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Go at throttle up

with Jason Davis

Jason Davis is a journalist and digital editor for The Planetary Society, trying to spread the PB&J (passion, beauty & joy) of space exploration.

Solar sailing in Japan: 10 questions for LightSail engineer Barbara Plante

Jason Davis • February 13, 2017 • 1

Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye and LightSail systems engineer Barbara Plante recently traveled to Japan for a solar sailing symposium. Our Q&A with Plante discusses everything from CubeSat attitude control systems to robotic giraffes in Tokyo.

Want NASA to pick your space mission proposal? Two winning scientists share some tips

Jason Davis • February 09, 2017 • 2

NASA is currently accepting proposals for its next New Frontiers-class planetary science mission. What does the agency look for in a winning proposal? The two scientists behind the ORISIS-REx and Psyche missions share some tips.

Let's talk about this whole Moon vs. Mars thing for human spaceflight

Jason Davis • January 26, 2017 • 30

NASA's current human spaceflight goal is Mars, but the Trump administration could change that to the Moon. Is that a good idea? Here's an in-depth look at the differences in science gain, the arguments for and against a potential commercial market, and whether or not the technological and operational challenges required to reach the Moon apply to Mars.

Here's what history has to say about when Trump's NASA administrator will take office

Jason Davis • January 19, 2017 • 4

This Friday, Charles Bolden resigns as NASA administrator after a stint of 2,744 days. Robert Lightfoot, the agency's highest-ranking civil servant, will take over as acting admin. How long will Lightfoot serve? If history serves as a guide, it could be a while.

Want to build on our LightSail work? Here are some resources to get started

Jason Davis • January 13, 2017 • 4

The Planetary Society is launching a new webpage showcasing LightSail academic papers, schematics, parts and imagery.

SpaceX is ready to fly rockets again. An expert talks about the reason a Falcon 9 blew up last year

Jason Davis • January 10, 2017 • 40

SpaceX says they fixed a problem with the helium pressurization system that destroyed a Falcon 9 rocket last year. The company pushes the boundaries of rocket science, creating an occasional jaw-dropping fireball in the process. But will the risk-reward equation change when SpaceX starts flying astronauts?

NASA is visiting 8 asteroids in 8 years. Here are 8 things to know about the missions

Jason Davis • January 04, 2017 • 12

NASA announced two new asteroid missions today named Lucy and Psyche that will fill important gaps in our understanding of how the solar system was formed. Here are eight things to know about the two missions.

A company you've never heard of plans to build the world's first private space station

Jason Davis • January 03, 2017 • 9

Axiom Space, a recently formed company headed by former ISS program manager Mike Suffredini, plans to send an astronaut to the ISS in 2019 and connect a large multipurpose habitat there in 2020.

Spaceflight in 2017, part 1: Earth-centric edition

Jason Davis • December 29, 2016 • 21

Our preview of spaceflight in 2017 starts with highlights of missions and events happening on and around our home planet.

Review: ‘Rogue One’ is Star Wars comfort food

Jason Davis • December 22, 2016 • 6

In a review of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Jason Davis says you're more likely to enjoy the film if you embrace it as comfort food—a story line that fits into a larger sequence of Star Wars events you already know.

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