Donna StevensApr 05, 2015

Planetary Report: The Spring Equinox 2015 Issue

It’s here. The spring edition of The Planetary Report is at the printer and will soon be in your mailbox. Any Planetary Society member who wants to start reading now can download the magazine here

Almost here? Our LightSail launch! In early May, our test mission will blast off from Cape Canaveral aboard an Atlas V rocket. In this issue, our own Jason Davis gives a brief history of solar sailing and retraces the steps in The Planetary Society’s long and dedicated quest to see our gossamer explorers fly.

Like the pages of a biography, rocks have pieces of a terrestrial body’s history written in them. Barbara Cohen of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center details how the science of in situ geochronology can complement sample return from the Moon, Mars, and asteroids to tell the story of how those rocky worlds formed. 

There’s nothing like the satisfaction of meeting big goals. Casey Dreier looks at two missions of exploration—New Horizons to Pluto and the newly-funded Europa mission—that have Planetary Society members to thank, in part, for their existence.

Bruce Betts fills us in on how Shoemaker NEO Grant winners are using your donations to protect Earth from a potentially devastating meet-up with an asteroid, and Bill Nye reflects on how The Planetary Society of today has remained true to the vision our founders.

Recently, I found a fortune cookie fortune in a stack of old papers and, even though its message is a bit overstated, it puts me in mind of The Planetary Society and how our long-fought battles and visionary goals are bearing fruit. It says, “Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

In this, our 35th year, the staff and officers of The Planetary Society have much to be grateful for, and inspired by. We are most grateful to you—our members—for making it all possible. If you’ve not yet joined our ranks, we’d love to have you.

Donna Stevens
The Planetary Report

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