The Planetary Society conditionally supports NASA's plan to capture a small asteroid and place it in lunar orbit. The mission spurs investment in technologies crucial to solar system exploration, such as very large solar-electric propulsion systems and automated deep-space operations, and in enhanced and expanded ways to detect and monitor asteroids. Our support is conditional on the requirement that Congress and the White House must provide proper funding for this mission that does not raid existing, high-priority science missions within NASA.
Asteroid (101955) 1999 RQ36 now has the much friendlier name "Bennu," thanks to a 3rd-grade student from North Carolina.
The Planetary Society's official testimony to Congress on the FY14 NASA Budget proposal.
At a major planetary defense conference in Flagstaff, AZ last evening, the Planetary Society announced the winners of its 2013 Shoemaker Near Earth Object (NEO) grants, and was recognized itself for the Society’s long history of international leadership in the detection and mitigation of threatening asteroids, and other planetary discoveries.
The Planetary Society joins the chorus of voices denouncing the implementation of the Sequester, the automatic, across-the-board budget cuts to almost all federal programs. We strongly encourage Congress replace the sequester and pass an omnibus spending bill for the remainder of 2013.
On Friday, February 15, 2013, Asteroid 2012 DA14 will travel just 17,000 miles above the Earth - closer to our planet than the orbit of the communications satellite that broadcast the Super Bowl around the world. The discovery of Asteroid DA14 was made by a small team of observers at La Sagra Observatory in Southern Spain, enabled with a grant provided by The Planetary Society.
Let NASA Pursue a Balanced Planetary Exploration Program (January 29, 2013)
Congress and the Obama Administration should allow NASA to begin a new mission to Europa, ensure that the 2020 Rover caches samples of Mars, and increase the cadence of Discovery-class missions by preserving funding at $1.5 billion for the next five years.
Planetary Society Statement on the 2020 Mars Rover Mission Announcement (December 5, 2012)
The Planetary Society welcomes the news that NASA will land a new rover on Mars in 2020. However, we emphasize that this announcement does not change the status quo: without Congressional action, NASA’s Planetary Sciences division will suffer cuts of $309 million in the 2013 budget.
The incredible public interest in today’s Curiosity announcement should demonstrate to Congress and the White House that strong support exists for NASA’s Planetary Science program.
To enhance the public's understanding of this complex program, The Planetary Society is making available several expert commentators to help explain the findings and provide overall perspective of the Mission.
The Planetary Society would like to congratulate President Barack Obama for winning his re-election campaign on Tuesday. The Society looks forward to continuing to work with the Administration on the important issues relating to space exploration.
Student Asteroid Naming Contest Announced (September 4, 2012)
Students around the world have the opportunity to suggest names for an asteroid that will be visited by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft later this decade.
Planetfest 2012 - August 4th - August 5th (July 30, 2012)
Sit in a space ship, touch a piece of mars, and meet Bill Nye the science guy, Star Trek’s Robert Picardo, NASA scientists, Mars experts and more.
Today, on behalf of its tens of thousands of members around the world, The Planetary Society submitted written testimony to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the U.S. Senate for its hearing on "Priorities, Plans, and Progress of the Nation's Space Program."
Asteroid 2012 DA14 Discovery Enabled by Planetary Society Grant (March 15, 2012)
In less than a year, an asteroid that is half the size of a football field will pass within just a few thousand miles of our planet. The discovery of this object, dubbed 2012 DA14, was made possible by a Shoemaker Near Earth Object (NEO) grant provided by the Planetary Society.
NASA Budget Pushes Science to the Brink (February 13, 2012)
The U.S. Administration is proposing a budget for Fiscal Year 2013 that would force NASA to walk away from planned missions to Mars, delay for decades any flagship missions to the outer planets, and radically slow the pace of scientific discovery, including the search for life on other worlds.
The Planetary Society has called on the U.S. Administration to rebalance NASA's portfolio of programs and missions so that Science is given 30 percent of the agency's budget. "Science is the best place to invest in NASA, Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye said, "In this era of constrained budgets, we must invest in areas with the greatest possible returns."
Phobos LIFE Set to Re-enter Earth's Atmosphere (January 13, 2012)
Worldwide members of the Planetary Society await the final fate of the Phobos LIFE (Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment) biomodule. Intended to share a roundtrip to Mars' moon Phobos, the tiny experiment became stuck in low Earth orbit when its host--the Russian Phobos-Grunt spacecraft--failed to set out across interplanetary space.
Phobos LIFE Ready to Launch (November 7, 2011)
Can living organisms survive a terribly harsh, years-long trek to Mars� moon Phobos and then back to Earth? That's the question asked by the Planetary Society's Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment (LIFE) as it prepares to leave for the Red Planet later this month.
Capitol Hill Forum: NASA at a Turning Point (October 27, 2011)
On November 3, 2011, the Planetary Society and the Mars Society are co-sponsoring a Capitol Hill forum titled "NASA at a Turning Point: Vibrant Future or Close Up Shop?" to cast light on decisions being made today that may well darken the future of space exploration.
They are Watching the Skies for You!
Our researchers, worldwide, do absolutely critical work.
Asteroid 2012DA14 was a close one.
It missed us. But there are more out there.