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Blogs

Blog Archive

 

New Developments on the Road to Cosmos 2

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2008/06/23 12:00 CDT

The Planetary Society and Cosmos Studios remain committed to flying the first flight with light. Our spacecraft, Cosmos 2, is a maneuverable solar sail that may be the precursor to a new mode of interplanetary travel, and could one day take us to the stars.

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Mars Climate Sounder Collects 20 Millionth Sounding

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2008/03/10 12:00 CDT

Last week Mars Climate Sounder collected its 20 millionth sounding at Mars. Mars Climate Sounder is scanning without problems, collecting science observations of the atmosphere of Mars. Mars Climate Sounder has now been observing Mars for over 17 months (three quarters of a Mars year and also approximately three quarters of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter primary science mission).

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From SETI@home to Hominid Fossils: Citizen Cyberscience Reshapes Research Landscape

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2008/01/15 11:00 CST | 1 comment

In the beginning was SETI@home, the first large-scale volunteer computing project, launched in 1999 with seed money from The Planetary Society. Within months the project had millions of volunteers around the world joining to form the most powerful computer network ever assembled.

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Cosmos 2

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2007/11/16 11:00 CST

A letter from the Executive Director to the members and supporters of The Planetary Society.

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Planetary System Detected Around SETI@home Target Star

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2007/11/08 11:00 CST

A fully formed planetary system, with five different planets of varying sizes and orbits has been found, orbiting a star more than 40 light years away. Significantly, it is the very same star, 55 Cancri, that was one of the chief targets of the SETI@home reobservations at Arecibo in March 2003.

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Planetary Society's Optical SETI Telescope Offers Online View of Night sky

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2007/10/30 12:00 CDT

The Planetary Society's Optical SETI Telescope was built solely to search for possible light signals from alien civilizations. Located at Oak Ridge Observatory in Harvard, Massachusetts, it is the first dedicated Optical SETI telescope in the world. Its 72-inch primary mirror also makes it larger than any optical telescope in the U.S. east of the Mississippi river.

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Making Light Work

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2007/06/15 12:00 CDT

Professional Pilot Magazine asked me to contribute a prediction about the future of flight for the next century. Naturally, I wrote about solar sailing.

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Millions of soundings yield clues to Mars' weather

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2007/04/03 12:00 CDT

Two months after the start of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's primary science phase, the Mars Climate Sounder instrument has already acquired more than four million soundings, building toward a vast data set on the three-dimensional structure of Mars' atmosphere over the full Martian year of the orbiter's nominal mission.

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Updates from Past Recipients of the Shoemaker NEO Grants

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2007/03/01 11:00 CST

Update as of March 4, 2007 Thanks to The Planetary Society Shoemaker Grant, the 1.06-meter KLENOT telescope optics was completed at the Klet Observatory. Regular observations of the KLENOT project started in March 2002 under the new IAU/MPC code 246, so we can now present results covering 5 years of this work.

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With Observations in Full Swing, Team Prepares to Remove "Sunglasses" from Telescope

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2007/02/26 11:00 CST

Winter time is observing time at the Oak Ridge Observatory in Massachusetts, when humidity is low and the sky is often clear. And so it has been for the Optical SETI telescope, which opened its doors in April 2006.

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Keeping an Ear to the Center of the Galaxy, Southern SETI Prepares for Great Leap Forward

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2007/02/26 11:00 CST

Located in the southern part of the continent of South America, Southern SETI has a continuous view of densest star-fields in our galaxy. And, since 1990, it has been sponsored and supported by The Planetary Society.

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Telescope Goes "Semi-Automatic"

Posted by Andrew Howard on 2006/10/20 12:00 CDT

Andrew Howard talks about the "semi-automated" nature of the observations from the Optical SETI telescope.

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Update: Monitoring the Weather?

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2006/10/20 12:00 CDT

The bigger the dream, the harder it is to achieve it. Our dream at The Planetary Society is to fly the first solar sail mission -- and prove the technology that might someday take humanity to the stars.

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With Multi-Beam Receiver, SETI@home Takes Giant Step Forward

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2006/08/14 12:00 CDT

In seven intense days spent at the radio telescope Chief scientist Dan Werthimer and his colleagues completely overhauled the way SETI data is gathered at Arecibo, and ensured that SETI@home will henceforth enjoy the benefits of gathering data with the most advanced equipment anywhere in the world.

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Updates from Past Recipients of the Shoemaker NEO Grants

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2006/07/18 12:00 CDT

Update as of July 13, 2006 Using the Shoemaker NEO Grant funds, Minor Planet Research has purchased a 1.7-terabyte data server for our Asteroid Discovery Station (ADS) education outreach program Through the generosity of Dr. Philip Christensen, this server is housed at the Mars Space Flight Facility (MSFF) at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.

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Telescope shows its Amazing Capabilities

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2006/07/11 12:00 CDT

During a few observation sessions in late April, the new Optical SETI Telescope was already demonstrating its amazing capabilities. Over three nights, the telescope completed 17 hours of observation, under the direction of Paul Horowitz and his team of Harvard graduate students. During that time, the telescope observed 1% of the sky, looking for the briefest flashes of light coming from outer space.

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