Author

All

Keyword

All

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

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.

No plumes? No problem. How Europa Clipper will analyze an icy moon's ocean

Europa doesn't have grandiose plumes like Enceladus. So how will the Clipper mission figure out what's in Europa's ocean?

Clipper Slipper

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

Congress gives NASA's planetary science division some love (and a Mars orbiter)

The House of Representatives proposed $2.1 billion for NASA's planetary science budget, which would be an all-time high. Part of the increase would be used to start work on a new reconnaissance and communications orbiter.

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.

NASA's New Budget Would Gut Europa But Otherwise Support Planetary Exploration

It’s clear that the President’s budget officers really don’t want to fund a mission to Europa. Other than that, the proposed Fiscal Year 2017 budget submitted by the President last week to Congress would be great for planetary exploration.

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.

A Lander for NASA’s Europa Mission

While there’s at least eight years until it launches, this has been a pivotal year for developing NASA’s Europa 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.

Why We Don't Know When the Europa Mission Will Launch

NASA has been vague about when the new mission to Europa will launch. There's a reason for that, and it's not just orbital mechanics.

Here Are the Science Instruments NASA Will Use to Explore Europa

NASA just announced the science instruments that will be used to understand the enigmatic ocean moon of Europa. The mission is planned to launch sometime in the early 2020s.

NASA's Mission to Europa May Get More Interesting Still

NASA officials have asked their European counterparts if they would like to propose contributing a small probe to NASA's Europa mission planned for the mid-2020s.

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.

JUICE at Europa

Europe's JUICE spacecraft will provide us with a detailed regional study of this icy moon of Jupiter.

A Mission to Europa Just Got a Whole Lot More Likely

Rep. John Culberson, an outspoken supporter of Europa exploration, will assume leadership of an influential congressional committee that funds NASA.

12 >

Space is vast. There's a lot of exploring to do.

You can increase discoveries in the worlds of our solar system and beyond. When you join The Planetary Society, you help build public support for planetary science, encourage decision makers to prioritize human and robotic exploration, and support technological advances in planetary exploration.

Become A Member