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Orion service module, Ariane development highlight new ESA budget

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/11/26 06:00 CST | 1 comment

Representatives from the ESA approved a 10 billion euro budget for 2013-2017 during their Ministerial Council last week in Naples, Italy.

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Save Our Science: November Update

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2012/11/15 01:05 CST | 5 comments

We've sent over sixteen thousand of emails to the president, but we need more.

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What We're Fighting For

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2012/11/13 01:48 CST

We're fighting for the restoration of NASA's planetary sciences budget to return to its 2012 level. What does that get us? New financial analysis from our sources in the scientific community provides us a glimpse.

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International Astronautical Congress 2012 Recap

Posted by Bill Nye on 2012/10/09 11:42 CDT | 4 comments

Again this year I represented The Planetary Society at the International Astronautical Congress. This year, we met in Naples, Italy. This meeting brings together space scientists, rocket people, and spacecraft engineers from all over the world.

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Mars Program Update from MEPAG

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/10/05 06:30 CDT | 1 comment

Bruce Betts reports on the status of the current and future Mars program and on acronyms from a meeting of NASA's MEPAG (Mars Exploration Analysis Program Analysis Group).

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NASA's New Direction For Mars (Maybe)
Results from the MPPG

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2012/09/26 01:58 CDT

The future of the Mars Exploration Program exists as multiple mission plans straining to exist in the brutal new cost cap from the FY13 budget, pushed far into the future.

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A New Direction for Mars? CAPS Meeting 2012 Coverage

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2012/09/24 10:44 CDT | 9 comments

The Mars Program Planning Group presents its new plan for Mars exploration in lieu of recent cuts to its budget on Tuesday, Sept 25th. We also get updates on the Europa Mission study at CAPS 2012 in Irvine, CA.

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Manned Missions to Mars Aren't Just Sci-Fi

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2012/08/24 06:09 CDT | 9 comments

Space exploration is not just valuable to scientists; it is also popular with the public who pays taxes. And why not? The exploration of Mars is not only a search for signs of alien life. It is an exploration of the human future.

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A Bittersweet Day for Planetary Exploration

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2012/08/20 06:17 CDT | 7 comments

A new Mars mission was announced today, which is cause for celebration. But two other exciting missions where not selected, why? Money, or lack thereof. All we need is a little bit more, and we could be exploring the solar system, not just Mars.

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Zapping Rocks with Lasers to Save the World

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/06/25 05:59 CDT | 9 comments

The Planetary Society Laser Bees project in Scotland is studying in the lab a potential new technique for deflecting dangerous asteroids: laser ablation.

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NRO gives NASA two hand-me-down telescopes

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/06/07 08:28 CDT | 4 comments

The National Reconnaissance Office has donated two, partially-completed space telescopes to NASA, revealed at a National Academies' Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics meeting this week.

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JUICE: Europe's next mission to Jupiter?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/04/18 12:00 CDT

The Twitterverse is buzzing this morning with news that the Science Programme Committee of the European Space Agency has recommended that the next large European mission be JUICE, a mission to explore the three icy Galilean satellites and eventually to orbit Ganymede.

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Cool stuff brewing at Honeybee Robotics

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/03/15 03:05 CDT

Yesterday I was treated to a little tour (little, because it's a little building) of Honeybee Robotics' office here in Pasadena. They were putting on a show for a state visit by the new NASA Chief Technology Officer Mason Peck, and had invited media. I was one of only two media who showed up, and I have to say that people who stayed away missed a cool show. Honeybee is developing some great technology for future space missions for Earth, Mars, and beyond.

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SLS updates: tower crawl, engine burn and flight test

Posted by Jason Davis on 2011/11/21 02:22 CST | 1 comment

A few updates on the Space Launch System, NASA's next-generation deep exploration vehicle.

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Mars Exploration Endangered by Bureaucratic (In)Action

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2011/10/07 05:47 CDT

The road to Mars just seems to get longer and harder every day. The Planetary Society has just asked its Members to contact the White House and ask John Holdren, the President's Science Advisor, to make sure that NASA and ESA are allowed to work together on the 2016 and 2018 missions to Mars.

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Decoding SpaceX's re-usable spacecraft concept

Posted by Jason Davis on 2011/10/07 10:45 CDT

Breaking down the futuristic technologies for SpaceX's reusable Grasshopper spacecraft, as shown in a recent promotional video.

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Notes from EPSC/DPS NASA Night

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/10/07 03:53 CDT

It's already the last day of the DPS/EPSC meeting in Nantes, France, and I've fallen seriously behind on writing up my notes. I thought I'd get some less pleasant notes out of the way before I returned to science.

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Russia's Venera-D mission (DPS-EPSC 2011)

Posted by Ted Stryk on 2011/10/05 10:29 CDT

During the afternoon poster session at the Division of Planetary Sciences / European Planetary Science Congress meeting, I had a long talk with Ludmila Zasova (IKI) about Russia's Venera-D mission to Venus.

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Everybody says we need a NEO survey telescope

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/08/30 03:25 CDT

The next thing needed by both the small bodies science community and people interested in human exploration is a space-based telescope capable of surveying (and following up on) near-Earth space for asteroids that, for a variety of reasons, haven't been found yet.

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PAMELA finds some antimatter

Posted by Jason Davis on 2011/08/19 11:58 CDT

A team of international scientists has discovered an antiproton belt around the Earth, using data obtained from PAMELA, a particle identification instrument aboard a Russian Earth observation satellite.

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