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

How the European Space Agency Does Planetary Defense

Defending the planet from the hazard of potential asteroid impacts requires investments from the whole world. In Europe, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Union both support work to understand and mitigate the threats from near-Earth objects.

How NASA's Planetary Defense Budget Grew By More Than 4000% in 10 years

NASA used to spend more on travel for its employees at headquarters than it did on finding dangerous near-Earth asteroids. Now it’s building asteroid-hunting space telescopes. What changed?

The State of Planetary Defense

Vishnu Reddy delivers a sober but hopeful report on our understanding of near-Earth objects, their dangers, and our readiness.

The September Equinox 2019 Issue of The Planetary Report Is Out!

A new issue of The Planetary Report brings you our pride in the success of LightSail 2 and our gratitude to our members for making it happen. Plus Venus science from Akatsuki and Venus Express, and the status of planetary defense.

Here's How the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will Revolutionize Small-Body Science

The LSST is expected to increase the number of known small bodies by more than a factor of 10.

What to expect when Hayabusa2 collects a sample from Ryugu

More than 4 years after launch and a half year surveying asteroid Ryugu, Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft is ready for sample collection.

Flying By Home

Vicky Hamilton explores how OSIRIS-REx used its Earth flyby to test instruments on the way to asteroid Bennu.

News brief: OSIRIS-REx finds water on Bennu

OSIRIS-REx team members held a press briefing today at the 2018 American Geophysical Union meeting, and announced that the mission has already found water on asteroid Bennu.

Planetary Society asteroid hunters help find rare type of double asteroid

A global team of astronomers has found a rare type of asteroid, where two equal-mass objects circle each other in a never-ending dance as they hurtle through the solar system.

Announcing the 2018 Shoemaker NEO Grant Winners

Seven very advanced amateur astronomers will help find, track, and characterize near Earth asteroids.

Hayabusa2 has detected Ryugu!

In a milestone for the mission, JAXA's Hayabusa2 sample return spacecraft has sighted its destination, asteroid Ryugu.

Favorite Astro Plots #1: Asteroid orbital parameters

This is the first in a series of posts in which scientists share favorite planetary science plots. For my #FaveAstroPlot, I explain what you can see when you look at how asteroid orbit eccentricity and inclination vary with distance from the Sun.

Proposals to Explore the Solar System’s Smallest Worlds

Van Kane rounds up some of the latest NASA Discovery mission proposals aiming to explore our solar system's smallest bodies.

Five steps to prevent asteroid impacts

For Asteroid Day, Bruce Betts reviews 5 steps needed to prevent asteroid impacts, as well as how The Planetary Society is involved in those.

Shoemaker NEO Grant Winners Announced: Saving the World

The six winners of the 2015 Shoemaker NEO Grants will use the grants to upgrade their observatories to improve their abilities to study potentially dangerous asteroids.

PROCYON update: Asteroid 2000 DP107 target selected, ion engine stopped

PROCYON (PRoximate Object Close flYby with Optical Navigation) is a microsatellite that launched on December 3 as a secondary payload with Hayabusa2. The mission has now selected their asteroid flyby target -- a binary asteroid named 2000 DP107 -- but is reporting a problem with their ion engines.

Revitalized 0.81m telescope studying properties of NEOs

Thanks to a new focal reducer and re-aluminized mirror from a Shoemaker NEO grant, a 0.81-meter telescope in Italy is performing astrometric follow-up observations and physical studies of asteroids.

How Do We Know When We Have Collected a Sample of Bennu?

A huge amount of effort goes into deciding where to try to collect a sample on Bennu. There are roughly nine months to survey, map and model the asteroid to help make this decision.

Camera now measuring even fainter Near-Earth Objects

Camera purchased with the support of a 2009 Shoemaker NEO Grant is now on a new telescope providing follow-up measurements for even fainter near-Earth objects.

Sky survey grant helps lead to a space science career

Quan-Zhi Ye was an 18 year-old college student and the principal investigator of the Lulin Sky Survey when he won a 2007 Shoemaker NEO grant. He's now a Ph.D. candidate and provides an update on his work in meteor studies.

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