Press Releases from 2014
With the support of The Planetary Society, Honeybee Robotics is developing and testing a new Planetary Deep Drill system, a lightweight, portable drill designed eventually to reach kilometers below the surface of icy bodies such as Europa, Enceladus, Titan, and the Mars polar caps.
Bill Nye and The Planetary Society Host Canadian Space Program Celebration (September 23, 2014)
On the evening of Wednesday, October 1, 2014, live local and online audiences will head for the final frontier for a lively celebration of Canada’s space science achievements.
The Planetary Society congratulates the European Space Agency on its Rosetta spacecraft arriving at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta is the first spacecraft to orbit a comet.
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.
In 2016, The Planetary Society’s LightSail program will take the technology a step further.