LightSail has a launch date! (July 9, 2014)
The Planetary Society announces that its LightSail solar sail spacecraft will reach space on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch in 2016.
In May 2013 The Planetary Society issued a statement saying that the Society "conditionally supports NASA's plan to capture a small asteroid and place it in lunar orbit." The Society’s support was conditional because the detailed goals, costs, and implementation plan for this asteroid mission were not yet well defined. In the past year, NASA has made commendable progress in developing its plans for what now is known as the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). Based on this progress, we now offer strong, but still conditional, support for ARM.
The Planetary Society has released its official response to the President’s 2015 NASA budget request, in which it decries the hundreds of millions of dollars of cuts to NASA’s science programs. NASA’s Planetary Science Division, which launches all robotic missions to destinations within the solar system, has been cut for the third year in a row, despite consistent congressional and public support.
The Planetary Society Announces Its Largest Single Donor Gift (March 17, 2014)
The Planetary Society, co-founded by Carl Sagan and today the world’s leading space interest group, has announced a donation of $4.2 million, the largest single donation in its history. The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, is a member of the Society.
The Planetary Society’s Statement on the FY2015 NASA Budget Request (March 14, 2014)
The Planetary Society cannot fully support the FY2015 NASA Budget Request. 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.
The Planetary Society congratulates NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the scientific team led by Dr. Steve Squyres for the unprecedented success of the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity achieving 10 years of continuous operations on Mars.
Congress Rejects Cuts to Planetary Exploration…Again (January 14, 2014)
The FY2014 Omnibus spending bill, now before the U.S. Congress, once again rejects cuts to NASA’s Planetary Science Division that were sought by the White House. The Planetary Society commends Congress for this action, and strongly encourages the White House to prioritize Planetary Science in its future budget requests commensurate with its strong public and legislative support. The Society supports the passage of this bill for its additional Planetary Science funding as well as its overall funding levels allocated for NASA.
Europa Beckons (December 12, 2013)
In light of the recent discovery that Europa is likely shooting plumes of vaporized water into space, The Planetary Society believes that the time is now for a new mission to explore this enigmatic moon.
Bill Nye the Science Guy and CEO of The Planetary Society sent President Barack Obama an open letter last week, asking him to move the country’s space program forward by embracing planetary exploration at NASA.
The Planetary Society strongly supports the language funding Planetary Science and commitment to the Decadal Survey in the House's 2013 Draft NASA Authorization Act.
The Planetary Society conditionally supports NASA's plan to capture a small asteroid and place it in lunar orbit. The mission spurs investment in technologies crucial to solar system exploration, such as very large solar-electric propulsion systems and automated deep-space operations, and in enhanced and expanded ways to detect and monitor asteroids. Our support is conditional on the requirement that Congress and the White House must provide proper funding for this mission that does not raid existing, high-priority science missions within NASA.
Asteroid (101955) 1999 RQ36 now has the much friendlier name "Bennu," thanks to a 3rd-grade student from North Carolina.
The Planetary Society's official testimony to Congress on the FY14 NASA Budget proposal.
At a major planetary defense conference in Flagstaff, AZ last evening, the Planetary Society announced the winners of its 2013 Shoemaker Near Earth Object (NEO) grants, and was recognized itself for the Society’s long history of international leadership in the detection and mitigation of threatening asteroids, and other planetary discoveries.
The Planetary Society joins the chorus of voices denouncing the implementation of the Sequester, the automatic, across-the-board budget cuts to almost all federal programs. We strongly encourage Congress replace the sequester and pass an omnibus spending bill for the remainder of 2013.
On Friday, February 15, 2013, Asteroid 2012 DA14 will travel just 17,000 miles above the Earth - closer to our planet than the orbit of the communications satellite that broadcast the Super Bowl around the world. The discovery of Asteroid DA14 was made by a small team of observers at La Sagra Observatory in Southern Spain, enabled with a grant provided by The Planetary Society.
Let NASA Pursue a Balanced Planetary Exploration Program (January 29, 2013)
Congress and the Obama Administration should allow NASA to begin a new mission to Europa, ensure that the 2020 Rover caches samples of Mars, and increase the cadence of Discovery-class missions by preserving funding at $1.5 billion for the next five years.
Planetary Society Statement on the 2020 Mars Rover Mission Announcement (December 5, 2012)
The Planetary Society welcomes the news that NASA will land a new rover on Mars in 2020. However, we emphasize that this announcement does not change the status quo: without Congressional action, NASA’s Planetary Sciences division will suffer cuts of $309 million in the 2013 budget.
The incredible public interest in today’s Curiosity announcement should demonstrate to Congress and the White House that strong support exists for NASA’s Planetary Science program.
To enhance the public's understanding of this complex program, The Planetary Society is making available several expert commentators to help explain the findings and provide overall perspective of the Mission.
Our Curiosity Knows No Bounds!
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