Planetary Society – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Space Exploration Glossary

I. What is The Planetary Society?

The Planetary Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the exploration of space. Founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman, the organization’s mission is to inspire and involve the public in space exploration. The Planetary Society advocates for space exploration, funds scientific research, and educates the public about the wonders of the universe.

II. What is Space Exploration?

Space exploration is the investigation and study of outer space using spacecraft and other technologies. It involves sending probes, satellites, and manned missions to explore planets, moons, asteroids, and other celestial bodies. Space exploration has provided valuable insights into the origins of the universe, the formation of planets, and the potential for life beyond Earth.

III. What is a Spacecraft?

A spacecraft is a vehicle designed for travel or operation in outer space. There are many different types of spacecraft, including satellites, probes, rovers, and manned spacecraft. Spacecraft are equipped with various instruments and technologies to collect data, conduct experiments, and communicate with Earth. They play a crucial role in space exploration and scientific research.

IV. What is an Astronomical Unit (AU)?

An Astronomical Unit (AU) is a unit of measurement used in astronomy to represent the average distance between the Earth and the Sun. One AU is approximately 93 million miles (150 million kilometers). Astronomers use AUs to measure distances within our solar system, such as the distance between planets, moons, and other celestial bodies. AUs provide a convenient way to compare and understand the vast distances in space.

V. What is a Rover?

A rover is a type of robotic spacecraft designed to explore the surface of a planet or moon. Rovers are equipped with wheels, cameras, sensors, and other instruments to collect data and conduct experiments. They are controlled remotely from Earth and can travel long distances across the surface of a celestial body. Rovers have been used on Mars, the Moon, and other planets to study geology, climate, and potential for life.

VI. What is a Space Mission?

A space mission is a planned journey or operation in space to achieve specific goals. Space missions can involve launching satellites, sending probes to distant planets, conducting scientific experiments, or exploring new frontiers. Space missions require careful planning, coordination, and execution to ensure success. They play a crucial role in advancing our understanding of the universe and pushing the boundaries of human exploration.