The NASA Solar System website is managed and implemented by JPL for NASA under JPL Program Support Task Plan 40-15691
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Responsible NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writers: Samantha K. Harvey and Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
Science Advisor: Stephen J. Edberg
Design Team: Harman Smith, Laura Generosa, Randii Oliver, Sean Graham, Erick Zelaya and Sam Luu.
Questions or concerns? Contact us.
Additional Site Development (1998 to present): Ron Baalke, Rosalie Betrue, James Cutts, Maryia Davis, James Green, Colleen Hartman, Christopher Hawley, Maureen Kenney, Jane Houston Jones, Becky Knudsen, Ernest Koeberlein, Cecelia Lawshe, Fuk Li, Marilyn Lindstrom, Leslie Lowes, Ellis Miner, Kirk Munsell, David Overoye, Carl Pilcher, Maura Rountree-Brown, Anita Sohus, Sugi Sorensen, Bob Silberg, Taisan Tan and Amy Walton.
This paper provides an overview and description of the Solar System Exploration (SSE) website.
Scope: This site provides content on missions, events, education, people and other things related to the exploration of the planets in our solar system. It also includes resources and information for the Year of the Solar System, a two-year initiative for the education and public outreach community and science community.
We strive to be a living encyclopedia of NASA's robotic exploration of our solar system updated in near real time. Among the content hosted on the site are: the entire contents of "Deep Space Chronicle: A Chronology of Deep Space and Planetary Probes, 1958-2000;" the Galileo and Deep Impact legacy sites and many important documents and historical records, including the NASA Solar System Exploration Roadmap and the popular Solar System Lithograph set.
Some of our features include the Eyes of the Solar System simulator, What's Up podcast and blog, a lively kids section, profiles of the people who make space science possible and detailed information on the planets and other bodies of our solar system and the missions that explore them.
We are not a source for breaking news. We archive news releases and other articles to preserve a historical record of solar system exploration. NASA's homepage is your source for up-to-the-minute news on all aspects of the exploration of space and other science and engineering topics.
For all other subject matter areas, the Solar System Exploration website links to other NASA sites, including our parent site -- NASA's Science Mission Directorate -- and our sister science themes Earth science, heliophysics and astrophysics. This site is part of the SMD's planetary science division.
We also connect to shuttle and space station pages, aeronautics and more.
Background: The NASA Solar System Exploration website was first launched in October 1998.
There are thousands of individual sites hosting information about NASA science instruments, science and more, but feedback from the public and educators described a need for one reliable source to put it all together and in context.
NASA's Solar System Exploration website was created to put context to NASA's exploration and the destinations within our solar system. Planetary scientists and the planetary science education and public outreach community have worked together and invested in this site as the one-stop shop for accurate timely content. Efforts have been made to include social media technology and new web initiatives to continue to encourage others to use this site for source information.
SSE is a destination for students and educators seeking up to date planet information from a reliable source (NASA) and related materials for students studying planetary science. We regularly rank in the top one to five on Google searches for 'Kids, NASA', 'solar system', 'planets' and any of the eight planets. It is No. 1 and 2 on Google for 'Solar System, NASA' bringing about 3,000,000 unique visitors yearly to the site. Visitors come from over 200 countries and territories. Traffic is at its peak in the middle of the school year as students seek out information on solar system science and NASA missions. New York, Los Angeles and Houston are among the top U.S. cities.
Praise from our readers:
"I really love this website. I have been using as a supplemental to my studies. I'm not a science person, so I have to work a little harder to understand and remember some of this stuff, and being able to go onto your website and see some of this stuff is awesome. Kudos to your group."
"Hi! My astronomy club is spending this afternoon looking at your site! We are on the "Explore the Planets" site right now and I wish you could hear the excitement and conversations that are going on in here! Questions galore -- Where does space end? Have we ever discovered life on other planets? There must be life on other planets! Look how much I'd weigh on the Sun! On Mars! Wow!!!"
"VERY WELL THOUGHT OUT!!! The listing of metric and U.S. measurements. Very easy to understand. Two thumbs up!!! Way up."
"I think that ur page is good 4 kids like me doing projects on planets.."
We'd also like to thank to following people for their help on this site over the years:
- Barbara Felsinger's 5th grade science class at Palm Crest Elementary (Spring 2002), for the first batch of excellent planet drawings. Everyone loves them. Also, thanks to Kathy Hernandez for putting out the call to Palm Crest teachers.
- Bill Arnett for generously allowing us to use the content in his online dictionary.
- The NASA network of websites for great content, ideas and inspiration.
Clearance No. CL 03-3384