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

A Goodbye, But Not Forever, From Emily Lakdawalla

After 19 years, Emily Lakdawalla is leaving The Planetary Society.

Visiting Perseverance During Its Final Week at JPL

An undergraduate physics research student describes her visit to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to see the Perseverance rover before it shipped to Florida for launch.

This Holiday Season, Avoid the Politics and Talk Space Instead

When coming together this holiday season, ditch the politics. Instead, here are 5 conversation topics about space that can inspire and engage everyone.

What Are Your Space Life Goals?

The Planetary Society wants your ideas for building the ultimate list of must-do space experiences.

Why I Explore

I explore space because I like feeling insignificant. I crave a dark night sky that reminds me that our Sun and even our galaxy are not unique. I find comfort in thinking about countless generations of humans looking at the same sky and asking questions similar to the ones I ask.

Chandrayaan-2 Launches for the Moon

Liftoff atop the country’s GSLV Mk III rocket occurred on 22 July at 14:43 IST (09:13 UTC).

How to Send a Camera to Mars

The next Martian explorer, Mars 2020, currently exists as a robotic skeleton at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Teams across the world are working diligently to construct the instruments that will adorn the rover, inside and out, and thereby give it the tools it needs to explore.

In search of ice and fire: Europa analog fieldwork in Iceland, 2018

The terrain of Iceland – the Land of Ice and Fire – has some very interesting similarities to Europa.

The day I caught rocket fever

On February 6, 2018, I found myself shoulder to shoulder with two of my heroes: Bill Nye on the left, Buzz Aldrin on the right. Our eyes were fixed on the first vertical Falcon Heavy rocket. Figuring the world's most powerful rocket might send me flying backwards once the countdown hit zero, I gripped the railing so tightly I started to lose the feeling in my fingertips.

Planetary Society Volunteers are Candles in the Dark

After a bewildering day at AlienCon, a New York Times reporter found hope at The Planetary Society, courtesy of volunteer Sean Marquez.

Programming note

Emily Lakdawalla is on vacation from 1 to 22 July. Jason Davis will reign over the blog in her absence.

Visiting northern Thailand? Be a Stopover Astronomer guest at Thailand’s national astronomy institute

If you are space professional traveling to Thailand, the country's national space science research institute has an opportunity for you!

Seeing InSight

Last week, I received a golden ticket that gave me rare access to a sacred space: the cleanroom facility where NASA's next Mars lander, InSight, is undergoing final preparations for launch.

Speak your science: How to give a better conference talk

Bad presentation often gets in the way of good science. Emily Lakdawalla offers her advice on how to present your scientific work effectively.

Bill Nye and the State of a Polarized Union

Last week, The Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye accepted an invitation by NASA Administrator nominee Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) to join him as his guest at the State of the Union address. We anticipated this would be a controversial decision, and we were right.

These are a few of our favorite things: Top 2017 planetary stories

Looking back on 2017, we here at The Planetary Society are proud of what we have accomplished during this orbit of the Sun. Emily Lakdawalla, Jason Davis, Casey Dreier, and Mat Kaplan reflect on the year that was.

Sharing Space in Australia

The Planetary Society’s 2017 journey to Australia expanded our perspective, advocacy and global community. It was rich with reminders close to Carl Sagan’s heart: We are all connected through time, humankind, and our origins in the stars.

An honor from The Open University

Today in London, Emily Lakdawalla was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of the University by The Open University.

Voyager 40th Anniversary: Summer of '79

Planetary scientist Paul Schenk shares his story of working on the Voyager missions as a JPL intern back in 1979.

Voyager 40th anniversary: Reflecting on the pale blue dot

Today is the 40th anniversary of the launch of Voyager 1. Four decades later, both spacecraft survive, still producing science, still working on their interstellar missions. On the occasion of the anniversary, we revisit Carl Sagan's reflections on the significance of the Voyager missions.

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