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Blog Archive

 

The Rise and Fall (and Rise and Fall) of Planetary Exploration Funding
NASA has explored the planets since the 1960s, but funding has rarely been consistent

Posted by Jason Callahan on 2014/08/29 02:06 CDT | 5 comments

NASA has explored the solar system since the 1960s, but it has rarely been the top priority for the space agency. Jason Callahan breaks down how planetary science has been funded over the years within NASA's larger budget.

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NASA’s Big Rocket a Step Closer to Reality
The Space Launch System has been approved for production

Posted by Jason DavisCasey Dreier on 2014/08/28 12:33 CDT | 3 comments

NASA's Space Launch System passed a critical milestone yesterday, but buried within the announcement was news that the first launch could slip by nearly a year.

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The Competition for Dollars
What is NASA's main competition for funding within the federal budget? It's not what you think.

Posted by Jason Callahan on 2014/08/27 01:20 CDT | 7 comments

We all know NASA needs more money to achieve its goals. But competition for money is intense within the U.S. federal government, and two trends have made it harder for NASA to get what it needs.

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Watch Bill Nye and Special Guests in The Lure of Europa
Video from The Planetary Society's recent congressional event

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/08/04 09:21 CDT

We've posted the full video of our Washington, D.C. event exploring the lure of Europa, the moon of Jupiter with more liquid water than the Earth.

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Capitol Hill Responds to the Lure of Europa
The Planetary Society held a massively successful event to increase awareness of Europa

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/07/18 01:54 CDT | 2 comments

A standing-room only crowd learned the lure of Europa, the moon of Jupiter with more liquid water than the Earth, at a special Planetary Society event on capitol hill.

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Our Pathway to Exploration Should Start with the Asteroid Redirect Mission

Posted by Louis D. FriedmanTom Jones on 2014/06/30 06:01 CDT | 51 comments

Despite its rejection by the NRC Committee, we argue that the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) is an affordable and logical first step in such a sequence. ARM is not only consistent with the NRC Committee’s own principles, but is also the only near- term initiative that can shape their recommendations into a sustainable human space exploration program. ARM would launch U.S. explorers into deep space beyond the Moon, and fits logically into an exploration program aimed at Mars.

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The Senate's Flawed NASA Bill Hits a Bump in the Road

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/06/19 10:09 CDT | 2 comments

For the second day in a row, the Senate failed to vote on a bill that would fund NASA and other agencies in 2015. Without passage, no progress can be made addressing the flaws contained within.

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Building Our Community by Being Part of it

Posted by Jennifer Vaughn on 2014/06/06 05:56 CDT | 1 comment

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.

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[Updated] The Senate Proposes $17.9B for NASA, Matching the House's Increase
Senate committee "deeply disappointed" with the President's budget cut for NASA

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/06/04 05:37 CDT | 2 comments

The Senate released early details about its budget for NASA in 2015. The top-line level, $17.9 billion, is an increase over the President's proposal and matches the level passed by the full House last week.

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If You Propose to Take Money from NASA, We Notice

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/06/03 03:28 CDT | 8 comments

During the floor debate for the House's budget for NASA and other agencies, three members of Congress submitted amendments to shift money from NASA to other programs. We noticed.

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The House Passes a $435 Million Increase to NASA's Budget
Vote of 321-87 provides an extra $435 million above the President's 2015 request

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/05/30 01:02 CDT | 3 comments

After a multi-day floor debate, the House of Representatives passed its Commerce-Justice-Science funding bill, which included a NASA budget $435 million above the President's 2015 request and an increase to planetary science.

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The Planetary Society Supports NASA's Asteroid Initiative
But we need to know the cost

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/05/27 01:02 CDT | 22 comments

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.

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The value of a Guest Investigator program for Dawn

Posted by Anne Verbiscer on 2014/05/23 09:20 CDT | 1 comment

NASA selected 21 Participating Scientists to join the Dawn team in 2010, prior to Dawn's arrival at Vesta in 2011. Since that time, Dawn Participating Scientists have made enormous contributions to the mission, as they do for most other NASA missions. But the status of a Participating Scientist program for Dawn at Ceres has been in doubt.

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No, Russia Did Not Just Kick the U.S. Out of the Space Station
A top Russian official announced several unexpected policy changes in a response to U.S. sanctions.

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/05/20 06:43 CDT | 8 comments

A top Russian official announced a ban on Russian engines in U.S. military launches and questioned Russia's long-term commitment to the International Space Station. We cut through the hype and try to understand what was actually said and the immediate consequences facing NASA.

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A Reluctant Dance Towards Europa
or, Why A Credible Europa Mission is Likely to Cost ~$2B

Posted by Van Kane on 2014/05/14 12:42 CDT | 15 comments

For the last two years, NASA has been the shy partner refusing to get on the dance floor, and Congress has been the aggressive partner insisting on a dance now. Recently, NASA has said maybe on another night but only if it’s a cheap date. While NASA says no for now, Congress looks to be willing to slip the band a cool $100M – on top of $150M already paid – to keep the music playing, but (to keep the metaphor going) has not been willing to fully commit itself to paying the bigger bill to rent the dance hall. The dance, of course, is the continuing attempt by Congress to have NASA commit to a mission to explore Europa, and NASA’s attempts to delay a mission well into the 2020s.

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An Update on Advocacy Fundraising
We're close to $100,000 of our $125,000 goal

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/05/13 02:39 CDT

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.

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Wow, an Increase of $170 million for Planetary Exploration
The House comes through yet again

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/05/07 01:56 CDT | 3 comments

The House revealed details of its draft NASA budget today, including an increase of $170 million to Planetary Science above the White House's request for 2015, putting it within spitting distance of our goal of $1.5 billion.

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The House Proposes an Extra $435 million for NASA next year
A powerful statement of support for NASA, will the Senate follow?

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/05/03 01:43 CDT | 2 comments

Budget season is in full swing in Washington, D.C., and we're starting to see indications of how NASA will fare this year. I have to say, things are looking pretty promising.

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An Open Letter to the Planetary Science Community

Posted by Jim Bell on 2014/05/01 02:15 CDT

Dr. Jim Bell, a planetary scientist and President of the Planetary Society, calls on his colleagues to write Congress in support of planetary exploration and to support The Society.

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The End of Opportunity and the Burden of Success
Can NASA sustain its golden age of planetary exploration?

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/04/15 08:19 CDT | 11 comments

The Opportunity rover and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter are both zeroed out in NASA's 2015 budget. Learn why these missions face the axe and why the White House is forcing NASA to choose between existing missions and starting new ones.

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