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

Challenges to Enabling a Richer Planetary Exploration Program

This past week brought to the fore two challenges for NASA’s managers as they try to enable the richest possible mix of coming planetary missions. At stake are whether the agency will be able to select two Discovery missions from the current competition, and whether there will be the possibility of a mission selected for Enceladus and/or Titan in the next decade.

[Updated] An Extraordinary Budget for NASA in 2016

Congress's plan to fund the U.S. government in 2016 includes a stellar $1.3 billion increase for NASA over last year, nearly $730 million above the President's request.

A New Budget Deal and a Best Case NASA Budget for 2016

The promise of a congressional budget deal could free up additional resources for NASA. What would a best case scenario look like, and is it possible within the deal?

President Obama Highlights Planetary Science Triumphs

At the White House Astronomy Night, President Obama highlighted some of the major triumphs of NASA and its planetary science program. Yet his 2016 budget calls for further cuts to the program.

Zero Dollars for 2016: Two Stalwart Planetary Missions Face a Troubling Future

In its 2016 budget request, the White House inexplicably proposed to end two active, scientifically productive planetary missions: the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

[Updated] The United States of Space Advocates

See which states have the highest number of space advocates writing Congress and the White House to support planetary exploration.

An August Moment to Check in on NASA’s Budget and Future

It’s August. Congress is out of session. Things are quiet. It’s as good a time as any to check in on several issues we’ve been following here at the Society, particularly with NASA’s budget prospects for the year and the future of human spaceflight policy.

The Senate Appropriations Committee�s FY 2016 CJS Bill

Congress has made good progress so far this year in moving the annual appropriations bills that fund the government. However, a looming budget battle over the sequestration and budget caps threaten to sideline progress until Congress and the White House reach agreement. Here’s the current situation.

[Upated] House of Representatives Voting on NASA's 2016 Budget Today

NASA's 2016 budget is up for a major vote in the House of Representatives today, but it's just a step on the long road to a final budget in the fall.

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.

[Updated] House NASA Funding Bill Proposes a Fantastic Budget for Planetary Science

The House Appropriations Committee released their vision for NASA's 2016 budget this week, which includes significant increases for the SLS and Planetary Science, but cuts Commercial Crew and Earth Science funds.

[Updated] Good Planetary Support in A Flawed NASA Bill

Casey Dreier gives a brief summary of the House draft bill released the other day that would authorize NASA funding for the years 2016 and 2017.

Slides from the LPSC 2015 Session on the Community Response to NASA's Budget Request

The Planetary Society helped organize a community response to the latest NASA budget at the 2015 meeting of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

Is the Opportunity Rover a Mission 'Whose Time Has Passed'?

The NASA Administrator declared that the Opportunity rover is a mission 'whose time has passed' and will be defunded next year. Will Congress act to save it?

A First Time for Everything: Blitzing Congress for Space

There is a first time for everything. Riding a bike, stargazing, and yes, even lobbying Congress. Jack Kiraly describes his first Legislative Blitz with Michael Briganti and Casey Dreier on Capitol Hill last week.

Space Advocates Descend on Capitol Hill

The Space Exploration Alliance wrapped up its most recent 'legislative blitz' last week. Nearly 70 individuals participated in the democratic process, speaking to nearly 168 difference offices in Congress. Nearly half of those individuals were Planetary Society members.

Highlights from our reddit Space Policy AMA

The space policy and advocacy team at The Planetary Society held an AMA (ask me anything) on reddit, here are some of the highlights.

Why We Write to Congress

It's time to write to Congress in support of planetary exploration. Why? Because it works.

2016 Budget: Great Policy Document and Much Better Budget Plan

Van Kane gives a summary of the 53-page proposed Fiscal Year 2016 NASA Planetary Science budget.

NASA Budget Lists Timelines, Costs and Risks for First SLS Flight

NASA will set the Space Launch System's inaugural flight date at the end of this year, according to the agency's 2016 budget request, which was released on Monday.

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