On the Issues

Together with our members, The Planetary Society is the world's most influential independent space advocacy group. Our priorities reflect the passions of our global membership: planetary exploration, advancing the search for life, and planetary defense from near-Earth objects.

Where We Stand

Peaceful, curiosity-driven space exploration is one of humanity's noblest and most inspiring ambitions. We are driven by the desire to know ourselves and where we came from, the urge to peer into the unknown, and to cultivate human ingenuity to push farther out beyond Earth. The Planetary Society is dedicated to the expansion of human knowledge by the careful study of the cosmos, and we believe this should be prioritized by all space-faring nations.

For further details, see our Space Policy & Advocacy Principles >>

The search for life should be a prime organizing science principle of our exploration efforts. The discovery of life beyond Earth, particularly in the form of extant life within the Solar System, would be nothing short of a scientific revolution in our lifetimes.

The Planetary Society believes that we must increase investment in astrobiology and technosignature research, coordinate efforts across all relevant science disciplines and nations, and also ensure proper respect and protection of other planetary bodies to preserve the scientific integrity of any potential biosignatures.

For further details, see our Space Policy & Advocacy Principles >>

Asteroids and comets passing near the orbit of Earth are a low-probability, high-impact risk. A collision could cause immeasurable human suffering and potentially threaten our species' survival. The Planetary Society believes that every nation in the world should contribute to coordinated, global near-Earth object (NEO) searches and deflection technology development.

For further details, see our Space Policy & Advocacy Principles >>

Humanity must extend its presence beyond Earth orbit and do so in a sustainable manner.

The Planetary Society strongly supports a global, science-driven human exploration effort that returns humans to the Moon and then to Mars. The scientific community should be involved at the earliest stages to ensure significant scientific return, and NASA and its commercial and international partners should commit to a milestone-based plan so the public can properly evaluate progress toward this historic goal.

For further details, see our Human Spaceflight Principles >>

The Planetary Society believes that private and commercial approaches to spaceflight can incentivize cost savings, speed innovation, and increase access to space. We believe the public benefits from a vibrant commercial space industry, and we approach this dynamic and growing sector with a spirit of optimism and opportunity.

We also believe that commercial and private spaceflight activities deserve fair government oversight, both to enable growth and to represent the public interest.

For further details, see our Commercial Spaceflight Principles >>

The Planetary Society recommends that the Biden Administration consider NASA as a unique tool to grow the U.S. economy, enhance its manufacturing base, nurture its skilled workforce, and strengthen the nation's international alliances.

Read our full set of recommendations to the Biden Administration >>

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What We're Fighting For

Our dedicated policy staff advocate every day to lawmakers, space agency leadership, and other key decision-makers around the world. Our U.S. members do their part by taking action online and advocating directly to their members of Congress in Washington, D.C. during our annual Day of Action.  While the details change, our themes remain the same. Here's what we fight for:

Planetary exploration creates opportunities for peaceful, collaborative, and inspiring scientific projects accessible to all humankind.

But planetary exploration doesn't just happen. We work to increase the resources available to NASA's Planetary Science and Astrophysics Divisions, and we support policies to prioritize astrobiology, fundamental research, and cutting-edge technology development.

Learn more about how we enable planetary exploration >>

We support funding increases and policies that enable a broad, cross-disciplinary effort to seek out the signs of life in our Solar System and beyond.

We work to ensure missions like Europa Clipper, Mars Sample Return, and the Roman Space Telescope have the resources they need to seek out life in their missions, and to better understand the origin of life here on Earth.

Learn more about how we support the search for life >>

We must actively and thoroughly search for near-Earth objects, and prepare the technology necessary to deflect one, if necessary, from impact. We fight for funding for NASA's nascent Planetary Defense Coordination Office and for projects like NEO Surveyor, a space-based telescope that could find tens of thousands of NEOs in the next next decade.

Learn more about how we help defend Earth >>

NASA is the largest space agency in the world. Its partnerships with other national space agencies means that NASA's direction has a global impact. The more resources NASA has, the more NASA can do, and the more science and exploration we can get.

The Planetary Society is advocating for a "5 over 5" plan for the current administration: annual budget increases of at least 5%, split between science and human spaceflight.

Learn more about NASA's budget >>

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