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.
Five (Earth) years ago today, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity landed in a dramatic fashion on the surface of the Red Planet. We look back at a mission that advanced humanity's understanding of Mars and provided a priceless return on a modest investment.
The Space Policy and Advocacy team has released its first in a series of regular program updates on our activities, actions, and priorities in our effort to promote space science and exploration in Washington, D.C.
The President signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017, funding the U.S. government for the remainder of the fiscal year. NASA got a boost to $19.65 billion, and its Planetary Science Division saw a budget increase to $1.846 billion—its best budget in more than ten years.
Last week, the planetary science community lost Nathan Bridges, a leading scientist whose work studied how wind sculpts the surface of Mars. Nathan was a prolific scientist involved in many Mars exploration missions, a charter member of The Planetary Society, a friend, husband, and father.
NASA under a Trump Administration will be hard times for Earth Science, and human spaceflight to the Moon will likely get renewed focus. However, NASA won't go anywhere if massive cuts to spending are enacted as promised.