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.
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.
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.
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.
Learn all about a sustainable, affordable path to get humans to the Red Planet—a path that goes through Mars orbit and Phobos.
Impress your friends and wow your colleagues by learning all about Mars's moons.
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.
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.
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.