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The Planetary Report • March/April 2006

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Arrives

On the Cover: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has arrived! This powerful spacecraft is capable of returning 10 times as much data as all previous Mars missions combined. Because every new look at the Red Planet has been full of surprises, our view of this neighboring world is in for some dramatic changes. This image of the Acidalia/Mare Erythraeum face of Mars was compiled from images taken by Mars Global Surveyor’s Mars Orbiter Camera in January 2005.
NASA / JPL-Caltech / Malin Space Science Systems


6 On to Pluto! New Horizons Heads Off to Explore the New Frontier: John Spencer witnessed the long-awaited launch and shares some of his experiences.

8 Stardust@Home: You Can Help Find Particles from Distant Suns! Faced with trying to find only a few dozen microscopic particles in 1000 square cm of gel, scientist Andrew Westphal thought to call on the public to help.

12 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter: The Next Step in Mars Exploration: Project Manager Jim Graf and Project Scientist Rich Zurek explain what we can expect from this next generation Mars orbiter.

18 Annual Report to Our Members: Neil deGrasse Tyson summarizes 2005, the 25th anniversary of The Planetary Society.


3 Members' Dialogue Society priorities; space mission drama

4 We Make it Happen! Pioneer data saved!

17 World Watch NASA's FY2007 budget

20 Q&A The fate of Saturn's rings, Deep Impact, and Comet Tempel 1 

22 Society News ISDC, Comet Crater contest winners, and Postcards from Venus winners

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Bill Nye and people
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