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

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.

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.

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.

Programming note

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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