Our Goal:

Increase discoveries about the worlds of our Solar System and beyond.

  • Build public support for planetary science and exploration.
  • Encourage decision-makers to prioritize continual progression of human and robotic exploration.
  • Support scientific and technological advances in planetary exploration.

The Challenge

Space is hard, and exploration takes a long time.

When a government decides to take on a project like returning samples from the surface of Mars or sending a probe to Jupiter’s moons, it doesn’t happen overnight. From planning a mission to building, launching, and operating spacecraft, missions like these take decades to accomplish. They need decades of sustained funding.

Although private companies are increasingly active in space, funding for space exploration still mostly comes from governments. This means that elected representatives of the public make decisions about spending on space exploration and about which missions to undertake. It’s important to make sure that government decision-makers and the people they represent understand the value of space exploration and support the investments needed to make great discoveries.

Missions to explore other worlds also depend on advanced technologies and cutting-edge science, as well as international cooperation and collaboration. With the right investments and the world’s best minds working together, we can ensure a bright future for space exploration.

As a public citizen, your voice is critical in fueling and sustaining these efforts.

What We're Doing

Writing postcards to space
Writing postcards to space Space enthusiasts on the National Mall write on postcards that will be sent to space and returned to them as part of The Planetary Society's "Postcards to Space" program with Blue Origin's Club for the Future.Image: Jason Dixon for The Planetary Society

Education and Public Outreach

We help more people get excited about space science and exploration.

Society members from California advocate for space in the 2020 Day of Action
Society members from California advocate for space in the 2020 Day of Action Planetary Society members traveled across the country to advocate for space with their congressional offices.Image: Antonio Peronace for The Planetary Society

Policy and Advocacy

We demonstrate ongoing public support for space exploration, as well as during key moments like when funding for a mission is in jeopardy and when NASA’s budget is being determined.

  • We rally our members and supporters advocate for space missions through petitions and letters, emails, and phone calls to government.
  • We organize an annual Day of Action in which our members meet with their representatives in Congress and speak in person about their support for important space policy issues.
  • We inform and educate government decision-makers about important and relevant space topics.
  • We provide space policy analysis, white papers, and statements of support or opposition.
  • We organize events on Capitol Hill to educate legislators on key space science and policy topics and helped form the first-ever Planetary Science Caucus which unites members of Congress from both parties who are passionate about the scientific exploration of space.
LightSail 2 artist concept with Earth behind
LightSail 2 artist concept with Earth behind Artist's concept of LightSail 2 above Earth.Image: Josh Spradling / The Planetary Society

Science and Technology

We lead crowdfunding campaigns to financially support space science research and the development of innovative space exploration technologies.

  • We identify novel, underfunded areas of research and technology to advance through donations from our supporters—like LightSail, our solar sailing spacecraft mission.
  • We partner with institutions to fund important, cutting-edge research through donations from our supporters.
Star Party at Sunset
Inspiring young minds Planetary Society members host star parties all over the world.

Global Collaboration

We connect with planetary exploration experts from around the world to strengthen our work and support international exploration efforts.

  • Our 50,000+ international membership makes us the largest, independent space advocacy organization in the world.
  • We participate in international meetings such as the International Astronautical Congress, AAS's Division for Planetary Science Annual Meeting, International Symposium for Solar Sailing, and many more.
  • We partner with global outreach organizations like World Space Week and Yuri’s Night.

Latest Articles on Planetary Exploration

Mars Microphone Ready for Duty

The Planetary Society's Mars Microphone is on board the Mars Polar Lander, and as far as we can tell, in good shape.

The 1999 Gene Shoemaker NEO Grant Recipients

In 1999, The Planetary Society awarded $28,000 (US) to an international group of researchers in support of near-Earth asteroid detection and characterization efforts.

Latest Round of Mars Microphone Tests Successful

The Mars Microphone has successfully gone through its latest round of testing in preparation for launch on the Mars Surveyor spacecraft in January 1999.

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Educational Resources

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Inside the Mars 2020 Rover Clean Room Emily Lakdawalla guides a detailed, technical tour of the Perseverance rover in the JPL clean room.

What Is A Planet?

It's right there in our name: The Planetary Society. But what is a planet? This seemingly simple question is the subject of much debate.

The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

The Planetary Society’s Bruce Murray Space Image Library is a unique collection of photos and videos from the world’s space agencies, as well as artwork, diagrams, and amateur-processed space images, many of which are not available elsewhere.