The winter issue of The Planetary Report continues to hit Planetary Society members’ mailboxes and, for those of you who want your copy in digital form, it’s posted here. If you’d like your own copy of the magazine but you are not yet a member, you can join us here.
Exciting changes are in the air. Development Director Richard Chute introduces himself by opening this issue with a look at the Society’s new three-year strategic plan and lets you know that our communications with our supporters will soon have a new style.
In the same vein, Bill Nye celebrates forward momentum, in planetary exploration and in Pasadena as the Society plans to move to a bigger building—a necessity now that our staff has expanded.
In keeping with tradition, Emily Lakdawalla has curated her annual Year in Pictures spread, a selection of images that showcase some of the significant gains our species has made in understanding the space around us.
Very soon the Dawn spacecraft will reach its final target, the dwarf planet Ceres. Andy Rivkin of Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory gives us some history and looks forward to what we might find on this, the asteroid belt’s largest denizen.
The Planetary Society has a long history of supporting groundbreaking exploration projects. Now the Planetary Deep Drill, our latest partnership project with Honeybee Robotics, applies that descriptor to a prototype drill that could bore far down into planetary ices. This new technology may someday allow us to study ice samples taken deep under Mars’ polar caps or Europa’s frozen shell.
As we went to press, Casey Dreier had done his always passionate best in warning of the devastating impact that proposed budget cuts would have on the future of planetary exploration. Then, Congress allotted 1.44 billion dollars for planetary exploration in 2015. Learn more here.
This year, The Planetary Society celebrates our 35th anniversary. We’ve accomplished a lot and our hard work is paying off. This ship is blasting off. If you want to be on the inside, hop on.
The Planetary Report