Political Advocacy - Save Our Science!
We are at a crucial turning point in planetary exploration.
After a decade of success with Cassini at Saturn, the twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity, and the take-your-breath-away excitement of the skycrane landing of Curiosity on Mars, NASA's planetary exploration program was rewarded with budget cuts that seriously impair NASA's ability to explore the Solar System.
The White House proposed deep cuts to Planetary Science in 2013 and 2014. But due to overwhelming public support, Congress rejected the full cuts each time.
Now, for the third year in a row, the White House has proposed to cut Planetary Science. A mission to Europa seems possible, but NASA has not yet committed. We need to make this vision a reality. Take a minute and send your representatives a message (or write the President if you're outside the U.S.).
NASA Just Cancelled its Advanced Spacecraft Power Program
2013/11/15 04:06 CST | 32 comment
The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Program (ASRG) was just cancelled by NASA. This was to be the saving grace for Plutonium-238 availability, as it was a much more efficient way to generate electricity than classic RTG systems. More »
Will We Lose Cassini’s "New" Mission at Saturn to Budget Cuts?
2013/11/12 06:26 CST | 5 comment
NASA’s shrinking budgets for planetary exploration may force it to decide between continued funding for the Saturn Cassini mission and the continued funding for its Mars missions. More »
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. More »
[Updated] A Government Shutdown Could Delay MAVEN's Launch to Mars
2013/09/30 05:17 CDT | 2 comment
NASA confirmed that a government shutdown could affect pre-launch processing of the MAVEN spacecraft, currently scheduled to launch to Mars on November 18th. More »
Plutonium-238 is Crucial for Space Exploration – and it's Running Out
2013/09/20 11:29 CDT | 3 comment
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. More »
The Planetary Society cannot fully support this budget. While there are some positive aspects, the request imposes unacceptable cuts to the Science Mission Directorate that damage the immediate and long-term health of some of NASA's most successful programs, particularly planetary exploration. If this budget is passed unchanged, there will be fewer planetary missions in development by 2019 than at any point in the past few decades. Read the Full Statement >>
See the sorry trend of cuts pursued by the White House since 2013, which have reduced the number of missions to explore the solar system. View the Chart >>
Current Planetary Funding Level
Currently funded at $1.345 billion for FY14, below minimum.