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Blog Archive

 

Fossils or good-looking rocks? Why searching for life on other worlds is hard

Elias Nakouzi • April 13, 2017

If you find a structure that looks like ancient life, can you be really sure that it is ancient life?

Extraterrestrial culture: How we express ourselves through space exploration

Felipe Cervera • April 11, 2017

Planetary Performance scholar Felipe Cervera brings a perspective on "extraterrestrial-ity" in terrestrial cultures—from rituals to technology.

Expedition 50 had a fun and good ISS crew

Jason Davis • April 10, 2017

I believe Expedition 50 had a fun and good ISS crew. I base this declaration solely on the moments they shared on social media. This logic is completely bulletproof and there's no point trying to prove otherwise.

NASA unveiled new plans for getting humans to Mars, and hardly anyone noticed

Jason Davis • April 07, 2017

NASA revealed its most concrete plan yet for sending humans back into deep space, centered around a small lunar space station and a reusable transport ship to carry astronauts to Mars and back.

China's lunar sample return mission will pave way for future ambitions

Andrew Jones • April 06, 2017

Later this year, China is launching the Change'5 spacecraft to return a sample from the Moon. The mission will pave the way for future ambitions, including crewed trips to the lunar surface.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Dodges Dust Storms, Makes Tracks to Perseverance Valley

A.J.S. Rayl • April 04, 2017

After wrapping the final science investigations on the slopes of Cape Tribulation, Opportunity climbed up and over the rim of Endeavour Crater in March and embarked on the journey south toward its next science target: Perseverance Valley.

Daring mighty things: Pathways to careers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Nathan Barba • April 03, 2017

Arizona State University graduate student Nathan Barba talks with some of JPL’s finest to get guidance and advice on how to join this illustrious group of space explorers.

Dawn Journal: Bonus Plans

Marc Rayman • March 31, 2017

Now in its third year of orbiting a distant dwarf planet, a spacecraft from Earth is as active as ever. Like a master artist, Dawn is working hard to add fine details to its stunning portrait of Ceres.

A letter from Bill Nye: Why we're marching for science

Bill Nye • March 30, 2017

The Planetary Society is joining the March for Science. Bill Nye is serving as an honorary co-chair, and our organization is an official partner. Here's why we're marching, and how to join us.

Your hypothetical questions, answered: SpaceX prepares to refly rocket booster

Jason Davis • March 28, 2017

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket booster recovered by a drone ship last year will be reflown later this week, marking what could be a new milestone in the quest for affordable spaceflight.

New treasures from Juno: Jupiter dazzles during fourth close approach

Björn Jónsson • March 27, 2017

Image processor Björn Jónsson shares some of his latest stunning images of Jupiter, created using data from NASA's Juno spacecraft.

Juno just flew past Jupiter for the fifth time. What have we learned from the mission so far?

Anna Scott • March 27, 2017

There's no verdict quite yet on the giant planet's core, and scientists are still gathering clues about the accuracy of our current solar system formation models.

Here's our exhaustive guide to Trump's 392-word NASA budget

Casey Dreier • March 23, 2017

We break down every sentence from Trump's new NASA budget, so you don't have to.

A repeat of the space shuttle's bold test flight? NASA considers crew aboard first SLS mission

Jason Davis • March 23, 2017

NASA has only flown astronauts aboard a rocket's first flight once, when John Young and Bob Crippen took space shuttle Columbia on the boldest test flight in history. What are the risks of repeating the feat for SLS?

Unraveling a Martian enigma: The hidden rivers of Arabia Terra

Joel Davis • March 21, 2017

Arabia Terra has always been a bit of a martian enigma. Planetary scientist Joel Davis takes us on a tour of its valley networks and their significance in telling the story of water on Mars.

Signed, sealed but not delivered: LightSail 2 awaits ship date

Jason Davis • March 20, 2017

Following a pre-ship review at Planetary Society headquarters, LightSail 2 is ready to be integrated with its Prox-1 partner spacecraft. The final shipping schedule, however, has yet to be determined.

Trump's first budget proposal is out. Here's how NASA fared

Jason Davis • March 16, 2017

NASA escaped a large-scale budget slash, and planetary science fared well. ARM is canceled, the Moon-versus-Mars debate is not mentioned, and Earth science stands to lose some missions.

Postcard from Kentucky: Space in the Bluegrass State

Wayne Hall • March 16, 2017

In Kentucky, some very driven people are writing their own chapter of space exploration based on vision, entrepreneurial risk, and scientific and engineering know-how. Wayne Hall shares their stories.

Nerds Solving Problems - NSTA 2017, Los Angeles

Bill Nye • March 14, 2017

Every year, teachers and educators gather by the thousands at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Conference. We at The Planetary Society will be there again this year to share our love of space science and exploration with the people who are shaping the future—people like you.

You’ve met Saturn’s ravioli-shaped moon, Pan. Now learn how it was discovered

Mark Showalter • March 13, 2017

Planetary astronomer Mark Showalter tells the story of when he became the first human to ever set eyes on Saturn's strange moon Pan in 1990.

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