Author

All

Keyword

All

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

The Most Important Space Policy Events of the 2010s

The end of the Space Shuttle, the rise of public-private partnerships, and the return to the Moon. As the 2010s come to a close, what were the most impactful events that shaped U.S. space policy?

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.

NASA's Orion spacecraft makes progress, but are the agency's lunar plans on track?

Orion's service module arrived in Florida, but some space industry experts question whether NASA's human spaceflight plans are realistic.

Orion's third flight will haul two pieces of a space station to lunar orbit

NASA is planning for a 30-day mission to lunar orbit in 2024.

Some snark (and details!) about NASA's proposed lunar space station

So long, Deep Space Gateway. You've been replaced with the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway.

We choose to go to the Moon and do the other things

Vice President Mike Pence kicked off the National Space Council's first meeting today by declaring Americans will return to the Moon. Casey Dreier and Jason Davis analyze this new direction for NASA's human spaceflight program.

The anatomy of a delay: Here's a timeline of twists and turns for NASA's SLS and Orion programs

The Space Launch System and Orion won't fly until 2019, and NASA is sticking with its original plan not to include astronauts for the maiden mission. Here is a timeline of some of the programs' major twists and turns over the years.

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.

A repeat of the space shuttle's bold test flight? NASA considers crew aboard first SLS mission

NASA has only flown astronauts aboard a rocket's first flight once, when John Young and Bob Crippen took space shuttle Columbia on the boldest test flight in history. What are the risks of repeating the feat for SLS?

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.

Lockheed Proposes to have Humans Orbiting Mars by 2028

Lockheed Martin proposed a system to send humans to orbit Mars in the year 2028—a concept that shares many core values with The Planetary Society's report, Humans Orbiting Mars, we released last year.

All the way to orbit: After 35 years, is the RS-25 still the Ferrari of rocket engines?

The RS-25 powered the space shuttle for three decades, and will soon be used on the Space Launch System. Is it still the Ferrari of rocket engines? A deep dive on performance, reliability and the politics of rocket science.

In Pictures: Orion Assembled and Shipped to Kennedy Space Center

The shell of NASA's next Orion spacecraft has been welded together and shipped to Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Here's a photo recap of the assembly and transport process.

New Budget Bolsters NASA's Journey to Mars Plans

The recently passed omnibus spending bill directs NASA to work on a new upper stage for the Space Launch System, and begin development on deep space habitat modules.

Orion Service Module Faces Roller Coaster of a Ride in Sandusky

The Orion European Service Module test article has arrived at NASA Glenn Research Center's Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio, where it's being prepared for acoustic and vibration testing.

At NASA's Johnson Space Center, Preparing for the Future of Human Spaceflight

As NASA kicks off a multi-decadal effort to send humans to Mars, the agency's traditional human spaceflight centers have had to adapt to new challenges—often more programmatic than technical.

In Pictures: Orion, SLS Hardware on the Move

November is shaping up to be a busy month for Orion and Space Launch System hardware. A human-rated flight engine is in the test stand at Stennis Space Center, and a version of Orion's service module is getting ready to cross the Atlantic.

SLS Sheds White Paint, Completes Critical Design Review

NASA's Space Launch System officially shed the core stage's white paint job in favor of the vehicle's natural, orange-colored insulation.

NASA's Journey to Mars Report: A Plan to Form a Strategy for a Concept

NASA released a much-anticipated strategy document outlining the agency's next steps for getting humans to Mars, but the report lacks details. What should we make of it?

Orion Enters Fabrication Phase, but Possible Launch Slip Looms

NASA's Orion spacecraft has officially moved from preliminary design to fabrication, but the agency says the first crewed flight of the vehicle could slip two years, from 2021 to 2023.

12 3 >

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

You can increase discoveries in the worlds of our solar system and beyond. When you join The Planetary Society, you help build public support for planetary science, encourage decision makers to prioritize human and robotic exploration, and support technological advances in planetary exploration.

Become A Member