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Blogs

Casey Dreier's blogs from 2015

NASA's Next Mars Mission Delayed for Two Years
One of its main scientific instruments could not maintain a vacuum

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/12/22 04:46 CST | 1 comments

A problem with the French space agency's seismometer instrument will delay NASA's InSight Mars lander by two years.

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[Updated] An Extraordinary Budget for NASA in 2016
Congressional omnibus increases the space agency's budget by $1.3 billion

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/12/18 08:00 CST | 14 comments

Congress's plan to fund the U.S. government in 2016 includes a stellar $1.3 billion increase for NASA over last year, nearly $730 million above the President's request.

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A New Budget Deal and a Best Case NASA Budget for 2016
What if everybody wins?

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/10/28 05:03 CDT | 1 comments

The promise of a congressional budget deal could free up additional resources for NASA. What would a best case scenario look like, and is it possible within the deal?

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President Obama Highlights Planetary Science Triumphs
But 2016 budget cuts the program by nearly $80 million

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/10/19 07:12 CDT | 4 comments

At the White House Astronomy Night, President Obama highlighted some of the major triumphs of NASA and its planetary science program. Yet his 2016 budget calls for further cuts to the program.

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Zero Dollars for 2016: Two Stalwart Planetary Missions Face a Troubling Future

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/10/19 10:28 CDT | 7 comments

In its 2016 budget request, the White House inexplicably proposed to end two active, scientifically productive planetary missions: the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

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NASA announces five Discovery proposals selected for further study

Posted by Casey DreierEmily Lakdawalla on 2015/09/30 03:39 CDT | 21 comments

NASA announced the first-round selections for its next Discovery mission today. A total of five planetary mission concepts -- three targeted at asteroids, two at Venus -- will move to the next stage of the competition.

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Mars Week Continues: We've Released Our 'Humans Orbiting Mars' Workshop Report

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/09/29 04:08 CDT | 2 comments

Learn all about a sustainable, affordable path to get humans to the Red Planet—a path that goes through Mars orbit and Phobos.

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A Free, Online Course Exploring the Science of Phobos and Deimos

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/09/19 04:23 CDT | 3 comments

Impress your friends and wow your colleagues by learning all about Mars's moons.

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CubeSats to the Moon
An interview with the scientist behind NASA’s newest planetary exploration mission

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/09/02 10:52 CDT | 1 comments

Casey interviews Dr. Craig Hardgrove about his lunar CubeSat, how it came together, and how NASA’s support for small missions are important for early career scientists like himself.

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[Updated] The United States of Space Advocates

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/08/24 06:25 CDT | 5 comments

See which states have the highest number of space advocates writing Congress and the White House to support planetary exploration.

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An August Moment to Check in on NASA’s Budget and Future

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/08/20 06:42 CDT | 1 comments

It’s August. Congress is out of session. Things are quiet. It’s as good a time as any to check in on several issues we’ve been following here at the Society, particularly with NASA’s budget prospects for the year and the future of human spaceflight policy.

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A New Way to Prepare Samples of Mars for Return to the Earth
Mars 2020’s strategy to cache samples is evolving as the mission matures

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/07/23 02:18 CDT | 16 comments

Mars 2020, NASA’s next and yet-to-be-named Mars rover, will be the first mission to collect and prepare samples of the martian surface for return to Earth. The rover's engineering team has proposed a new sampling caching strategy that differs from previous concepts in some interesting ways.

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New Horizons is a Triumph for Space Advocates
And Europa will be the same

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/07/07 03:40 CDT | 5 comments

New Horizons—what will be NASA’s greatest success of 2015—was cancelled multiple times in its early life, and many times before that in its previous incarnations. A mission to Pluto was not inevitable, despite the overwhelming scientific and public excitement.

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[Upated] House of Representatives Voting on NASA's 2016 Budget Today

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/06/02 01:11 CDT | 1 comments

NASA's 2016 budget is up for a major vote in the House of Representatives today, but it's just a step on the long road to a final budget in the fall.

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Why We Don't Know When the Europa Mission Will Launch

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/05/27 01:32 CDT | 12 comments

NASA has been vague about when the new mission to Europa will launch. There's a reason for that, and it's not just orbital mechanics.

