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

Dunes and doppelgangers

What can we learn from patterns in the Martian sands? And what’s that Earth-like planet over there?

Solar Plasma and Europan Magma

From solar storms to underwater volcanoes and asteroid close calls, catch up on what’s scary and beautiful this week in space.

The Next 10 Years

Six scientists share the major planetary science discoveries of the past decade, and the questions that will drive the next 10 years of solar system exploration.

Clipper Slipper

Will NASA's Space Launch System be ready to launch a Europa mission in 2022?

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's audacious Europa missions are getting closer to reality

Today, NASA announced progress on a spacecraft that would assess whether Jupiter's Moon Europa is habitable, and earlier this month, an agency-sponsored science team released a report on a separate lander mission that would directly search for signs of life.

New Findings are Conclusive: Europa is crying out for exploration

New scientific findings add to the evidence that Europa is spouting its liquid ocean into space. NASA has a mission to Europa in the works, but it wouldn't launch for at least a decade. Congress can make it faster, but it all depends on whether they can pass a budget this year.

LPSC 2016: Icy Satellite Science

This year’s Lunar and Planetary Science Conference devoted two oral presentation sessions to questions related to icy satellites in our solar system. Jessica Noviello reports back from the conference.

Europa Budget Bulge

Van Kane explains how the key development for NASA’s mission to Europa will be an agreement on how the agency plans to accommodate the monetary bulge that will come from funding the mission.

New Concepts to Explore the Jovian System

Last year, NASA’s managers invited the European Space Agency to propose a small spacecraft to explore the Jovian system. Van Kane describes the recently-posted results of ESA's concept studies for two possible missions.

New Horizons is a Triumph for Space Advocates

New Horizons—what will be NASA’s greatest success of 2015—was cancelled multiple times in its early life, and many times before that in its previous incarnations. A mission to Pluto was not inevitable, despite the overwhelming scientific and public excitement.

NASA Goes First Class for Europa

Over the last several years, engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Applied Physics Laboratory have rethought the entire approach to exploring Europa. NASA now has a concept that's affordable.

It's Official: We're On the Way to Europa

NASA's 2016 budget request increases the space agency's budget by $519 million, starts a new mission to Europa, increases funds to Commercial Crew, and threatens some long-running planetary missions.

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