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Casey's Blog

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.

NASA's MAVEN Mission Spared from Shutdown

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/10/03 04:40 CDT | 7 comments

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.

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Origami Nanosats: The Future of Space Telescopes?

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/10/01 05:04 CDT | 1 comment

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.

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[Updated] A Government Shutdown Could Delay MAVEN's Launch to Mars

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/09/30 05:17 CDT | 2 comments

NASA confirmed that a government shutdown could affect pre-launch processing of the MAVEN spacecraft, currently scheduled to launch to Mars on November 18th.

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Plutonium-238 is Crucial for Space Exploration – and it's Running Out

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/09/20 11:29 CDT | 3 comments

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.

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The Energy Department is Full of Hugely Wasteful Spending, But Can't Afford to Make Plutonium for NASA

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/09/13 11:49 CDT | 2 comments

A recent report shows that major programs within the Department of Energy are billions of dollars over budget due to lax oversight, yet the congressional committees responsible for the Department

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Our Debt to NASA - Fighting the Pernicious Myth of NASA as Unnecessary

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/09/10 04:08 CDT | 10 comments

A recent article in the NY Times Sunday Magazine highlights how the pernicious myth of NASA as wasteful spending perpetuates through our culture.

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A Division of Planetary Science

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/09/10 09:31 CDT | 3 comments

When scientists can't agree on priorities, will politicians listen? A reflection on a recent public policy session from the European Planetary Science Congress in London.

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EPSC 2013 Coverage

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/09/08 05:28 CDT

The Planetary Society will cover this week's European Planetary Science Congress in London.

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NASA's Europa Mission Concept Rejects ASRGs -- May Use Solar Panels at Jupiter Instead

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/09/05 06:41 CDT | 6 comments

The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) is no longer an option for powering a potential Europa mission. The ASRG uses Plutonium-238 to generate electricity, but is far more efficient than past RTGs.

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NASA Backs Off From Additional Planetary Cuts in 2013

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/09/01 03:44 CDT | 5 comments

The final operating plan for the space agency provided $75 million more to planetary exploration than initially proposed.

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