In 1972, an attempt to contact extraterrestrial life was cast into space with the launch of the Pioneer 10 spacecraft. What exactly was the message we sent into the cosmos?
Perhaps forgotten by the general public in the West, a long-lost spacecraft is set to enter orbit around our sister planet in December, picking up where ESA’s Venus Express left off when its operations ended last year.
A project to digitize more than 90,000 images taken by NASA’s five Surveyor spacecraft in the 1960s has revealed early hints of never-before-seen treasures captured by America’s first robotic lunar landers.
Desert Moon, a 35-minute documentary that tells the story of Dr. Gerard Kuiper and the dawn of planetary science, is now available online.
On Monday, Jason Callahan published an article in The Space Review discussing the importance of aligning the goals of federally funded scientific communities with national priorities. This post highlights some of the main points of the article and suggests a possible role for The Planetary Society.
Society Board Member John Logsdon describes how the decisions made by Richard Nixon in late 1969 and early 1970 effectively ended human exploration beyond Earth orbit for the indefinite future.
How Richard Nixon Changed NASA
John Logsdon's new book shows how the post-Apollo era was defined by Richard Nixon
The end of the Moon race raised the question: what, if anything, was next for NASA? The decisions made by President Nixon in the aftermath of Apollo still impact the space program today.
NASA's immense reference collection got a makeover at its Washington, D.C. location recently. Jason Callahan gives you a glimpse behind the scenes as guests made their way into the new rooms while enjoying good conversation and, of course, Moon Pies.
The history of planetary exploration repeats itself starting with a resurgent program in the 90s and 2000s that launched a new fleet of planetary spacecraft. Like our first story, this great success rewarded by deep budget cuts.
The first three decades of planetary exploration tell a story that sounds all-too-familiar to modern day space advocates. Growth, peak, and then collapse of hard-earned capability. This is the story of planetary science for the first half of its existence.
Karl Battams highlights the historic discovery, by an Air Force satellite, of a sungrazing comet.
The Rise and Fall (and Rise and Fall) of Planetary Exploration Funding
NASA has explored the planets since the 1960s, but funding has rarely been consistent
NASA has explored the solar system since the 1960s, but it has rarely been the top priority for the space agency. Jason Callahan breaks down how planetary science has been funded over the years within NASA's larger budget.
The Birth of the Modern Universe
Review of Alan Hirshfeld's "Starlight Detectives: How Astronomers, Inventors, and Eccentrics Discovered the Modern Universe"
Amir Alexander reviews Alan Hirshfeld's newest book, "Starlight Detectives: How Astronomers, Inventors, and Eccentrics Discovered the Modern Universe."
The Competition for Dollars
What is NASA's main competition for funding within the federal budget? It's not what you think.
We all know NASA needs more money to achieve its goals. But competition for money is intense within the U.S. federal government, and two trends have made it harder for NASA to get what it needs.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has released a 1964 documentary on Ranger 7 in honor of the spacecraft's fiftieth anniversary.
Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight By Jay Barbree
Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin’s Press —A Book Review by Mat Kaplan
Mat Kaplan reviews a wonderful new biography on Neil Armstrong, written with the support of Armstrong and many of the other pioneering astronauts.
Discover the Universe including the Big Bang, dark matter, dark energy, galaxies, life and more in this video of class 13 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.