to squeeze more drive sols into Curiosity's schedule.

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Live in California or Maryland?

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/05/30 01:15 CDT | 1 comments

The Senate is about to release its draft NASA budget, and we need to ensure their support for planetary exploration.

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The House Passes a $435 Million Increase to NASA's Budget
Vote of 321-87 provides an extra $435 million above the President's 2015 request

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/05/30 01:02 CDT | 3 comments

After a multi-day floor debate, the House of Representatives passed its Commerce-Justice-Science funding bill, which included a NASA budget $435 million above the President's 2015 request and an increase to planetary science.

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Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's Ongoing Adventure

Posted by Samuel Lawrence on 2014/05/29 06:16 CDT | 5 comments

A few people think that when it comes to the Moon, because we’ve “been there, and done that,” there is nothing new left to discover. But that viewpoint could not be farther from the truth!

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Daily Mail plagiarizes Planetary Society Blog guest post by Katherine Mack

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/05/29 06:06 CDT | 5 comments

Planetary Society guest blogger Katherine Mack is just the latest of a great many writers whose work has been copied, uncredited, on the website of the British tabloid.

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Planetary Society Canada Update

Posted by Kate Howells on 2014/05/28 06:33 CDT

Canadian National Coordinator Kate Howells provides an update on the state of the Society's Canadian initiative.

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A GRB in M31...or not

Posted by Philip Evans on 2014/05/28 11:21 CDT

The Twittersphere has been alive with speculation about a Gamma Ray Burst in the nearby galaxy M31. The problem is, there was never a claim of such an event, and it turns out that the tentative result that triggered this story was overstated.

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Deep Impact's last images

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/05/27 07:13 CDT

Today I received an email notification of new public releases of some image data sets. I always love seeing new public space image data, but this notification was bittersweet: it included the first public release of the very last image data returned to Earth by Deep Impact, of a distant comet ISON.

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The Planetary Society Supports NASA's Asteroid Initiative
But we need to know the cost

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/05/27 01:02 CDT | 22 comments

The Planetary Society strongly supports NASA's asteroid initiative, including the goal of redirecting an asteroid to the vicinity of the Moon. But an independent cost estimate is needed, and needed soon.

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Will we find signs of tectonics on Pluto? And what would that mean?

Posted by Joseph O'Rourke on 2014/05/26 09:45 CDT | 1 comments

Joseph O’Rourke summarizes a recently submitted paper on tectonic activity on Pluto after the Charon-forming impact.

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New orbital images of Curiosity landing site from Mars Express and HiRISE

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/05/23 06:30 CDT | 4 comments

Mars Express and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter are keeping their eyes in the sky on Curiosity. There's a nice newly public color image of all of Gale Crater from HiRISE, and two new HiRISE images within the Curiosity landing site.

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The value of a Guest Investigator program for Dawn

Posted by Anne Verbiscer on 2014/05/23 09:20 CDT | 1 comments

NASA selected 21 Participating Scientists to join the Dawn team in 2010, prior to Dawn's arrival at Vesta in 2011. Since that time, Dawn Participating Scientists have made enormous contributions to the mission, as they do for most other NASA missions. But the status of a Participating Scientist program for Dawn at Ceres has been in doubt.

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One Night Only, a New Meteor Shower that May Be Spectacular?

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/05/22 04:36 CDT | 3 comments

A new meteor shower, the Camelopardalids, will be peaking Friday night/Saturday morning (May 23/24). Especially if you are in North America, you are well positioned to see what may (or may not) be a spectacular show. In either case, scientists will learn about a comet’s history, and you can have a fun night looking at the sky.

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No, Russia Did Not Just Kick the U.S. Out of the Space Station
A top Russian official announced several unexpected policy changes in a response to U.S. sanctions.

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/05/20 06:43 CDT | 8 comments

A top Russian official announced a ban on Russian engines in U.S. military launches and questioned Russia's long-term commitment to the International Space Station. We cut through the hype and try to understand what was actually said and the immediate consequences facing NASA.

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