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Blog Archive

 

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 comments

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 comments

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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Power From the Isotopes
The United States is trying to generate plutonium fuel for the first time in 25 years. Will it succeed?

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/10/29 01:21 CDT | 2 comments

We report on the current state of Plutonium-238 production in the United States, a crucial fuel source for planetary exploration spacecraft.

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One More U.N. Step Forward on NEOs

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/10/24 04:17 CDT | 1 comments

This week, the United Nations will move one step closer to an international response to the threat from near Earth objects (NEOs).

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Announcement for DPS 2013: New plan for "Agency Night" features...me!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/10/07 05:58 CDT | 1 comments

I'll be representing The Planetary Society on a quickly-replanned panel at tomorrow's Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Agency Night, in the absence of any representatives from federal funding agencies.

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Government shutdown closes 3 of 4 National Radio Astronomy Observatories

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/10/04 06:38 CDT | 3 comments

The shutdown of the federal government continues to claim casualties. Today, the Green Bank Telescope, Very Large Array, and Very Long Baseline Arrays all shut their doors, blinding us to the radio sky and scuttling long-term research projects.

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[Updated] A Government Shutdown Could Delay MAVEN's Launch to Mars

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/09/30 05:17 CDT | 2 comments

NASA confirmed that a government shutdown could affect pre-launch processing of the MAVEN spacecraft, currently scheduled to launch to Mars on November 18th.

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Plutonium-238 is Crucial for Space Exploration – and it's Running Out
The Planetary Society works to maintain plutonium availability for deep space missions

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/09/20 11:29 CDT | 3 comments

Plutonium-238 provides electricity to deep space missions, but NASA only has a little bit left. A new article in Wired highlights the disastrous consequences of no plutonium for use in space, something the Planetary Society is currently fighting for in Washington, D.C.

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Our Debt to NASA - Fighting the Pernicious Myth of NASA as Unnecessary

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/09/10 04:08 CDT | 10 comments

A recent article in the NY Times Sunday Magazine highlights how the pernicious myth of NASA as wasteful spending perpetuates through our culture.

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A Division of Planetary Science
When Scientists Can't Agree on Priorities, Should Politicians Listen?

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/09/10 09:31 CDT | 3 comments

When scientists can't agree on priorities, will politicians listen? A reflection on a recent public policy session from the European Planetary Science Congress in London.

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Mars, Old and New: A Personal View by Bruce Murray

Posted by Jennifer Vaughn on 2013/09/03 06:07 CDT | 1 comments

An interview with Bruce Murray from 2001 about his perspectives on Mars science and exploration: past, present, and future.

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NASA Backs Off From Additional Planetary Cuts in 2013
Operating plan provides $1.271 billion

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/09/01 03:44 CDT | 5 comments

The final operating plan for the space agency provided $75 million more to planetary exploration than initially proposed.

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August Advocacy Update: Where We Stand
The House and Senate have increased funding for Planetary Science thanks to your letters and phone calls

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/08/15 07:02 CDT | 6 comments

Planetary exploration sees strong support from both parties in the current budget process, but we have a long way to go before a budget is passed this year.

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NASA Leadership Moving On

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/08/09 01:45 CDT | 2 comments

Both Deputy Administrator Lori Garver and CFO Beth Robinson are leaving NASA within the next few months.

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"NASA non-concurs"

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/07/30 08:58 CDT | 7 comments

NASA responds to its advisory council's recommendations from April of this year.

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Should National Rivalries Still Drive U.S. Space Policy?

Posted by Lori Dajose on 2013/07/25 02:37 CDT | 5 comments

The House recently passed a NASA Authorization Bill that called for "American astronauts launching from American rockets on American soil". If we depend on international collaboration, should these policies still drive NASA policy?

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