The last two weeks have been extraordinary for The Planetary Society. As amazing as this increased traffic is, it has brought to light some issues with our website including latency and missing content that we are still working on fixing.
The last six weeks have been especially busy due to an unusually high number of conferences and festivals, so I thought I'd summarize what's been going on and how The Planetary Society has been involved.
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.
Last month, we asked our supporters to help us raise at least $125,000 to support our advocacy program that works to fund planetary exploration and NASA. We've raised nearly $100,000, but need help reaching our stretch goal.
My daughters liked the new Cosmos and want to watch next week. I thought it was a successful beginning for a long series, and I think it'll become a weekly viewing event for our family. I hope other families think the same.
Last week, my fellow Board Member Neil deGrasse Tyson and I were invited to be presenters at the first edition of the White House Film Festival. Neil asked the President if we could take a selfie with him. In those few moments, the President, Neil, and I spoke about science and space exploration.
We present an update and a video about the successful design, construction, and testing in a vacuum chamber by Honeybee Robotics of a prototype PlanetVac system, a new planetary surface sampling technique, sponsored by The Planetary Society. PlanetVac is a reliable system that effectively vacuums up planetary surface materials.