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NASA Budget Pushes Science to the Brink

Posted by Bill Nye on 2012/02/13 01:16 CST | 3 comments

Today, NASA announced its budget for its fiscal year 2013. As you might imagine, there are large budget cuts. But, the planetary science program has been cut disproportionately. NASA's allocations are out of balance.

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Photos and video: Bill Nye at the 2012 White House Science Fair

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/02/09 05:17 CST

On Tuesday, Bill Nye was privileged to attend the second White House Science Fair. Here are some photos and video of the event.

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Today's 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast Offers a Free, Online Astronomy Class!

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2012/01/26 09:06 CST

The 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast begins this year's effort with an interview with Bruce Betts, who will be starting an online astronomy course. A transcription of the interview is included in this post, as well as a link to the podcast.

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Stephen Hawking's Curios? UPDATE

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2012/01/25 05:33 CST

The Cosmos Award for Public Presentation of Science -- at least the blown-glass Saturn trophy given to Stephen Hawking by The Planetary Society -- continues to appear around the Internet.

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Stephen Hawking's Curios

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2012/01/20 06:32 CST

Catching up on my blog reading today, I turned to "Cosmic Log," science writer Alan Boyle's must-read column on msnbc.com. Today's entry is titled "Stephen Hawking's curios explained."

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Reflections on Phobos LIFE

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/01/13 10:35 CST

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.

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How Spacecraft Make Color Pictures
Emily's Slides From the December 2011 Planetary Radio Live

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2012/01/02 02:07 CST

Whether you heard the show or not, you'll be fascinated by Emily's great presentation. It also proves she is not part of the great conspiracy that is hiding evidence of alien bases on the moons of Saturn!

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Project for Awesome Video On Behalf of the Planetary Society

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2011/12/22 12:22 CST | 1 comment

WhirledSol posted a cool Youtube tribute to the Planetary Society a year ago, and we just now found it! It has a nice explanation of why we are so passionate about space exploration.

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Nighttime Water Ice Clouds Predicted by Models are Confirmed by MCS Observations

Posted by Jim Shirley on 2011/10/25 12:00 CDT

The Mars Climate Sounder instrument provides routine nightside observations of atmospheric temperature and opacity that document the presence of rapidly evolving water ice cloud layers in the Martian tropics during the northern summer season.

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The National Science Foundation's Science360 Radio

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2011/10/18 06:36 CDT

Announcing a new service! The National Science Foundation's Science360 Radio will fulfill your science needs. Science360 Radio has over 100 shows in it's lineup, including Planetary Radio, so go take a listen. Links inside.

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Mars Missions Supported, Planetary Voices Heard

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2011/10/13 05:38 CDT

It looks like we rattled a few cages in Washington, D.C. this week. White House staffers in the Office of Science and Technology Policy returned from their holiday weekend to find more than 1500 messages from Planetary Society Members waiting for them.

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Awards for Planetary Society figures at the 2011 Division of Planetary Sciences / European Planetary Science Congress meeting

Posted by Ted Stryk on 2011/10/04 10:53 CDT

I arrived in Nantes just in time to see two major figures in the Planetary Society win big awards.

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Phobos LIFE Ready to Launch

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2011/09/01 12:00 CDT

Years in the making, our Phobos LIFE (Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment) is nearing launch this November. Phobos LIFE will send millions of passengers on a 34-month journey to Mars’ moon Phobos and back.

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Shoemaker NEO Grant Update: Asteroid discoveries from La Sagra

Posted by Jaime Nomen on 2011/08/22 04:41 CDT

In spite of some bad weather conditions during the first part of this year, the new camera bought with funds from a Planetary Society Shoemaker Near Earth Object grant helped us to discover and confirm ten new near-Earth objects.

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Launch Window Approaching!

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2011/08/21 12:00 CDT

We are super excited that the Planetary Society’s Phobos LIFE (Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment) is about ready to launch to Mars’ moon Phobos and back. We have been working for years preparing this unique test of the effects of long term exposure to deep space on a wide variety of life.

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Spiffy human spaceflight T-shirt!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/07/21 11:44 CDT

From Chop Shop, the same guys who brought you my favorite space T-shirt ever, there is now a very cool shirt celebrating the spacecraft and missions of 50 years of human spaceflight, and as before they're donating five bucks to the Planetary Society for every T-shirt sold.

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A visit with Curiosity

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/07/11 02:32 CDT

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.

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House subcommittee votes to slash NASA

Posted by Bill Nye on 2011/07/07 04:54 CDT

Today the U.S. House of Representative subcommittee charged with appropriating funds to NASA mandated a draconian cut of almost $2 billion from the space agency's proposed budget.

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From Earth Orbit to Washington, D.C.

Posted by Bill Nye on 2011/07/01 08:22 CDT

About a week ago, I attended the meeting of an organization I am excited about: the Alliance for Earth Observation. The conference was remarkable.

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Shuttle LIFE Organisms Return from Space

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2011/06/09 05:40 CDT

In the middle of the night on June 1, 2011, millions of passengers returned safely to Earth as part of the great conclusion to space shuttle Endeavour's last flight, STS-134. Many of those millions of passengers were part of the Planetary Society's Shuttle LIFE experiment. Five different kinds of creatures from all three domains of life are part of Shuttle LIFE.

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