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Here Are the Science Instruments NASA Will Use to Explore Europa

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/05/26 01:01 CDT | 8 comments

NASA just announced the science instruments that will be used to understand the enigmatic ocean moon of Europa. The mission is planned to launch sometime in the early 2020s.

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[Updated] House NASA Funding Bill Proposes a Fantastic Budget for Planetary Science
Earth Science, Commercial Crew would see cuts

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/05/19 03:25 CDT | 8 comments

The House Appropriations Committee released their vision for NASA's 2016 budget this week, which includes significant increases for the SLS and Planetary Science, but cuts Commercial Crew and Earth Science funds.

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How to Watch the Humans to Mars Summit This Week

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/05/05 12:36 CDT | 5 comments

Our friends at Explore Mars are live-streaming their Humans to Mars Summit this week, happening in Washington, D.C.

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[Updated] Good Planetary Support in A Flawed NASA Bill

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/05/02 07:45 CDT | 15 comments

Casey Dreier gives a brief summary of the House draft bill released the other day that would authorize NASA funding for the years 2016 and 2017.

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The study team at JPL Will Present their Mars Program Concept at the 2015 Humans to Mars Summit

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/04/17 05:37 CDT

A study team at JPL will present their humans to Mars program concept at the Humans to Mars Summit and publish it as a peer-reviewed article in the New Space Journal.

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A New Path to Mars?
A new workshop suggests humans to the Mars system might be affordable after all

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/04/02 06:04 CDT | 40 comments

A new advocacy initiative for the Society: let's get humans to Mars.

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Slides from the LPSC 2015 Session on the Community Response to NASA's Budget Request

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/03/19 11:50 CDT

The Planetary Society helped organize a community response to the latest NASA budget at the 2015 meeting of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

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At LPSC this year? Come to this special session on NASA's budget
Tuesday, March 17th, 12pm at the Montgomery Ballroom

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/03/16 11:44 CDT

For those of you who are here at LPSC 2015, we’ve organized a special session at noon on Tuesday, March 17th in the Montgomery Ballroom to bring together representatives from the three major professional organizations that represent planetary scientists to address your questions and concerns about NASA's 2016 budget request.

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Is the Opportunity Rover a Mission 'Whose Time Has Passed'?
No.

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/03/15 08:56 CDT | 11 comments

The NASA Administrator declared that the Opportunity rover is a mission 'whose time has passed' and will be defunded next year. Will Congress act to save it?

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Space Advocates Descend on Capitol Hill
The 2015 Legislative Blitz Was Exhausting, Exhilarating, and a Huge Success

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/03/04 06:52 CST | 2 comments

The Space Exploration Alliance wrapped up its most recent 'legislative blitz' last week. Nearly 70 individuals participated in the democratic process, speaking to nearly 168 difference offices in Congress. Nearly half of those individuals were Planetary Society members.

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Highlights from our reddit Space Policy AMA
You asked us anything, we answered most of them

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/02/27 06:20 CST

The space policy and advocacy team at The Planetary Society held an AMA (ask me anything) on reddit, here are some of the highlights.

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Ask Me Anything (on reddit) About NASA's Budget
11am PST/2pm EST Wednesday, Feb 25th

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/02/24 11:06 CST

Starting at 11am PST/2pm EST on Wednesday, the space policy team at the Society will hold an AMA (Ask Me Anything) about NASA's new budget and the process of space exploration.

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Why We Write to Congress
(P.S. It's Time to Write to Congress)

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/02/19 10:42 CST

It's time to write to Congress in support of planetary exploration. Why? Because it works.

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It's Official: We're On the Way to Europa
President requests $18.5 billion for NASA in 2016, an increase of $519 million

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/02/02 08:55 CST | 8 comments

NASA's 2016 budget request increases the space agency's budget by $519 million, starts a new mission to Europa, increases funds to Commercial Crew, and threatens some long-running planetary missions.

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The President's 2016 Budget Is Coming
Feb 2nd. Mark your calendars.

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/01/21 06:11 CST

The 2016 budget cycle for NASA kicks off on Feb 2nd, when the White House releases the President's Budget Request. Here's what to look for.

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Stand for Space! Join me in D.C. in February to Blitz Congress
Congressional Blitz for Space, Feb 22nd - 24th, 2015

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/01/05 07:34 CST | 3 comments

Put your passion for space exploration to work. Come with me to D.C. in February and join space advocates from around the country as we descend on Capitol Hill.

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