Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
A Comet or Titan: The Next New Frontiers Mission
Both would do compelling science in the mid-2030s. Otherwise the two missions could not be more different.
Meet VOX, a proposed mission to uncover the secrets of Venus
Van Kane brings us newly released details of the Venus Origins eXplorer (VOX), one of NASA's 12 New Frontiers mission proposals.
Here's what we know about the 12 proposals for NASA's next New Frontiers mission
NASA officials are in the process of selecting the agency’s next planetary science mission from a field of 12 competitors.
How we would explore Uranus or Neptune
One fact dominates the planning for any mission to Uranus or Neptune: They lie far from the sun. A newly released NASA report looks at how we can explore these icy giants.
Explorer of Enceladus and Titan
For the third time in less than a decade, scientists have proposed a multiple-flyby mission to explore the habitability of Saturn’s ocean moons Titan and Enceladus.
Lucy and Psyche Asteroid Missions
Last week, NASA selected its thirteenth and fourteenth missions in its low cost Discovery program.
Countdown to the Next NASA Discovery Mission Selection
If NASA’s managers hold to their schedule, we will learn sometime this month what NASA’s next planetary mission will be.
Selecting the Next New Frontiers Mission
NASA’s managers have begun the process for a competition to select a new planetary mission to launch in the mid-2020s that will address one of the most important questions in planetary science.
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?
Defining the Missions for the Ocean Worlds
At a recent meeting of an advisory group for NASA, the Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science (CAPS), Jim Green, the head of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, and Barry Goldstein from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, provided updates on plans to explore our solar system's ocean worlds.
Challenges to Enabling a Richer Planetary Exploration Program
This past week brought to the fore two challenges for NASA’s managers as they try to enable the richest possible mix of coming planetary missions. At stake are whether the agency will be able to select two Discovery missions from the current competition, and whether there will be the possibility of a mission selected for Enceladus and/or Titan in the next decade.
NASA's New Budget Would Gut Europa But Otherwise Support Planetary Exploration
It’s clear that the President’s budget officers really don’t want to fund a mission to Europa. Other than that, the proposed Fiscal Year 2017 budget submitted by the President last week to Congress would be great for planetary exploration.
Europa Budget Bulge
Van Kane explains how the key development for NASA’s mission to Europa will be an agreement on how the agency plans to accommodate the monetary bulge that will come from funding the mission.
A Lander for NASA’s Europa Mission
While there’s at least eight years until it launches, this has been a pivotal year for developing NASA’s Europa mission.
InSight's Problems: Possible Impacts
Van Kane details the potential repercussions of the launch delay of InSight Mars lander on the rest of NASA's Discovery mission program.
New Concepts to Explore the Jovian System
Last year, NASA’s managers invited the European Space Agency to propose a small spacecraft to explore the Jovian system. Van Kane describes the recently-posted results of ESA's concept studies for two possible missions.
Van Kane rounds up the missions selected to move onto the next round in NASA's Discovery proposal process.
Searching for the Origins of Earth’s Water
Three recently proposed low-cost space missions all aim to answer the same question: Where did Earth's abundant water come from?
IceBreaker: The Search for Life on Mars
The IceBreaker mission, proposed to NASA's Discovery program for low-cost missions, would seek out life on the northern plains of Mars.
Outer Planet News
NASA's Outer Planet Analysis Group is currently meeting to hear the agency's current plans and to provide the feedback of the scientific community on those plans.