Cassini arrived at Saturn in 2004, after a seven-year voyage. It was the first spacecraft to orbit the ringed planet. For 13 years, Cassini joined the intricate dance of Saturn’s 62 moons. After 22 passes inside the rings, Cassini will plow into Saturn’s rippled clouds today. The spacecraft will incinerate itself to prevent any future contamination of the moons Enceladus or Titan. Farewell Cassini, I’ll miss you.✨
Today is the 40th Anniversary of Voyager. I can’t begin to tell you how happy it makes me to meet kids who love space + StarWars as much as I do! Space exploration brings out the best in all of us. The more we learn about the universe, the more we learn about ourselves.Voyager is a story about us. In 1977, NASA’s twin Voyager spacecraft embarked on an incredible journey to the outer planets and beyond. After delivering stunning images of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, the probes sailed on to study the boundary of our heliosphere, the bubble that encompasses our sun, planets and solar wind. Voyager 1 crossed that frontier in August 2012, becoming the first human-made object in interstellar space, while Voyager 2 is expected to enter the space between the stars in the coming years. For as long as they continue communicating with Earth, the Voyagers may discover even more wonders before becoming Earth’s silent ambassadors to the Milky Way, orbiting the center of our galaxy forever. Voyager’s remarkable journey continues.
I had the honor of getting to be part of a Tea Party Tuesday segment with Ashley Eckstein, the amazing woman leading the @HerUniverse brand. This woman can do it all! She’s the voice of Ashoka Tano in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, and Cheetah in DC Super Hero Girls. She also makes everyday cosplay apparel for girls in a way that has never been done before for the masses. I can remember being a kid and constantly thinking: why do boys get all the cool Star Wars, Star Trek and Marvel outfits. I used to have my Mom get me the boys tshirts + jackets and then have them altered by a seamstress to make them a more girly fit. One of my favorite Star Wars jackets that I still have to this day is an example of exactly that experience. I got the boys size jacket that was closest to my size and then had to have the jacket cropped from the base, pulled in from the sides, and a new zipper was put it. My parents are the coolest, and I’m so lucky they’re just as big fans of everything you see me share on my accounts as I am. All the nerdyness that makes me who I am today is thanks to them! To have a brand like Her Universe is a big deal. It allows girls to celebrate our fandom in such a sublime way! Most of my wardrobe is Her Universe, I don’t know what I would do without this brand.
The Planetary Society’s LightSail spacecraft is getting ready to make space exploration history as the first to demonstrate controlled solar sail flight of a CubeSat.
Known as the people’s spacecraft, together we’re ushering in a new era—the democratization of space—but there’s still so much to be done and we need your support to do it.
“We have lingered for too long on the shores of the cosmic ocean; it’s time to set sail for the stars.”
— Carl Sagan
We’re kicking off the final phase of preparations for the upcoming launch of LightSail 2 into space aboard the SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket. We need your help to get there.
When you make a gift today, your contribution —and your impact on the LightSail mission—will be boosted by a $50,000 matching gift challenge issued by a generous Planetary Society member!
And, with a gift to support LightSail, you’ll be invited to share that thrilling launch day with us, either in person or online.
Our time to sail the cosmic ocean has arrived; our technology and design advances can now achieve the high performance needed in space. Thank you for joining forces with us with a gift today. Together, we’re changing the world!
On August 21st, 2017, a solar eclipse will be visible throughout the Western Hemisphere, with a total eclipse passing across the United States. The Planetary Society is partnering with the U.S. National Park Service to celebrate this spectacular celestial event.
Would you like to become an Eclipse Explorer?
The National Park Service, working together with the Planetary Society, brings you an all-new Junior Ranger booklet in honor of the 2017 North American Total Solar Eclipse on August 21st. This activity book is sure to make your first-hand viewing of this unique natural event a special experience for your visit to a National Park or public lands.
You can download your own copy of the booklet from this website by following the link below or by visiting a National Park site near you. Simply by completing the appropriate amount of work in the activity book and taking it to your local National Park site, you can even earn your own Junior Ranger Eclipse Explorer badge or sticker! Download the PDF Booklet.
On April 22, we gathered in more than 600 places around the world to voice and demonstrate our support for science and the fundamental role it plays in serving and improving our society through informed-policy. We come from all educational backgrounds, from a rich diversity of human experiences, and from nations around the world: the March for Science reached from the Global South to the North Pole. This week, The Planetary Society will mobilize through a “Week of Action.” We will contact elected officials, support science institutions in our communities, and hold our leaders in society and science accountable to the highest standards of honesty, integrity and fairness. And we will work to bring science and the benefits of scientific research to those who need it most. The Planetary Society salutes everyone who supported the March for Science this past weekend. Keep the momentum going!
