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Growth. Peak. Collapse. Planetary exploration from 1959 - 1989

Jason Callahan • September 08, 2014

The first three decades of planetary exploration tell a story that sounds all-too-familiar to modern day space advocates. Growth, peak, and then collapse of hard-earned capability. This is the story of planetary science for the first half of its existence.

Curiosity Rover Science Plan Slammed by NASA Review Panel

Casey Dreier • September 03, 2014

Senior review recommends continuing all major planetary exploration missions, but not without some changes.

The Rise and Fall (and Rise and Fall) of Planetary Exploration Funding

Jason Callahan • August 29, 2014

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.

NASA’s Big Rocket a Step Closer to Reality

Jason Davis and Casey Dreier • August 28, 2014

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.

The Competition for Dollars

Jason Callahan • August 27, 2014

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.

Watch Bill Nye and Special Guests in The Lure of Europa

Casey Dreier • August 04, 2014

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.

Capitol Hill Responds to the Lure of Europa

Casey Dreier • July 18, 2014

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.

Our Pathway to Exploration Should Start with the Asteroid Redirect Mission

Louis D. Friedman and Tom Jones • June 30, 2014

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.

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

Casey Dreier • June 19, 2014

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.

Building Our Community by Being Part of it

Jennifer Vaughn • June 06, 2014

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.

[Updated] The Senate Proposes $17.9B for NASA, Matching the House's Increase

Casey Dreier • June 04, 2014

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.

If You Propose to Take Money from NASA, We Notice

Casey Dreier • June 03, 2014

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.

The House Passes a $435 Million Increase to NASA's Budget

Casey Dreier • May 30, 2014

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.

The Planetary Society Supports NASA's Asteroid Initiative

Casey Dreier • May 27, 2014

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.

The value of a Guest Investigator program for Dawn

Anne Verbiscer • May 23, 2014

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.

No, Russia Did Not Just Kick the U.S. Out of the Space Station

Casey Dreier • May 20, 2014

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.

A Reluctant Dance Towards Europa

Van Kane • May 14, 2014

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. The dance 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.

An Update on Advocacy Fundraising

Casey Dreier • May 13, 2014

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.

Wow, an Increase of $170 million for Planetary Exploration

Casey Dreier • May 07, 2014

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.

The House Proposes an Extra $435 million for NASA next year

Casey Dreier • May 03, 2014

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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