Blog entries by Van Kane
NASA’s managers have begun the process for a competition to select a new planetary mission to launch in the mid-2020s that will address one of the most important questions in planetary science.
At a recent meeting of an advisory group for NASA, the Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science (CAPS), Jim Green, the head of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, and Barry Goldstein from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, provided updates on plans to explore our solar system's ocean worlds.
This past week brought to the fore two challenges for NASA’s managers as they try to enable the richest possible mix of coming planetary missions. At stake are whether the agency will be able to select two Discovery missions from the current competition, and whether there will be the possibility of a mission selected for Enceladus and/or Titan in the next decade.
It’s clear that the President’s budget officers really don’t want to fund a mission to Europa. Other than that, the proposed Fiscal Year 2017 budget submitted by the President last week to Congress would be great for planetary exploration.
Last year, NASA’s managers invited the European Space Agency to propose a small spacecraft to explore the Jovian system. Van Kane describes the recently-posted results of ESA's concept studies for two possible missions.
Our Advocacy Program provides each Society member a voice in the process.
Funding is critical. The more we have, the more effective we can be, translating into more missions, more science, and more exploration.