The Planetary Society Statement on the 2022 Planetary Decadal Survey

Society President Bethany Ehlmann: “This is an ambitious, inspirational, and pragmatic plan for NASA.”

Press Statement
April 20, 2022

Danielle Gunn
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +1-626-793-5100

Pasadena, CA (April 20, 2022) — The Planetary Society, the world’s largest independent space interest organization, issued the following statement in response to the publication of Origins, Worlds, and Life, A Decadal Strategy for Planetary Science and Astrobiology 2023 - 2032.

    The new decadal survey proposes an ambitious, exciting, and potentially revolutionary program of planetary exploration. It presents the nation with new exploratory challenges that, if pursued, would push our technological and scientific capabilities to new heights.

    This report was written by the planetary science, astrobiology, and engineering communities, and reflects their consensus opinion. Hundreds of papers and presentations from thousands of scientists and supporters were submitted and considered, including two by The Planetary Society.

    The decadal survey prioritizes addressing the mysteries that still remain in our own cosmic backyard. For example, studying Uranus will improve our understanding of giant planets in our own solar system and in exoplanetary systems, Mars Sample Return will unlock ancient secrets preserved in 4-billion-year old rocks, and the Near-Earth Object (NEO) Surveyor will seek out thousands of asteroids and comets that could pose a threat to Earth. The report also recommends critical investments to build and maintain a diverse and productive scientific workforce and to make science central in the efforts of the human exploration program.

    These are values and goals shared by The Planetary Society, which is dedicated to the promotion of planetary exploration, the search for life, and planetary defense.

    The Planetary Society intends to vigorously support the priorities in the planetary decadal survey and will rally its members to help secure the funding needed to pursue the recommended program.

    Dr. Bethany Ehlmann, President of The Planetary Society, added:

    "The decadal survey is the definitive voice for highest priority science objectives for planetary science and for the search for life. This particular survey is an ambitious, inspirational, and pragmatic plan for NASA that The Planetary Society looks forward to working to help realize. I hope our members are as excited as we are about the proposals for space exploration and planetary defense included in this plan."

    About The Planetary Society

    With a global community of more than 2 million space enthusiasts, The Planetary Society is the world’s largest and most influential space advocacy organization. Founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman and today led by CEO Bill Nye, we empower the public to take a meaningful role in advancing space exploration through advocacy, education outreach, scientific innovation, and global collaboration. Together with our members and supporters, we’re on a mission to explore worlds, find life off Earth, and protect our planet from dangerous asteroids. To learn more, visit