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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.

An Open Letter to the Planetary Science Community

Jim Bell • May 01, 2014

Dr. Jim Bell, a planetary scientist and President of the Planetary Society, calls on his colleagues to write Congress in support of planetary exploration and to support The Society.

The End of Opportunity and the Burden of Success

Casey Dreier • April 15, 2014

The Opportunity rover and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter are both zeroed out in NASA's 2015 budget. Learn why these missions face the axe and why the White House is forcing NASA to choose between existing missions and starting new ones.

Your Europa Mission Primer of the Day

Casey Dreier • April 08, 2014

Trying to understand NASA's current efforts to explore Europa? Read this excellent piece on the recent, frustrating history to scout out this watery moon of Jupiter.

How Does NASA's Ban on Russian Contact Affect Curiosity?

Casey Dreier • April 04, 2014

Earlier this week, NASA announced that it was cutting off ties with Russia, except for activities relating to the ISS. This raised questions about Russian participation on NASA's science missions, particularly the Russian experiment on the Curiosity rover.

The NASA Budget: What Next

Casey Dreier • March 26, 2014

Now that the White House has released its 2015 NASA budget proposal, what happens next? What can you do to help?

Calling Congress Is Easy

Kirby Runyon • March 21, 2014

Calling your senators and representatives about NASA's budget isn't that bad. In fact, I just took 15 minutes out of my day to do it! If you're not sure what to say to support planetary exploration, I hope you'll be inspired by what I've transcribed from my phone call this afternoon.

The 2015 Planetary Science Budget Situation - A Short Presentation

Casey Dreier • March 19, 2014

I gave a talk at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference this year where I summarized the planetary budget situation. Here is that talk.

Our Official Response to NASA's 2015 Budget Proposal

Casey Dreier • March 14, 2014

The Planetary Society released its stance on the 2015 budget proposal for NASA today. We can't fully support it.

[Updated] To Europa!...Slowly. First Impressions of NASA's New Budget Request

Casey Dreier • March 07, 2014

Europa may get a mission...eventually. We give our first take on the 2015 NASA Budget request. How does Planetary Exploration fare? Which projects were cancelled? Will NASA capture an asteroid? And most importantly, what can you do about it?

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