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Blog Archive

 

An Astronomer Learns to Make His CASE

Posted by Kevin Cooke on 2016/06/24 01:32 CDT

Science in America depends on federal funding, yet many young scientists don't understand how the U.S. government decides to spend its money on science, nor are they encouraged to use their new degrees to advise the process. This is changing with support from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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Announcing Planetary Radio: Space Policy Edition
New episodes monthly

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2016/06/03 03:46 CDT | 2 comments

Announcing Planetary Radio Extra: Space Policy Edition (PRE:SPE for short)—a new spinoff of Planetary Radio that will delve into the weeds of space policy and politics.

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What NASA Can Learn from SpaceX
A man, a plan, Mars

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2016/04/28 11:42 CDT | 23 comments

SpaceX's announcement that it will send Dragon capsules to Mars demonstrates the advantage of having a clear plan to explore the red planet. NASA should take note.

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The Senate Just Proposed to Slash Planetary Science Funding
But I'm not worrying—yet

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2016/04/26 01:54 CDT | 2 comments

The Senate has released its draft of NASA's 2017 budget which, despite increasing NASA's top-line by $300 million, would cut $270 million from the Planetary Science Division. Here's why we shouldn't worry—yet.

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Does Presidential Intervention Undermine Consensus for NASA?
Being on the presidential agenda may induce opposition that could have been avoided

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2016/04/13 05:54 CDT | 14 comments

Presidents induce polarization on topics they choose to promote. So is the best way for a President to promote consensus in NASA to speak quietly?

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Russia approves its 10-year space strategy

Posted by Anatoly Zak on 2016/03/23 09:20 CDT | 4 comments

After months of delays, the Russian government finally approved the nation’s 10-year space program worth 1.406 trillion rubles ($20.5 billion) last week.

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Challenges to Enabling a Richer Planetary Exploration Program

Posted by Van Kane on 2016/03/21 08:01 CDT | 5 comments

This past week brought to the fore two challenges for NASA’s managers as they try to enable the richest possible mix of coming planetary missions. At stake are whether the agency will be able to select two Discovery missions from the current competition, and whether there will be the possibility of a mission selected for Enceladus and/or Titan in the next decade.

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NASA's New Budget Would Gut Europa But Otherwise Support Planetary Exploration
All these worlds are yours, except for...

Posted by Van Kane on 2016/02/18 08:02 CST | 8 comments

It’s clear that the President’s budget officers really don’t want to fund a mission to Europa. Other than that, the proposed Fiscal Year 2017 budget submitted by the President last week to Congress would be great for planetary exploration.

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Data Dump: NASA's Planetary Science Program By the Numbers
We comb through NASA budget documents so you don't have to

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2016/02/16 08:58 CST | 3 comments

We provide you the gritty budget breakdown by program and mission for NASA's Planetary Science Division.

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What Does a 'Good' Budget for Planetary Science Look Like?
How to evaluate the coming 2017 budget request and projections

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2016/02/08 05:31 CST | 1 comments

NASA's 2017 budget request comes out on Tuesday, here's how you can evaluate if the budget for the Planetary Science Division is good or not. It's not just about 2017, but the next five years.

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Three Things to Look for in NASA’s Coming Budget Request
Let the 2017 budget season begin

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2016/02/04 02:27 CST

The 2017 budget season is almost here. Next week, the White House will release its budget request for NASA. Here are three things I will immediately look for upon its release.

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Europa Budget Bulge

Posted by Van Kane on 2016/01/25 07:04 CST

Van Kane explains how the key development for NASA’s mission to Europa will be an agreement on how the agency plans to accommodate the monetary bulge that will come from funding the mission.

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A Lander for NASA’s Europa Mission

Posted by Van Kane on 2016/01/05 07:03 CST | 9 comments

While there’s at least eight years until it launches, this has been a pivotal year for developing NASA’s Europa mission.

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Could Sino-U.S. cooperation bring The Martian home?

Posted by Yong-Chun Zheng on 2015/11/10 01:03 CST | 1 comments

In the The Martian, NASA astronaut Mark Watney is stranded on Mars. At a critical moment, China offers to help the U.S. bring him back to Earth. But can these two countries cooperate to explore space in reality?

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A New Budget Deal and a Best Case NASA Budget for 2016
What if everybody wins?

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/10/28 05:03 CDT | 1 comments

The promise of a congressional budget deal could free up additional resources for NASA. What would a best case scenario look like, and is it possible within the deal?

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President Obama Highlights Planetary Science Triumphs
But 2016 budget cuts the program by nearly $80 million

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/10/19 07:12 CDT | 4 comments

At the White House Astronomy Night, President Obama highlighted some of the major triumphs of NASA and its planetary science program. Yet his 2016 budget calls for further cuts to the program.

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Mars Week Continues: We've Released Our 'Humans Orbiting Mars' Workshop Report

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/09/29 04:08 CDT | 2 comments

Learn all about a sustainable, affordable path to get humans to the Red Planet—a path that goes through Mars orbit and Phobos.

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An August Moment to Check in on NASA’s Budget and Future

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/08/20 06:42 CDT | 1 comments

It’s August. Congress is out of session. Things are quiet. It’s as good a time as any to check in on several issues we’ve been following here at the Society, particularly with NASA’s budget prospects for the year and the future of human spaceflight policy.

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Pushing Back the Frontier: How The Planetary Society Helped Send a Spacecraft to Pluto

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/07/07 03:44 CDT | 5 comments

It took 16 years and five spacecraft designs to get a mission to Pluto. The Planetary Society was there through it all, always striving to help NASA push back our solar system's frontier.

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New Horizons is a Triumph for Space Advocates
And Europa will be the same

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/07/07 03:40 CDT | 5 comments

New Horizons—what will be NASA’s greatest success of 2015—was cancelled multiple times in its early life, and many times before that in its previous incarnations. A mission to Pluto was not inevitable, despite the overwhelming scientific and public excitement.

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