The Planetary Society and its members actively work to create the future we want to see in space. We expand public knowledge of space exploration, shape space policy and fight for future exploration, and invest in innovative space science and technology. Here are some of our current and past projects from our first 40 years. You can also view a timeline showcasing some of these projects here.
Science & Technology
The Planetary Society's STEP Grants fund innovative science and technology projects that advance solar system exploration, bolster the search for life, and help defend Earth from dangerous asteroids.
The Planetary Society's Shoemaker NEO grant program funds advanced amateur astronomers to find, track, and characterize potentially hazardous near-Earth objects.
Since 2009, Planetary Society members have supported work by Debra Fischer, one of the world's top exoplanet researchers. These projects have greatly improved our ability to search for Earth-like exoplanets.
The Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment was a project to investigate the potential for life to travel from planet to planet, safely ensconced inside rocks blasted from planetary surfaces by large impacts.
A Planetary Society expedition sent members to Belize to search for evidence of the Chixculub asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs.
In the early 1990s The Planetary Society sponsored Mars rover tests in California’s Death Valley, helping pave the way for NASA rover missions.
Planetary Society members supported testing of a Mars Balloon slated to fly on the Soviet Union’s Mars ‘96 mission. Although the mission was canceled, the effort led to the Society’s role in helping to develop rover technology.
Space Policy & Advocacy
The Planetary Science Caucus is a bipartisan, bicameral congressional caucus devoted to the promotion of planetary science and exploration, increasing awareness of the benefits of planetary exploration to industry and academia, and the search for life.
The Planetary Society's 2015 workshop brought together representatives from NASA, the scientific community, academia, and government to produce a report outlining a sustainable, affordable pathway to send humans to Mars.
During the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union, The Planetary Society led and sponsored multiple efforts to bring scientists from the two nations together.
Education & Public Outreach
Subscribe to The Planetary Society's flagship podcast and radio show, which has been bringing you news and feature interviews from the world of planetary exploration for nearly 20 years.
The Planetary Report is the internationally recognized flagship magazine of The Planetary Society, featuring lively articles and full-color photos to provide comprehensive coverage of discoveries on Earth and other planets.
The Planetary Society’s Bruce Murray Space Image Library is a unique collection of photos and videos from the world’s space agencies, as well as artwork, diagrams, and amateur-processed space images, many of which are not available elsewhere.
Planetary Defense Conferences
The Planetary Society has co-sponsored planetary defense conferences in Romania, Italy, Tokyo, and the United States—all in service of defending our planet from dangerous asteroids and comets.
The Planetary Society has sponsored multiple naming contests for worlds and spacecraft over the years.
The Planetary Society has held multiple Planetfest celebrations for planetary encounters and landings since our founding.