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A million dollars says The Planetary Society can make a solar sail fly

Emily Lakdawalla • November 09, 2009

The Planetary Society announced today that an anonymous donor has put up one million dollars to help us get a solar sail in flight.

FINDS Exo-Earths Starts Up: Testing the Prototype

Debra Fischer • October 30, 2009

The prototype that Julien constructed in the lab was taken to Lick Observatory, and we had our first-light run with the fiber in July.

Optical SETI's Growing Capabilities

Paul Horowitz • October 28, 2009

Often, the phrase “next steps” has been known to describe things that don't actually happen. But for The Planetary Society's All-sky Optical SETI, it's different. Here's what's happened in the last year.

Send your name to Venus with Venus Climate Orbiter (PLANET-C), now known as Akatsuki

Emily Lakdawalla • October 23, 2009

The Japanese space agency's science missions have an abundance of names. They start out with a programmatic name, like MUSES-A, PLANET-A, etc. -- which might be like calling NEAR "Discovery-A" and Mars Pathfinder "Discovery-B" and so on.

Astropulse: A Fresh Look at the Skies in Search of E.T.

Amir Alexander • August 27, 2009

If you were a member of an alien civilization trying to communicate across the immeasurable distances of space, how would you go about it?

SERENDIP Takes a Great Leap Forward

Amir Alexander • May 26, 2009

Just when [email protected] is celebrating its 10th anniversary, its older brother, Project SERENDIP, is getting a general makeover.

More from the Planetary Defense Conference: Shoemaker Grant Winners

Bruce Betts • April 27, 2009

More from the Planetary Defense Conference: Shoemaker Grant Winners

Updates on the 2007 Shoemaker NEO Grant Recipients

Bruce Betts • April 27, 2009

Our 2007 Shoemaker NEO Grant winners have been extremely busy over the past two years. Take for example Quanzhi Ye of Guangzhou, China: He was only 18 when he received the award but already the principal investigator of the sky survey at the Lulin Observatory in Taiwan.

Solar Sail Update: New Opportunities

Bruce Betts • April 01, 2009

At the beginning of this decade, we designed a mission to accomplish this goal. We launched Cosmos 1 in June 2005, but the Volna rocket that was to place the spacecraft in orbit failed, and we were never able to test our solar sail in flight. These days, The Planetary Society is working with colleagues at NASA and at the Russian Space Research Institute to put together a new solar sail mission.

Quake Catcher Network: [email protected] Spinoff Tracks Earth-Shakers

Amir Alexander • September 28, 2008

One of the youngest off-springs of [email protected] has been getting a great deal of attention recently. Known as the Quake-Catcher Network (QCN), this distributed computing project makes use of thousands of volunteers' computers to locate and track earthquakes.

New Developments on the Road to Cosmos 2

Louis D. Friedman • June 23, 2008

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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