We’re raising $100,000 to represent you in Washington, D.C. Take action now. We sit at a key moment to influence the direction for space with the new Administration and Congress. While there is much bipartisan support for NASA, major budget cuts are coming down the line that may severely impact space science and exploration.
We must speak up—right now—to demonstrate public support for space exploration.
Funding for our Advocacy program is critical. The more funding we have, the more effective we can be, which ultimately translates into more missions, more science, and more exploration.
We have a plan to engage the new Administration and the new Congress to build support for space science and exploration. And we need to increase our investment in our Washington, D.C. operations.
How much we increase our D.C. operations depends on you. So does our ability to provide new educational tools and to be present at major space symposiums and meetings around the world.
It’s a small investment now that could pay off in a major way. Our future at Mars, the Moon, Europa, and beyond depends on our ability to advocate for space over the next year.
Your gift today will be doubled thanks to a generous donor who will match your gift dollar for dollar up to $50,000.
Thank you for being part of the strong coalition speaking out for science and exploration.
Yuri’s Night is the World Space Party. Yuri’s Night is a celebration of humanity’s achievements in space, with hundreds of parties and events held around the world each April. Yuri’s Night is an international celebration held every April 12 to commemorate milestones in space exploration. Yuri’s Night is named for the first human to launch into space, Yuri Gagarin, who flew the Vostok 1 spaceship on April 12, 1961. The launch of STS-1, the first Space Shuttle mission, is also honored, as it was launched 20 years to the day of Vostok 1 on April 12, 1981. The goal of Yuri’s Night is to increase public interest in space exploration and to inspire a new generation of explorers. Driven by space-inspired artistic expression and culminating in a worldwide network of annual celebrations and educational events, Yuri’s Night creates a global community of young people committed to shaping the future of space exploration while developing responsible leaders and innovators with a global perspective. These global events are a showcase for elements of culture that embrace space including music, dance, fashion, and art. I had the best time celebrating Yuri’s Night in Los Angeles this year at the California Science Center! I wish it could be Yuri’s Night every night! It’s wonderful to be surrounded by people who celebrate space and science! Still in shock over some of the people I got to meet while at the event, I don’t think I stopped smiling all night, and I can’t wait for next year!
“Circling the Earth in my orbital spaceship I marveled at the beauty of our planet. People of the world, let us safeguard and enhance this beauty — not destroy it!”
— Yuri Gagarin, 1st human in space.
A letter from Bill Nye: Why we’re marching for science
Greetings, members, supporters and global community,
Big news: The Planetary Society will join the March for Science on April 22, 2017. I am serving as an honorary Co-Chair for the March, and The Planetary Society is an official partner. I will march at the main event in Washington, D.C., but there will be upward of 400 sister marches around the world. We will assemble with citizens everywhere, whether they are formal scientists or thoughtful citizens from other walks of life, to march in support of science.
The Planetary Society empowers the world’s citizens to advance space science and exploration. We’re a nonpartisan organization of over 50,000 members, diverse people with a spectrum of political beliefs, united in their support for space and science. We focus on planetary exploration, both robotic and human. We support NASA and the space agencies of countries around the globe. We have a responsibility to support the exploration of the deep cosmos, the Sun, the Earth, as well as our own solar system.
One of the Society’s core values is Science, the rigorous process that has enabled humankind to understand the cosmos and our place within it. Science, and the technology that flows from it, has provided humans with the means to feed billions, and know nature in a way that our ancestors could not have imagined. The Planetary Society’s mission aligns with the mission of the March for Science.
The March for Science champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policymakers to enact evidence-based policies in the public interest.
We march to celebrate science. We celebrate science everyday as we advocate, create and educate to advance our mission. Space science is a prime reason to be excited today and optimistic about our future. There’s immense value in exploring other worlds like Mars, Pluto, and Europa— the moon of Jupiter with twice as much seawater as Earth. As we seek to understand the cosmos and our place within it, we come closer to knowing the answers to these two questions: where did we come from? And, are we alone in the universe? In addition to valuable discoveries, space science creates jobs, produces innovations, and enables investments. The money spent on space is spent entirely on Earth; it supports tens of thousands of jobs in the U.S. alone. Private aerospace companies are making enormous strides in lowering the cost of spaceflight and advancing space science. A next generation of entrepreneurs and inventors is blazing a trail to Mars and beyond. We may find life elsewhere, get humans on the Martian surface, and witness the opening of a new marketplace in space. Space exploration brings out the best in us. It’s uplifting. People are excited. Young innovators are inspired. Space exploration is something to celebrate.
We march to advocate for space. There’s a new movement for space. In just 60 years, we have gone from testing our first rockets, to humans walking on the Moon, to sending robots to all the major planets and Pluto. We’re now learning about planets orbiting distant stars. With each accomplishment in space, new mysteries arise and beckon us to keep exploring, flying farther and deeper into the cosmos. Our work is just getting started. From weather reports, to global navigation, to magnetic ripples from the Big Bang, space benefits and fascinates us. Space is not a partisan issue.
