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

Is the Moon a Stepping Stone or a Cornerstone for Mars?

New legislation proposed in the House of Representatives would radically shift NASA's human spaceflight efforts away from the Moon and back to Mars.

Hearing Recap: Keeping Our Sights on Mars

Highlights from the hearing, 'Keeping our Sights on Mars: A Review of NASA's Deep Space Plans' held on May 8th in the House of Representatives.

Hearing Recap: NASA’s FY 2020 Budget Request

On March 27, 2019, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies held a hearing titled, “NASA’s FY 2020 Budget Request.”

After the Success of InSight, It’s Time for NASA to Commit to Mars Sample Return

In the brief period of public and political goodwill generated by NASA's latest success at the Red Planet, now is the time to secure a commitment for the next steps at Mars: sample return.

What the 2018 midterms mean for NASA and planetary science

The 2018 midterms swept away a number of NASA advocates in Congress, though looming budgetary battles may end up having more direct impacts on space than any one elected official.

National Academies: NASA needs a plan for Mars

Though progress is being made on Mars Sample Return, a new report from the National Academies recommends NASA have a long-term plan for robotic Mars exploration, and work to ensure communications infrastructure is maintained at the Red Planet. These recommendations largely align with those made by The Planetary Society in a report released in 2017.

It's midterm evaluation time for NASA's planetary program

A new report assesses how NASA’s Planetary Science Division has implemented (or not) the top recommendations of the scientific community for the exploration of the solar system.

An 'Exploration Exhibition' to launch the new Planetary Science Caucus

We helped launch the new Planetary Science Congressional Caucus in Washington, D.C., with an exploration exhibition to highlight the range of academic, scientific, and industry partners engaging in planetary exploration. Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye and its Board of Directors were there to welcome members of Congress and hundreds of staff and policy experts.

How the Falcon Heavy could revolutionize exploration of the ocean worlds

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy is not just for big payloads, it can also throw light things into space very fast. And that has significant implications for the exploration of distant destinations in our outer solar system—particularly the ocean moons of the giant planets.

A closer look at China's audacious Mars sample return plans

China is making steady progress on a proposed mission to bring a piece of Mars back to Earth in the late 2020s.

Meet VOX, a proposed mission to uncover the secrets of Venus

Van Kane brings us newly released details of the Venus Origins eXplorer (VOX), one of NASA's 12 New Frontiers mission proposals.

Here's what we know about the 12 proposals for NASA's next New Frontiers mission

NASA officials are in the process of selecting the agency’s next planetary science mission from a field of 12 competitors.

HERA team completes 45-day mission to explore asteroid, from Texas

What's it like spending 45 days confined to a habitat at Johnson Space Center simulating a crewed NASA mission to an asteroid? Tim Evans sends us this report.

How we would explore Uranus or Neptune

One fact dominates the planning for any mission to Uranus or Neptune: They lie far from the sun. A newly released NASA report looks at how we can explore these icy giants.

This giant, flower-shaped starshade creates an artificial eclipse to see distant exoplanets

Starshade is a proposed flower-shaped spacecraft that can create an artificial eclipse, allowing space telescopes to spot planets orbiting distant stars.

Announcing a New Paper on NASA's Mars Exploration Program

NASA’s robotic Mars Exploration Program is on a troubling path of decline—and decisions must be made now in order to stop it. A new report by the Society explains why.

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.

Postcard from Kentucky: Space in the Bluegrass State

In Kentucky, some very driven people are writing their own chapter of space exploration based on vision, entrepreneurial risk, and scientific and engineering know-how. Wayne Hall shares their stories.

Explorer of Enceladus and Titan

For the third time in less than a decade, scientists have proposed a multiple-flyby mission to explore the habitability of Saturn’s ocean moons Titan and Enceladus.

China outlines its space exploration ambitions

China released a new white paper on its policy and activities in space, outlining ambitious deep space exploration, human spaceflight and space science projects as major priorities for the years up to 2020 and beyond.

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