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Notes from a Red Planet: Ray Bradbury

Scott Maxwell • June 06, 2012

Mars rover driver Scott Maxwell relates a story of how he handed Ray Bradbury an opportunity to drive on Mars.

Inspiring Neil Armstrong videos

Andrea Carroll • May 30, 2012

Videos capture a conversation between Armstrong and CPA Alex Malley. He speaks in detail about his lunar landing; he talks about our future in space. He holds no punches, and pushes for an innovative future in space

Making eclipse magic

Emily Lakdawalla • May 16, 2012

How to enjoy a solar eclipse with your kids, making shadow magic with a pinhole viewer.

Video: We Must Explore

Andrew Chaikin • May 04, 2012

Planetary exploration is in trouble. Massive budget cuts threaten to starve NASA’s planetary program for years to come. If you are as angered and frightened by this situation as I am, I ask you to make your voice heard. Please share this video. And tell Washington, “We Must Explore.”

Nearly the last view of Endeavour with its life-blood flowing

Ben Cooper • April 08, 2012

After 12 years of photographing the space shuttle, and even getting to work for NASA as a photographer for the final three years of the program, I never had the privilege of going inside the cockpit until the program was over.

Interesting times for young planetary researchers

Matt Siegler • March 21, 2012

After NASA Night at the 2012 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, Texas, a group of young scientists (most of us just out of graduate school) met to discuss what we could do both in the near and far term to revive NASA's ability to continue the flagship mission program we would all like to see in our future.

Public service announcement by, and for, planetary grad students

Matthew Chojnacki • March 19, 2012

The President's proposed 2013 NASA budget calls for deep cuts to the nation's very successful planetary science program. These cuts not only threaten the future of planetary science, but also impact our ability to conduct deep space missions. As the next generation of planetary scientists, the graduate student community is deeply concerned about the ramifications of these budget cuts, and we must voice our concerns to policymakers in Washington, D.C.

"How Much Would You Pay for the Universe?"

Charlene Anderson • March 08, 2012

NASA's Mars science exploration budget is being decimated, we are not going back to the Moon, and plans for astronauts to visit Mars are delayed until the 2030s -- on funding not yet allocated, overseen by a congress and president to be named later.

LeetUp Reconnaissance Report

Emily Lakdawalla • March 06, 2012

A recap of the "carnival of nerdly delights" that is LeetUp.

Big Bend designated International Dark Sky Park

Neil Patrick Stewart • February 16, 2012

Last week, I received a press release with the headline "Big Bend National Park Designated As International Dark Sky Park." I asked my brother Neil to write something about this announcement for me.

Reflections on Phobos LIFE

Bruce Betts • January 13, 2012

We explore space for the noblest goals of science and exploration, and we often persevere in spite of challenges. But space exploration is fraught with bad things happening, or, to use the technical term, ouchies. The Planetary Society's Phobos LIFE biomodule will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere in the next few days with the rest of the Phobos-Grunt mission.

Anahita's first eclipse

Emily Lakdawalla • December 13, 2011

Emily wakes up her 5-year-old daughter to experience her first lunar eclipse.

365 Days of Astronomy Celebrates Sagan's Birthday

Mat Kaplan • November 10, 2011

The 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast celebrated Carl Sagan's birthday yesterday by reposting my conversation with Ann Druyan, Sagan's Co-creator and life-partner. Links inside.

The fish that sent us to the moon

Jason Davis • October 20, 2011

The tale of NASA's Super Guppy aircraft, which ferried parts of America's space program to their launch pads.

A Distant View of Triton

Ted Stryk • September 26, 2011

Ted Stryk reminisces on how he was turned on to astronomy.

The Cornell Clock

Emily Lakdawalla • August 26, 2011

Bill Nye, the Executive Director of the Planetary Society will be at his alma mater, Cornell University, this Saturday, August 27, for the dedication of a remarkable Solar Noon Clock that has been installed on the front face of Rhodes Hall on the Cornell campus.

Vesta, a revelation

Pablo Gutierrez-Marques • August 09, 2011

I have to admit it: three months ago I did not understand why space science is important. This is a pretty bold statement coming from a practicing aerospace engineer, but recent events have corrected this lack of understanding, and I am not embarrassed to correct myself in this blog. But let us not get ahead of the story.

A visit with Curiosity

Emily Lakdawalla • July 11, 2011

I had an amazing opportunity back in April: an invitation to go inside the fabled Spacecraft Assembly Facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to see the next Mars rover up close.

Observing at the WIYN

Meg Schwamb • June 08, 2011

On May 5 and 6, I had a run on the WIYN (Wisconsin-Indiana-Yale-NOAO) telescope, a 3.5 m telescope, the second largest telescope on Kitt Peak in Arizona.

A rare direct hit from a meteorite

Emily Lakdawalla • May 09, 2011

Meteorites hit Earth all the time, but they almost never score direct hits on human-built structures (or humans, for that matter). Once in a while, though, direct hits do happen, and it looks like this recent event in Poland was the real thing.

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