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What’s New in Space Exploration with Emily Lakdawalla of The Planetary Society

Interested in space exploration?

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Listen to our podcast on space exploration, life on Mars, space mining, and asteroid armageddon

The final frontier: Will we settle other planets, moons, or farther still? Are we on track, or mired in political and budgetary constraints? Is Elon Musk’s vision of colonizing Mars (starting with short trips in 2020) realizable, or Silicon Valley hubris?

One argument against space exploration is the plethora of human problems – disease, poverty, illiteracy – that MIGHT be solved with a fraction of the funds that are required to explore space or colonize Mars. We also desperately need infrastructure on earth – bridges, roads, hospitals, schools, and much more. Why, when we have so many Terran problems to solve, should we devote resources to space? Find out what one of today’s most passionate space advocates, Emily Lakdawalla of The Planetary Society, thinks about these and other questions!

The Planetary Society is the world’s largest and most influential non-profit space organization. The organization is supported by over 50,000 members in over 100 countries, and by hundreds of volunteers around the world.  Emily is an internationally admired science communicator and educator, passionate about advancing public understanding of space and sharing the wonder of scientific discovery. Emily holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in geology from Amherst College and a Master of Science degree in planetary geology from Brown University. She came to The Planetary Society in 2001. She has been writing and editing the Planetary Society Blog since 2005, reporting on space news, explaining planetary science, and sharing beautiful space photos. In 2018, she became editor of the Society’s member magazine, The Planetary Report.

Here is an amazing image from Emily’s database: the Bruce Murray Space Image Library.

Mars and planetary photography

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How Emily ended up working for TPS.
  • Why Emily is passionate about space exploration.
  • How space-mining would only work for building a space-economy.
  • Why space scientists have a deep commitment to public understanding.
  • How you can support TPS.
  • Where the search for extra-terrestrial life is being focused.
  • What can be done about an imminent collision with an asteroid?

I’m raffling off books every week for people who leave the podcast a review on iTunes. Let me know the title of your review to be entered to win by emailing me at

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