We march to inspire unity. When we explore the cosmos, we come together and accomplish extraordinary things. Space science brings people of all walks of life together to solve problems and experience the unparalleled awe of exploration. Everyone – regardless of race, gender, creed or ability – is welcome in our journey to advance space science. Our future depends on science, and space exploration is an invaluable investment of our intellect and capabilities.
Space brings out the best in us. Science connects us.
Carl Sagan, my astronomy professor at Cornell University, cofounded The Planetary Society. He was a space science champion, advocate and communicator. He inspired the world to experience space science and delight in discoveries: achieved and within reach. His legacy lives on, through us: through you.
See you in Washington, and around the world.
How to Join The Planetary Society in the March for Science
March: March at one of the 393 (and counting) events worldwide: RSVP today
Traveling is one of my favorite things to do! And going to see the northern lights has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. When I saw that The Planetary Society had a trip to Alaska available to its members, I knew I had to go. I sent in my application for the trip and was hopeful everything would work out. Initially, I was nervous my application would be an issue because I have Celiac Disease and food allergies. But food allergies are just part of what makes me who I am. And I like to think having food allergies makes my lifestly more interetesting because it has made me a constant learner of all things food related.
After finding out everything for the trip was in order and I was going to get to go – I couldn’t stop smiling! I got a package in the mail with a book, a suggested reading list, the trip itinerary, and a packing list. The packing list alone was interesting because I live in San Diego and anything below 60 degrees is considered cold weather. Although I have grown up skiing with my family, the temperatures in Alaska for this trip were beyond anything I have ever experienced. Don’t get me wrong, I like the cold, and rainy days in San Diego are my favorite. We get so much sunshine here, it’s nice to have a change in weather.
Everything that came in the package about going to Alaska made me even more excited to get to go on the trip! Aside from reading a few books and tackling the packing list, I needed to plan ahead carefully in terms of what to take with me for snacks, and possibly full meals just in case of a lack of options. I found preparing for which on-the-go snacks and meals to pack for this trip to be a fun challenge. I’ve been dreaming about seeing the northern lights for too long – so I wanted to focus on enjoying my time in Alaska, and not worry about wether I would or wouldn’t have access to gluten free and allergy friendly meals.
Thankfully, there are lots of gluten free and allergy friendly companies out there making products that are great for traveling. Some of my snack essentials while on the trip were: Enjoy Life Foods ProBurst Bites, Moon Cheese, and Simply Snackin protein bars. Sometimes I feel self conscious about carrying food with me at all times. So many others on the trip always had a backpack of some sort filled with camera equipment and extra warm weather gear so I felt better about always having a bag with me. One of the fun things about traveling with so much food is getting to share snacks with others. People tend to ask me what I’m eating often and I like to talk to them about my favorite brands and why I love how they taste so much. I promise, not all gluten free and allergy friendly food tastes like air and cardboard. You just need to know which brands make the good stuff.
The trip lasted a week, but I could have easily stayed in Alaska for a month. Everyone in our tour group was so nice, I had a great time! I would absolutely go back to Alaska again. Especially now that I have this collection of extreme weather gear for freezing temperatures. I learned that the right clothes for extreme temperatures make a big difference . I have acquired a new addiction for all things made by Canada Goose. I would have turned into a human popsicle without all my gear from them while I was in Alaska.
Above you’ll find a video of my week while I was in Alaska with The Planetary Society. My top 5 experiences from the trip include: seeing the northern lights more than once, getting to ride the train from Anchorage to Fairbanks, visiting Poker Flat, watching the Iditarod, and getting to spend time learning from Dr. Tyler Norgren. There isn’t any part of this trip that doesn’t make me smile. I made memories that will last me a lifetime.
People often ask me how I prepare myself for trips where I am unsure of allergy friendly food options being readily available. The last thing I want to worry about when traveling is thinking about where to find gluten free and allergy friendly meal options. For this reason, I pack lots of snacks and specific products I know will keep me full while I’m on-the-go. Having dietary restrictions is just part of what makes me who I am, and I don’t let that keep me from travel or attending conferences where I already know I won’t have options beyond soda or water. I tend to meet people at food conferences and expos that seem overwhelmed by attending events where they don’t have food options. My goal is for people to be less stressed and learn from my experiences with how I plan ahead for trips and conferences.
The YouTube video above is of me talking about what kinds of snacks I packed for a week long trip to Alaska with the Planetary Society. Seeing the northern lights has always been a dream of mine and I wasn’t going to let having dietary restrictions get in the way of me accomplishing that goal. I’m thankful for the variety of gluten free and allergy friendly products that continue to meet the needs of people with dietary restrictions.
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