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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.

Orion Completes Critical In-Flight Abort Test

The test showed Orion can blast itself away from the Space Launch System if the big rocket fails while attempting to fly to orbit.

A Crash Program or Modest Proposal?

The White House released a long-awaited supplemental budget request for NASA today. It proposes an additional $1.6 billion for an accelerated human spaceflight effort to land on the Moon in 2024. This boosts the President's budget request for NASA to $22.6 billion in fiscal year 2020, which is approximately $1.1 billion or 5% more than the amount provided by Congress last year.

What Can We Learn from a Failed Return to the Moon?

Thirty years ago, President George H.W. Bush announced an ambitious program to return humans to the Moon. It failed. Today the Trump Administration wants the same thing. Can a failed lunar return effort help this one succeed?

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.”

T-minus Five Years and Counting

Can NASA really return astronauts to the Moon by 2024?

NASA unveiled new plans for getting humans to Mars, and hardly anyone noticed

NASA revealed its most concrete plan yet for sending humans back into deep space, centered around a small lunar space station and a reusable transport ship to carry astronauts to Mars and back.

Let's talk about this whole Moon vs. Mars thing for human spaceflight

NASA's current human spaceflight goal is Mars, but the Trump administration could change that to the Moon. Is that a good idea? Here's an in-depth look at the differences in science gain, the arguments for and against a potential commercial market, and whether or not the technological and operational challenges required to reach the Moon apply to Mars.

An international outpost near the Moon gets closer to reality

International Space Station (ISS) project partners are inching ever closer toward an agreement to begin the development of a new human outpost in the vicinity of the Moon. If successful, the cis-lunar space station (a space station in the vicinity of the Moon) will be the largest international space project to date, influencing the direction of human space flight for decades to come.

SpaceX and the Blank Slate

SpaceX's plans to colonize Mars differ considerably from NASA's Journey to Mars ambitions. But direct comparison is difficult. SpaceX is able to wipe the slate clean and start fresh with a bold new approach to humans in space. NASA has no such luxury, and must use existing pieces and people to make their goals a reality.

Watch a test of the world's largest solid rocket booster tomorrow on NASA TV

Tomorrow morning at 10:05 a.m. EDT (14:05 UTC), NASA and Orbital ATK are test-firing the world's largest solid rocket booster in northern Utah. You can follow along live on NASA TV.

Red Dragon and Planetary Exploration

If SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft becomes a standard catalog item that could ordered, the way a launch vehicle is, what might the impact be on planetary exploration?

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

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