Political Advocacy - Save Our Science!
We are at a crucial turning point in planetary exploration.
After a decade of success with Cassini at Saturn, the twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity, and the take-your-breath-away excitement of the skycrane landing of Curiosity on Mars, NASA's planetary exploration program was rewarded with budget cuts that seriously impair NASA's ability to explore the Solar System.
The White House proposed deep cuts to Planetary Science in 2013 and 2014. But due to overwhelming public support, Congress rejected the full cuts each time.
Now, for the third year in a row, the White House has proposed to cut Planetary Science. A mission to Europa seems possible, but NASA has not yet committed. We need to make this vision a reality. Take a minute and send your representatives a message (or write the President if you're outside the U.S.).
Recovery. Peak. Collapse. Planetary Science from 1990 - 2014
2014/09/11 12:25 CDT | 4 comments
The history of planetary exploration repeats itself starting with a resurgent program in the 90s and 2000s that launched a new fleet of planetary spacecraft. Like our first story, this great success rewarded by deep budget cuts. More »
Growth. Peak. Collapse. Planetary exploration from 1959 - 1989
2014/09/08 11:24 CDT | 4 comments
The first three decades of planetary exploration tell a story that sounds all-too-familiar to modern day space advocates. Growth, peak, and then collapse of hard-earned capability. This is the story of planetary science for the first half of its existence. More »
Curiosity Rover Science Plan Slammed by NASA Review Panel
2014/09/03 01:55 CDT | 19 comments
Senior review recommends continuing all major planetary exploration missions, but not without some changes. More »
The Rise and Fall (and Rise and Fall) of Planetary Exploration Funding
2014/08/29 02:06 CDT | 5 comments
NASA has explored the solar system since the 1960s, but it has rarely been the top priority for the space agency. Jason Callahan breaks down how planetary science has been funded over the years within NASA's larger budget. More »
Watch Bill Nye and Special Guests in The Lure of Europa
2014/08/04 09:21 CDT
We've posted the full video of our Washington, D.C. event exploring the lure of Europa, the moon of Jupiter with more liquid water than the Earth. More »
[Updated]: NASA Selects 7 Science Instruments for its Next Mars Rover
2014/07/31 01:16 CDT | 12 comments
Seven science instruments will help the Mars 2020 rover identify biosignatures and understand the history of the rocks it encounters on the surface of the red planet. More »
NASA Announces the Suite of Science Instruments on its Next Mars Rover Today
2014/07/31 04:13 CDT
Today marks the unveiling of the suite of science instruments that will travel to Mars to look for signs of past life and help determine samples to store for possible return to Earth. The next rover mission will launch in 2020. More »
The Planetary Society cannot fully support this budget. While there are some positive aspects, the request imposes unacceptable cuts to the Science Mission Directorate that damage the immediate and long-term health of some of NASA's most successful programs, particularly planetary exploration. If this budget is passed unchanged, there will be fewer planetary missions in development by 2019 than at any point in the past few decades. Read the Full Statement >>
See the sorry trend of cuts pursued by the White House since 2013, which have reduced the number of missions to explore the solar system. View the Chart >>
Current Planetary Funding Level
Currently funded at $1.345 billion for FY14, below minimum.