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Blogs

Blog Archive

 

A New Way to Prepare Samples of Mars for Return to the Earth
Mars 2020’s strategy to cache samples is evolving as the mission matures

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/07/23 02:18 CDT | 16 comments

Mars 2020, NASA’s next and yet-to-be-named Mars rover, will be the first mission to collect and prepare samples of the martian surface for return to Earth. The rover's engineering team has proposed a new sampling caching strategy that differs from previous concepts in some interesting ways.

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Mars Plans Advance (and Occasionally Fade)

Posted by Van Kane on 2015/05/08 04:05 CDT | 14 comments

In the last two months, there has been significant news about the European-Russian 2018 mission and about NASA’s 2020 rover. NASA also has announced that it would like to send a new orbiter to the Red Planet in the early 2020s.

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How to Watch the Humans to Mars Summit This Week

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/05/05 12:36 CDT | 5 comments

Our friends at Explore Mars are live-streaming their Humans to Mars Summit this week, happening in Washington, D.C.

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The study team at JPL Will Present their Mars Program Concept at the 2015 Humans to Mars Summit

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/04/17 05:37 CDT

A study team at JPL will present their humans to Mars program concept at the Humans to Mars Summit and publish it as a peer-reviewed article in the New Space Journal.

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Discovery Lives

Posted by Jason Callahan on 2015/04/08 01:05 CDT | 7 comments

Last month teams of scientists from around the United States submitted proposals for the thirteenth mission in NASA’s Discovery program. Jason Callahan discusses this latest round of proposals.

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A New Path to Mars?
A new workshop suggests humans to the Mars system might be affordable after all

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/04/02 06:04 CDT | 40 comments

A new advocacy initiative for the Society: let's get humans to Mars.

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Four Ideas to Bust the Floor on Outer Planet Mission Costs

Posted by Van Kane on 2015/03/26 08:25 CDT | 7 comments

The road to lower costs outer planet missions has been paved by NASA’s first two New Frontiers missions, the $700M New Horizons mission to Pluto and the $1.1B Juno mission to Jupiter. But can the cost of a mission to the outer solar system be cut to $450M, the limit for a Discovery mission?

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Understanding why our most Earth-like neighbor, Venus, is so different

Posted by Van Kane on 2015/03/02 12:43 CST | 3 comments

Van Kane introduces us to EnVision—a proposed European mission to help improve our understanding of Venus.

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Why We Write to Congress
(P.S. It's Time to Write to Congress)

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/02/19 10:42 CST

It's time to write to Congress in support of planetary exploration. Why? Because it works.

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Planetary CubeSats Begin to Come of Age

Posted by Van Kane on 2015/02/17 05:41 CST | 3 comments

Van Kane rounds up some recent planetary mission concepts based on CubeSat technology.

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2016 Budget: Great Policy Document and Much Better Budget Plan

Posted by Van Kane on 2015/02/05 07:25 CST | 12 comments

Van Kane gives a summary of the 53-page proposed Fiscal Year 2016 NASA Planetary Science budget.

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Selecting the Next Creative Idea for Exploring the Solar System

Posted by Van Kane on 2014/12/01 07:39 CST

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.

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

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/11/26 11:54 CST

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

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A Rich Potpourri of Future Mission Concepts

Posted by Van Kane on 2014/11/26 05:01 CST

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.

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Lunar Polar Volatile Puzzle

Posted by Deepak Dhingra on 2014/11/21 09:17 CST

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.

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Planetary Society President Testifies Before Congress

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/09/29 11:38 CDT | 2 comments

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

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Mars 2020 Instruments – A Plan for Sample Return

Posted by Van Kane on 2014/08/08 04:45 CDT | 14 comments

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

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

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/07/31 01:16 CDT | 12 comments

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.

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NASA Announces the Suite of Science Instruments on its Next Mars Rover Today
Will search for signs of past life

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/07/31 04:13 CDT

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.

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Our Pathway to Exploration Should Start with the Asteroid Redirect Mission

Posted by Louis D. FriedmanTom Jones on 2014/06/30 06:01 CDT | 51 comments

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.

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