NASA confirmed that a government shutdown could affect pre-launch processing of the MAVEN spacecraft, currently scheduled to launch to Mars on November 18th.
Plutonium-238 is Crucial for Space Exploration – and it's Running Out
The Planetary Society works to maintain plutonium availability for deep space missions
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.
A recent article in the NY Times Sunday Magazine highlights how the pernicious myth of NASA as wasteful spending perpetuates through our culture.
A Division of Planetary Science
When Scientists Can't Agree on Priorities, Should Politicians Listen?
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.
NASA's Europa Mission Concept Rejects ASRGs -- May Use Solar Panels at Jupiter Instead
Untested technology is too risky
The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) is no longer an option for powering a potential Europa mission. The ASRG uses Plutonium-238 to generate electricity, but is far more efficient than past RTGs.
An interview with Bruce Murray from 2001 about his perspectives on Mars science and exploration: past, present, and future.
NASA Backs Off From Additional Planetary Cuts in 2013
Operating plan provides $1.271 billion
The final operating plan for the space agency provided $75 million more to planetary exploration than initially proposed.
August Advocacy Update: Where We Stand
The House and Senate have increased funding for Planetary Science thanks to your letters and phone calls
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.
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?
Congress Rejects NASA's First Operating Plan
Attempt to Raid Planetary Science Funding Stopped
NASA's plan to raid Planetary Science funding to pay for sequester cuts in other science programs was rejected by Congress earlier this month. NASA is now working on a new plan that has yet to be submitted for approval.
NASA Administrator Bolden and the Chairman of the House Science Committee published opposing op-eds in The Hill newspaper today, illustrating the uphill battle NASA faces to sell Congress on this mission.
If we started today, how long would it take to get to Mars? With this budget, never.
Analysis of the House Science Committee Hearing on the 2013 NASA Authorization Bill
The House of Representatives held a hearing today to discuss their proposed NASA authorization bill, which would fund Planetary Science, cut Earth Science, forbid asteroid retrieval, and command NASA to pursue a path to Mars via the Moon.
Despite congressional rejection of massive cuts to Planetary Science this year, NASA has found a way to implement the cuts internally and use the money for other purposes.
The American Astronomical Society has issued a strongly worded statement against NASA's proposed elimination of its education and public outreach programs, and I agree with it.
Lars Perkins, Chairman of NAC's Education Committee, writes a defense of NASA's Education and Outreach efforts, currently facing a major cut and restructuring in 2014.