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Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.

Is There Anybody out There?

The Planetary Society has supported SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, practically since our founding in 1980. Learn the past, present, and future of SETI.

American R&D Policy and the Push for Small Planetary Missions at NASA

Planetary Society Policy Adviser Jason Callahan summarizes his paper he presented at the 2017 International Astronautical Congress in Australia, where he examined NASA's low-cost Discovery program and how federal policies directed at higher education initially bolstered planetary science into a viable field.

Space Policy & Advocacy Program Quarterly Report - October 2017

As a service to our members and to promote transparency, The Planetary Society's Space Policy and Advocacy team publishes quarterly reports on their activities, actions, priorities, and goals in service of their efforts to promote space science and exploration in Washington, D.C.

Doing SETI Better by Understanding Ourselves

One of the reasons SETI is hard is that we don’t know exactly what we are looking for, and part of that difficulty is that we still aren’t sure of who we are. An astronomer and an anthropologist team up to explore how cultural myopia shape what we can find in the cosmos.

Space Policy and Advocacy Quarterly Update - July 2017

The Space Policy and Advocacy team has released its first in a series of regular program updates on our activities, actions, and priorities in our effort to promote space science and exploration in Washington, D.C.

From Member to Member

When a Society member met with his member of Congress, he told us about it, and we followed up.

Planetary Science Just Got Its Best Budget in Years

The President signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017, funding the U.S. government for the remainder of the fiscal year. NASA got a boost to $19.65 billion, and its Planetary Science Division saw a budget increase to $1.846 billion—its best budget in more than ten years.

NASA Under Trump

NASA under a Trump Administration will be hard times for Earth Science, and human spaceflight to the Moon will likely get renewed focus. However, NASA won't go anywhere if massive cuts to spending are enacted as promised.

Let’s be careful about this “SETI” signal

Several readers have contacted me recently about reports that a group of international astronomers have detected a strong signal coming from a distant star that could be a sign of a high-technology civilization. Here’s my reaction: it’s interesting, but it’s definitely not the sign of an alien civilization—at least not yet.

Listen Up! Microphones to Fly to Mars

The Mars 2020 mission will carry microphones in its EDL package and its SuperCam instrument, which will enable us to finally hear the sounds of Mars. The Planetary Society has been trying to get microphones to Mars for 20 years and is ecstatic that these will fly.

What NASA Can Learn from SpaceX

SpaceX's announcement that it will send Dragon capsules to Mars demonstrates the advantage of having a clear plan to explore the red planet. NASA should take note.

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