Donna StevensAug 04, 2014

The Planetary Report: Summer Solstice Edition

Summer’s edition of The Planetary Report is on its way to your mailbox! If you are an e-reader, you can pick your magazine up now here. This time, we have something extra for you. Instead of putting our Annual Report for 2013 inside the magazine, we’ve expanded it from two to six pages and printed it separately. Why? Because 2013 was a pivotal year for the Society and we want to share more of the details with you. (Digital subscribers, we will post the Annual Report online later this week.)

The Planetary Report, Summer Solstice 2014 edition
The Planetary Report, Summer Solstice 2014 edition

Scientists look to ice in its many forms to harbor important information about how the bodies that comprise our solar system formed and settled into their current positions. Julie Castillo-Rogez describes the many types of ice and their importance—not only to our understanding of the evolution of our planetary neighborhood, but also as possible repositories of life.

Elegant is how our LightSail is being described, and it’s a very fitting adjective because not only is our spacecraft design simple and clever, it is graceful and beautiful as well. Doug Stetson, The Planetary Society’s LightSail program manager, gives an overview of this innovative mission’s history and details of our path to flight in 2016.

Remember Sisyphus, the mythological Greek king doomed to spend eternity straining to push a huge boulder uphill and then watching it roll down again, forcing him to start all over? Casey Dreier likens our ongoing struggles to save planetary science at NASA to Sisyphus’ curse. The difference here is that there’s hope. Your petitions, calls, and e-mails continue to make an impact!

Plus, Bruce Betts brings us Debra Fischer’s update on the steps she and her team are taking to find earthmass planets in the habitable zones of Alpha Centauri A and B; Kate Howells invites you to volunteer; and Bill Nye celebrates our effectiveness.

The Planetary Society has always worked to make space exploration happen and to make you a part of it. If you aren’t a member of our team yet, please join us. You’ll get four issues of our members-only magazine, The Planetary Report; special invitations and discounts, and, most of all, a chance to influence the future of space exploration.

Donna Stevens
Senior Editor
The Planetary Report

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