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Casey's Blog

The Politics of Space

with Casey Dreier

Space exploration doesn't just happen—it is made through the decisions of government, budgets, policy documents, and by individuals and industries. It reflects the needs and realities of politics, and understanding how, where, and why these decisions get made are crucial to influencing them. Space exploration is for all of us, and unless all of us know the process, it will inevitably be driven by the very few. Casey Dreier, The Planetary Society's Director of Advocacy, writes this blog.

SpaceX and the Blank Slate

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2016/09/28 10:20 CDT | 13 comments

SpaceX's plans to colonize Mars differ considerably from NASA's Journey to Mars ambitions. But direct comparison is difficult. SpaceX is able to wipe the slate clean and start fresh with a bold new approach to humans in space. NASA has no such luxury, and must use existing pieces and people to make their goals a reality.

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New Findings are Conclusive: Europa is crying out for exploration

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2016/09/26 01:36 CDT | 19 comments

New scientific findings add to the evidence that Europa is spouting its liquid ocean into space. NASA has a mission to Europa in the works, but it wouldn't launch for at least a decade. Congress can make it faster, but it all depends on whether they can pass a budget this year.

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Promise, Transition, and Transformation

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2016/09/19 07:22 CDT | 4 comments

After 10 days, four NASA centers, two contractors, and hundreds of miles, Casey Dreier shares his initial reflections on the state of NASA's Space Launch System rocket and its future.

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The House Makes its Counteroffer on NASA’s Budget

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2016/05/24 01:22 CDT | 8 comments

Commerce, Justice, and Science—the House of Representatives’ subcommittee that oversees NASA spending—just released details on how they would fund the space agency in 2017. Overall, the news for the space program is very good.

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Lockheed Proposes to have Humans Orbiting Mars by 2028

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2016/05/19 05:30 CDT | 7 comments

Lockheed Martin proposed a system to send humans to orbit Mars in the year 2028—a concept that shares many core values with The Planetary Society's report, Humans Orbiting Mars, we released last year.

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What NASA Can Learn from SpaceX

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2016/04/28 11:42 CDT | 23 comments

SpaceX's announcement that it will send Dragon capsules to Mars demonstrates the advantage of having a clear plan to explore the red planet. NASA should take note.

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The Senate Just Proposed to Slash Planetary Science Funding

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2016/04/26 01:54 CDT | 2 comments

The Senate has released its draft of NASA's 2017 budget which, despite increasing NASA's top-line by $300 million, would cut $270 million from the Planetary Science Division. Here's why we shouldn't worry—yet.

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Does Presidential Intervention Undermine Consensus for NASA?

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2016/04/13 05:54 CDT | 14 comments

Presidents induce polarization on topics they choose to promote. So is the best way for a President to promote consensus in NASA to speak quietly?

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Data Dump: NASA's Planetary Science Program By the Numbers

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2016/02/16 08:58 CST | 3 comments

We provide you the gritty budget breakdown by program and mission for NASA's Planetary Science Division.

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First Details of the 2017 NASA Budget Request

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2016/02/09 12:33 CST | 2 comments

There are few surprises in the Obama Administration's final budget proposal for NASA, though some progress is made in critical areas like science funding and NASA's overall funding.

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