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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.).

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What's Going on With Planetary Science Research?
2013/12/04 01:44 CST | 5 comment

Budget cuts mixed with a new way to fund science could disproportionately impact the next generation of planetary scientists. More »

Call Your Representatives, Save Our Science
2013/11/22 10:56 CST | 1 comment

I called one of my Senators earlier today. Before that I called my representative. It was pretty easy. More »

NASA Just Cancelled its Advanced Spacecraft Power Program
2013/11/15 04:06 CST | 32 comment

The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Program (ASRG) was just cancelled by NASA. This was to be the saving grace for Plutonium-238 availability, as it was a much more efficient way to generate electricity than classic RTG systems. More »

Will We Lose Cassini’s "New" Mission at Saturn to Budget Cuts?
2013/11/12 06:26 CST | 5 comment

NASA’s shrinking budgets for planetary exploration may force it to decide between continued funding for the Saturn Cassini mission and the continued funding for its Mars missions. More »

We Need You to Stand Up for Planetary Exploration
2013/11/08 12:39 CST | 1 comment

Congress and the White House are making decisions that impact funding for NASA's Planetary Exploration missions. We need to tell them that YES we are paying attention and care about the future of exploration. More »

Power From the Isotopes
2013/10/29 01:21 CDT | 2 comment

We report on the current state of Plutonium-238 production in the United States, a crucial fuel source for planetary exploration spacecraft. More »

NASA's MAVEN Mission Spared from Shutdown
2013/10/03 04:40 CDT | 7 comment

Launch preparations will resume for NASA's MAVEN spacecraft, due to launch to Mars on November 18th. Work had previously been suspended, potentially causing the spacecraft to miss its once-every-26-month launch opportunity. More »

[Updated] A Government Shutdown Could Delay MAVEN's Launch to Mars
2013/09/30 05:17 CDT | 2 comment

NASA confirmed that a government shutdown could affect pre-launch processing of the MAVEN spacecraft, currently scheduled to launch to Mars on November 18th. More »

Plutonium-238 is Crucial for Space Exploration – and it's Running Out
2013/09/20 11:29 CDT | 3 comment

Plutonium-238 provides electricity to deep space missions, but NASA only has a little bit left. A new article in Wired highlights the disastrous consequences of no plutonium for use in space, something the Planetary Society is currently fighting for in Washington, D.C. More »

NASA Backs Off From Additional Planetary Cuts in 2013
2013/09/01 03:44 CDT | 5 comment

The final operating plan for the space agency provided $75 million more to planetary exploration than initially proposed. More »

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Official Response to the 2015 NASA Budget Proposal

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 >>

 

Continued Cuts for Planetary Science

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 >>

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