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Blog Archive

 

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

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

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

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

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

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.

The Planetary Society Supports NASA's Asteroid Initiative

Casey Dreier • May 27, 2014

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.

Wow, an Increase of $170 million for Planetary Exploration

Casey Dreier • May 07, 2014

The House revealed details of its draft NASA budget today, including an increase of $170 million to Planetary Science above the White House's request for 2015, putting it within spitting distance of our goal of $1.5 billion.

The House Proposes an Extra $435 million for NASA next year

Casey Dreier • May 03, 2014

Budget season is in full swing in Washington, D.C., and we're starting to see indications of how NASA will fare this year. I have to say, things are looking pretty promising.

Discovery Missions for an Icy Moon with Active Plumes

Van Kane • April 02, 2014

In December, scientists announced the discovery of possible plumes of water being ejected from Jupiters’s moon Europa. If confirmed, Europa would be the second moon with confirmed plumes after Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Two Discovery mission proposals for Enceladus suggest the types of missions that may be proposed for Europa.

Further Analysis of NASA's FY15 Budget Proposal: Steady As She Goes?

Van Kane • March 22, 2014

The President’s proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budget details were released last week. For the next several years, the budget proposes a steady as she goes plan, but with two “what are they thinking?” surprises.

[Updated] To Europa!...Slowly. First Impressions of NASA's New Budget Request

Casey Dreier • March 07, 2014

Europa may get a mission...eventually. We give our first take on the 2015 NASA Budget request. How does Planetary Exploration fare? Which projects were cancelled? Will NASA capture an asteroid? And most importantly, what can you do about it?

Mission to a Metallic World: A Discovery Proposal to Fly to the Asteroid Psyche

Van Kane • February 19, 2014

Imagine flying deep within the asteroid belt to study the most unreachable location in the solar system: the deep core of a terrestrial world.

The 2014 Legislative Blitz is at Capacity!

Casey Dreier • February 11, 2014

A tremendous response to our call for space advocates has pushed our small team to the limit. A great problem.

Discovery Next

Van Kane • February 08, 2014

To paraphrase Forrest Gump, the Discovery program is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get. The creativity of the scientific community has given us a wide assortment of missions in the past and is likely to surprise and delight us again.

Mars 2020 Is No Redo

G. Scott Hubbard • January 28, 2014

The next major mission to Mars will push the technological envelope in way that preserves its budget and fulfills the scientific goals set by the planetary community for this decade.

Russia's Ambitious Planetary Exploration Goals

Van Kane • January 22, 2014

Roscosmos has ambitious planetary exploration plans in the coming decades, including a series of solo lunar missions and joint missions to Mars with the European Space Agency.

A Note on the State of Planetary Science

Heidi Hammel • January 22, 2014

Heidi Hammel, the Chair of the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Science, reacts to the recent budget news and the uncertain future for planetary science at NASA.

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