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United Launch Alliance Answers Burning Questions about Orion's Rocket

Jason Davis • November 26, 2014

When Orion launches next week, you may notice something alarming: The spacecraft's rocket sort of catches itself on fire. But not to worry, says United Launch Alliance.

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.

How NASA Plans to Land Humans on Mars

Jason Davis • November 20, 2014

On the surface, NASA's humans to Mars plans seem vague and disjointed. But that's because the agency is playing the long game. Right now, it may be the only game they can play.

Planetary Science Gets Its Day in Congress

Casey Dreier • September 09, 2014

Watch Planetary Society President Jim Bell testify before a congressional subcommittee on Wednesday, September 10th.

The latest on NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission

Jason Davis • June 23, 2014

During televised updates on June 18 and 19, NASA showcased its progress on Orion and ARM. Here's the latest news.

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.

Bringing Orion Home: How the U.S. Navy will pluck our future astronauts from the sea

Jason Davis • February 14, 2014

When our future astronauts splash down into the Pacific Ocean aboard an Orion capsule, Mike Generale, NASA, and the U.S. Navy will be waiting for them.

Shaping the Search for Life

Jason Davis • January 14, 2014

A short film on the Giant Magellan Telescope, which could revolutionize exoplanet research and shape the search for life in the Universe.

NASA Just Cancelled its Advanced Spacecraft Power Program

Casey Dreier • November 15, 2013

The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Program (ASRG) was just cancelled by NASA. This was to be the saving grace for Plutonium-238 availability, as it was a much more efficient way to generate electricity than classic RTG systems.

Europe Bypasses Solar System for Upcoming Science Missions

Van Kane • November 06, 2013

The European Space Agency has selected two astrophysics observatories as its next large science missions, overlooking every proposed planetary mission. ESA's current selection of planetary missions, however, means it will still be a major player in solar system exploration for the next two decades.

Mars Needs Plutonium! (And so do Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Points Beyond)

Mat Kaplan • October 29, 2013

Society Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator Casey Dreier visits Planetary Radio with the tale of an element that is essential to exploration of deep space.

Origami Nanosats: The Future of Space Telescopes?

Casey Dreier • October 01, 2013

We interview Dr. Franck Marchis from the SETI Institute about nanosats that can unfold in space to create sensitive telescopes that are orders of magnitudes cheaper than current hardware.

The "Starship Century" Beckons

Mat Kaplan • October 01, 2013

The Benford brothers provide inspiration and hard fact in their excellent new anthology about interstellar travel.

Plutonium-238 is Crucial for Space Exploration – and it's Running Out

Casey Dreier • September 20, 2013

Plutonium-238 provides electricity to deep space missions, but NASA only has a little bit left. A new article in Wired highlights the disastrous consequences of no plutonium for use in space, something the Planetary Society is currently fighting for in Washington, D.C.

Dream Chaser mini-shuttle prepares for free flight tests

Jason Davis • August 15, 2013

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.

Back to the Future With NIAC Program Exec Jay Falker

Mat Kaplan • August 13, 2013

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.

J-2X: A Distant Dot Lights Up the Night

Jason Davis • July 18, 2013

On Tuesday, NASA released new high-definition video of a June 26 nighttime J-2X engine test at Stennis Space Center in southern Mississippi.

In-flight entertainment: cameras aboard the Space Launch System

Jason Davis • July 09, 2013

When the Space Launch System lifts off on its inaugural flight in 2017, eight engineering cameras will collect crucial in-flight data while providing breathtaking views for the public.

Deflecting the flames of a monster rocket

Jason Davis • July 01, 2013

Work continues to prepare Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39B for the Space Launch System, as a flame trench deflector originally built for the Space Shuttle is removed.

Stationkeeping in Mars orbit

Emily Lakdawalla • June 27, 2013

It had never occurred to me to think about geostationary satellites in Mars orbit before reading a new paper by Juan Silva and Pilar Romero. The paper shows that it takes a lot more work to maintain a stationary orbit at an arbitrary longitude at Mars than it does at Earth.

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