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A Note on the State of Planetary Science

Heidi Hammel • January 22, 2014

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.

[Updated] Let's Blitz Congress!

Casey Dreier • January 17, 2014

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.

Continued Victories for Planetary Exploration

Casey Dreier • January 16, 2014

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.

Winter 2013 Issue of The Planetary Report Now Available Online

Donna Stevens • January 16, 2014

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!

Congress to NASA: Don't You Dare Steal Money Away from Planetary Science Again

Casey Dreier • January 14, 2014

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.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • December 17, 2013

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.

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

Casey Dreier • December 12, 2013

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

Top NASA Scientists Grapple with Budget Cuts

Casey Dreier • December 10, 2013

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.

A Protected Class of Programs at NASA?

Casey Dreier • December 10, 2013

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

The Sorry State of Planetary Science Funding In One Chart

Casey Dreier • December 09, 2013

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.

The ASRG Cancellation in Context

Van Kane • December 09, 2013

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.

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

Casey Dreier • December 06, 2013

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

An Open Letter to President Barack Obama

Bill Nye • December 05, 2013

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

What's Going on With Planetary Science Research?

Casey Dreier • December 04, 2013

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

Call Your Representatives, Save Our Science

Andrew Rivkin • November 22, 2013

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

NASA Just Cancelled its Advanced Spacecraft Power Program

Casey Dreier • November 15, 2013

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.

We Need You to Stand Up for Planetary Exploration

Casey Dreier • November 08, 2013

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.

Power From the Isotopes

Casey Dreier • October 29, 2013

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

One More U.N. Step Forward on NEOs

Bruce Betts • October 24, 2013

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

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

Emily Lakdawalla • October 07, 2013

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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