The next Martian explorer, Mars 2020, currently exists as a robotic skeleton at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Teams across the world are working diligently to construct the instruments that will adorn the rover, inside and out, and thereby give it the tools it needs to explore.
On February 6, 2018, I found myself shoulder to shoulder with two of my heroes: Bill Nye on the left, Buzz Aldrin on the right. Our eyes were fixed on the first vertical Falcon Heavy rocket. Figuring the world's most powerful rocket might send me flying backwards once the countdown hit zero, I gripped the railing so tightly I started to lose the feeling in my fingertips.
Last week, The Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye accepted an invitation by NASA Administrator nominee Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) to join him as his guest at the State of the Union address. We anticipated this would be a controversial decision, and we were right.
Looking back on 2017, we here at The Planetary Society are proud of what we have accomplished during this orbit of the Sun. Emily Lakdawalla, Jason Davis, Casey Dreier, and Mat Kaplan reflect on the year that was.