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

Further Analysis of NASA's FY15 Budget Proposal: Steady As She Goes?

The President’s proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budget details were released last week. For the next several years, the budget proposes a steady as she goes plan, but with two “what are they thinking?” surprises.

Calling Congress Is Easy

Calling your senators and representatives about NASA's budget isn't that bad. In fact, I just took 15 minutes out of my day to do it! If you're not sure what to say to support planetary exploration, I hope you'll be inspired by what I've transcribed from my phone call this afternoon.

Pounding the Pavement in Congress, Together

A coalition of grassroots pro-space advocates descended on Washington, D.C. this week, and held over 100 meetings with representatives and staff throughout Congress to argue for increased investment in NASA.

A Note on the State of Planetary Science

Heidi Hammel, the Chair of the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Science, reacts to the recent budget news and the uncertain future for planetary science at NASA.

Continued Victories for Planetary Exploration

Pat yourself on the back. Planetary exploration will be more vibrant in 2014 thanks to you. More than fifty thousand messages were sent to Congress this year, and they listened, adding back a significant amount of money in the 2014 Omnibus spending bill.

Congress to NASA: Don't You Dare Steal Money Away from Planetary Science Again

Congress scolded NASA for abusing its operating plan to remove money from Planetary Science last year, giving them a warning to not try that again.

NASA’s New Planetary Mission Woes

NASA’s planetary science program depends on regular missions to solar system bodies to gather data. A combination of budget cuts and previous commitments to develop missions currently in the pipeline means that development of follow on missions may slow to a crawl. Van Kane looks at the current situation and NASA’s plans and then look at options the agency may consider if budgets remain tight into the next decade.

The Sorry State of Planetary Science Funding In One Chart

If you want to know why Cassini might be terminated early, or why NASA pulled out of its joint Mars mission with Europe, or why the new ASRG power source was put on indefinite hold, this chart has your answer.

An Open Letter to President Barack Obama

Bill Nye writes President Obama arguing that the President should embrace a bold future of planetary exploration.

What's Going on With Planetary Science Research?

Budget cuts mixed with a new way to fund science could disproportionately impact the next generation of planetary scientists.

NASA Just Cancelled its Advanced Spacecraft Power Program

The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Program (ASRG) was just cancelled by NASA. This was to be the saving grace for Plutonium-238 availability, as it was a much more efficient way to generate electricity than classic RTG systems.

Will We Lose Cassini’s "New" Mission at Saturn to Budget Cuts?

NASA’s shrinking budgets for planetary exploration may force it to decide between continued funding for the Saturn Cassini mission and the continued funding for its Mars missions.

Announcement for DPS 2013: New plan for "Agency Night" features...me!

I'll be representing The Planetary Society on a quickly-replanned panel at tomorrow's Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Agency Night, in the absence of any representatives from federal funding agencies.

NASA's MAVEN Mission Spared from Shutdown

Launch preparations will resume for NASA's MAVEN spacecraft, due to launch to Mars on November 18th. Work had previously been suspended, potentially causing the spacecraft to miss its once-every-26-month launch opportunity.

Our Debt to NASA - Fighting the Pernicious Myth of NASA as Unnecessary

A recent article in the NY Times Sunday Magazine highlights how the pernicious myth of NASA as wasteful spending perpetuates through our culture.

NASA Backs Off From Additional Planetary Cuts in 2013

The final operating plan for the space agency provided $75 million more to planetary exploration than initially proposed.

Finally, an FY13 NASA Planetary Budget, Just 11 Months Late

The final news for NASA's Planetary Science program is better than had been proposed, but still a substantial cut over the previous year. There may be serious future consequences as a result of the smaller program.

August Advocacy Update: Where We Stand

Planetary exploration sees strong support from both parties in the current budget process, but we have a long way to go before a budget is passed this year.

House Committee Approves Smallest NASA Budget Since 1986

This budget, if enacted, would be the smallest budget NASA has seen since the mid '80s, when adjusted for inflation.

If we started today, how long would it take to get to Mars? With this budget, never.

The House of Representatives held a hearing today to discuss their proposed NASA authorization bill, which would fund Planetary Science, cut Earth Science, forbid asteroid retrieval, and command NASA to pursue a path to Mars via the Moon.

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