Space exploration doesn't just happen—it is made through the decisions of government, budgets, policy documents, and by individuals and industries. Space exploration is for all of us, but only by understanding the politics of space can we make it happen.
A partial government shutdown has shuttered NASA's operations for at least a week. Critical programs like the International Space Station will continue. This is the third shutdown of 2018 and another pointless disruption for the hardworking men and women at the U.S. space agency.
John Culberson, an 8-term Texas Republican and staunch supporter the search for life on Europa, lost his re-election bid last week. His support for Europa was attacked by opponents and could send a chilling political message about the consequences of supporting space science and exploration.
Space fans will enjoy the movie for its depictions of early spaceflight itself. But it avoids the richness and complexity of human experience, leaving behind awe and joy in favor of an emotional landscape as uninviting as the Moon.
Though progress is being made on Mars Sample Return, a new report from the National Academies recommends NASA have a long-term plan for robotic Mars exploration, and work to ensure communications infrastructure is maintained at the Red Planet. These recommendations largely align with those made by The Planetary Society in a report released in 2017.
The Planetary Society's Space Policy and Advocacy team publishes quarterly reports on their activities, actions, priorities, and goals in service of their efforts to promote space science and exploration in Washington, D.C.