The Politics of Space
with Casey Dreier
Space exploration doesn't just happen—it is made through the decisions of government, budgets, policy documents, and by individuals and industries. It reflects the needs and realities of politics, and understanding how, where, and why these decisions get made are crucial to influencing them. Space exploration is for all of us, and unless all of us know the process, it will inevitably be driven by the very few. Casey Dreier, The Planetary Society's Director of Advocacy, writes this blog.
We continue our analysis of Cosmos as we jump back in time to see the birth of modern science with Johannes Kepler or, as Sagan calls it, the first fusion of "imagination with observation." Welcome to Episode 3: The Harmony of the Worlds.
In episode 2 we switch from cosmos to microcosm and discover how we are connected to all living things. Is Sagan too authoritative in this episode? Plus, a major error in one of the stories.
We face immensity and a taste of things to come in the first episode of Cosmos, but we're also provided with the tools to comprehend our own place within the universe.
Launch preparations will resume for NASA's MAVEN spacecraft, due to launch to Mars on November 18th. Work had previously been suspended, potentially causing the spacecraft to miss its once-every-26-month launch opportunity.
We interview Dr. Franck Marchis from the SETI Institute about nanosats that can unfold in space to create sensitive telescopes that are orders of magnitudes cheaper than current hardware.
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 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.