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Blog Archive

 

Does Presidential Intervention Undermine Consensus for NASA?

Casey Dreier • April 13, 2016

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?

Russia approves its 10-year space strategy

Anatoly Zak • March 23, 2016

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.

Challenges to Enabling a Richer Planetary Exploration Program

Van Kane • March 21, 2016

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.

NASA's New Budget Would Gut Europa But Otherwise Support Planetary Exploration

Van Kane • February 18, 2016

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.

Data Dump: NASA's Planetary Science Program By the Numbers

Casey Dreier • February 16, 2016

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

What Does a 'Good' Budget for Planetary Science Look Like?

Casey Dreier • February 08, 2016

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.

Three Things to Look for in NASA’s Coming Budget Request

Casey Dreier • February 04, 2016

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.

Europa Budget Bulge

Van Kane • January 25, 2016

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.

A Lander for NASA’s Europa Mission

Van Kane • January 05, 2016

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

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

Yong-Chun Zheng • November 10, 2015

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?

A New Budget Deal and a Best Case NASA Budget for 2016

Casey Dreier • October 28, 2015

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?

President Obama Highlights Planetary Science Triumphs

Casey Dreier • October 19, 2015

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.

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

Casey Dreier • September 29, 2015

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

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

Casey Dreier • August 20, 2015

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.

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

Jason Davis • July 07, 2015

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.

New Horizons is a Triumph for Space Advocates

Casey Dreier • July 07, 2015

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.

The Senate Appropriations Committee’s FY 2016 CJS Bill

Jason Callahan • July 02, 2015

Congress has made good progress so far this year in moving the annual appropriations bills that fund the government. However, a looming budget battle over the sequestration and budget caps threaten to sideline progress until Congress and the White House reach agreement. Here’s the current situation.

[Upated] House of Representatives Voting on NASA's 2016 Budget Today

Casey Dreier • June 02, 2015

NASA's 2016 budget is up for a major vote in the House of Representatives today, but it's just a step on the long road to a final budget in the fall.

Here Are the Science Instruments NASA Will Use to Explore Europa

Casey Dreier • May 26, 2015

NASA just announced the science instruments that will be used to understand the enigmatic ocean moon of Europa. The mission is planned to launch sometime in the early 2020s.

[Updated] House NASA Funding Bill Proposes a Fantastic Budget for Planetary Science

Casey Dreier • May 19, 2015

The House Appropriations Committee released their vision for NASA's 2016 budget this week, which includes significant increases for the SLS and Planetary Science, but cuts Commercial Crew and Earth Science funds.

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