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Mars 2020 Is No Redo
The next major mission to Mars will push the envelope in technology

Posted by G. Scott Hubbard on 2014/01/28 01:02 CST | 9 comments

The next major mission to Mars will push the technological envelope in way that preserves its budget and fulfills the scientific goals set by the planetary community for this decade.

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The Planetary Society Congratulates Opportunity's Team for 10 Years on Mars

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/01/24 12:23 CST

The Planetary Society released an official statement today recognizing the unprecedented achievement of maintaining an operating rover on the surface of Mars for a decade.

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Closing out the ASRG program

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/01/23 02:04 CST

Lockheed, the prime contract on the now-defunct Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator program, is closing out the project and transferring its hardware to NASA's Glenn Research Center. NASA expects to save about $55 million per year.

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A Note on the State of Planetary Science

Posted by Heidi Hammel on 2014/01/22 05:14 CST | 6 comments

Heidi Hammel, the Chair of the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Science, reacts to the recent budget news and the uncertain future for planetary science at NASA.

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[Updated] Let's Blitz Congress!
Space Exploration Legislative Blitz, Feb 23rd - 25th

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/01/17 04:08 CST | 7 comments

The Space Exploration Alliance is descending on the halls of Congress to advocate for space exploration. Join me and others on Feb 23rd - 25th in Washington, D.C. and speak up for space.

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Continued Victories for Planetary Exploration
For the second year in a row Congress rejects cuts requested by the White House

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/01/16 07:33 CST | 5 comments

Pat yourself on the back. Planetary exploration will be more vibrant in 2014 thanks to you. More than fifty thousand messages were sent to Congress this year, and they listened, adding back a significant amount of money in the 2014 Omnibus spending bill.

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Winter 2013 Issue of The Planetary Report Now Available Online

Posted by Donna Stevens on 2014/01/16 11:29 CST

The Winter 2013 issue of The Planetary Report is finally on press and will be mailing soon. However, the electronic version is available online for members to start reading now!

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Congress to NASA: Don't You Dare Steal Money Away from Planetary Science Again
A little congressional scolding to NASA and the White House

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/01/14 04:52 CST | 1 comment

Congress scolded NASA for abusing its operating plan to remove money from Planetary Science last year, giving them a warning to not try that again.

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Chang'e 3 update: 6 instruments active, new fan-produced landing video

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/12/17 10:51 CST | 28 comments

Today there was a lengthy press briefing by several members of the Chang'e 3 science team. A complete transcript was posted in Chinese. I have run it through two machine translators and found it to be quite informative, not just about the mission but also about attitudes about Chinese space exploration and foreign cooperation. I also have a cool fan-produced video to share.

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Europa: No Longer a "Should," But a "Must"

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/12/12 07:51 CST | 10 comments

We've waited long enough, Europa cries out for exploration and discovery. It's time to heed that cry.

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Top NASA Scientists Grapple with Budget Cuts
A struggle to keep new missions coming

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/12/10 05:52 CST | 3 comments

Ellen Stofan, NASA's Chief Scientist, and John Grunsfeld, the head of the Science Mission Directorate and a Hubble repair astronaut, highlighted recent NASA science discoveries at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco.

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A Protected Class of Programs at NASA?
What real political support looks like

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/12/10 04:20 CST | 8 comments

The House Science Committee is considering giving a select few NASA programs special protected status against cancellation.

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The Sorry State of Planetary Science Funding In One Chart

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/12/09 02:18 CST | 12 comments

If you want to know why Cassini might be terminated early, or why NASA pulled out of its joint Mars mission with Europe, or why the new ASRG power source was put on indefinite hold, this chart has your answer.

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The ASRG Cancellation in Context

Posted by Van Kane on 2013/12/09 12:50 CST | 8 comments

ASRGs could have stretched NASA's limited supply of plutonium to potentially enable missions to the perpetually-shadowed polar craters on our moon, to flyby Uranus, or to float for months on a Titan lake.

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Why We're Writing the President (& Congress) Now

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/12/06 01:37 CST | 6 comments

Decisions about both the 2014 and 2015 budgets are happening soon.

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An Open Letter to President Barack Obama
Mr. President, be bold and embrace a vision of planetary exploration at NASA

Posted by Bill Nye on 2013/12/05 06:15 CST | 16 comments

Bill Nye writes President Obama arguing that the President should embrace a bold future of planetary exploration.

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What's Going on With Planetary Science Research?
Budget cuts mixed with a new way to fund science could disproportionately impact the next generation of planetary scientists

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/12/04 01:44 CST | 5 comments

Budget cuts mixed with a new way to fund science could disproportionately impact the next generation of planetary scientists.

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Call Your Representatives, Save Our Science

Posted by Andrew Rivkin on 2013/11/22 10:56 CST | 1 comment

I called one of my Senators earlier today. Before that I called my representative. It was pretty easy.

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NASA Just Cancelled its Advanced Spacecraft Power Program
The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator was to use less Plutonium for cheaper missions.

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/11/15 04:06 CST | 32 comments

The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Program (ASRG) was just cancelled by NASA. This was to be the saving grace for Plutonium-238 availability, as it was a much more efficient way to generate electricity than classic RTG systems.

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We Need You to Stand Up for Planetary Exploration
Right now is a crucial time for future funding

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/11/08 12:39 CST | 1 comment

Congress and the White House are making decisions that impact funding for NASA's Planetary Exploration missions. We need to tell them that YES we are paying attention and care about the future of exploration.

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