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 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.
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.
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.
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