Political Advocacy - Save Our Science!
We are at a crucial turning point in planetary exploration.
After a decade of success with Cassini at Saturn, the twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity, and the take-your-breath-away excitement of the skycrane landing of Curiosity on Mars, NASA's planetary exploration program was rewarded with budget cuts that seriously impair NASA's ability to explore the Solar System.
The White House proposed deep cuts to Planetary Science in 2013 and 2014. But due to overwhelming public support, Congress rejected the full cuts each time.
Now, for the third year in a row, the White House has proposed to cut Planetary Science. A mission to Europa seems possible, but NASA has not yet committed. We need to make this vision a reality. Take a minute and send your representatives a message (or write the President if you're outside the U.S.).
Our Pathway to Exploration Should Start with the Asteroid Redirect Mission
2014/06/30 06:01 CDT | 51 comments
Despite its rejection by the NRC Committee, we argue that the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) is an affordable and logical first step in such a sequence. ARM is not only consistent with the NRC Committee’s own principles, but is also the only near- term initiative that can shape their recommendations into a sustainable human space exploration program. ARM would launch U.S. explorers into deep space beyond the Moon, and fits logically into an exploration program aimed at Mars. More »
The Senate's Flawed NASA Bill Hits a Bump in the Road
2014/06/19 10:09 CDT | 2 comments
For the second day in a row, the Senate failed to vote on a bill that would fund NASA and other agencies in 2015. Without passage, no progress can be made addressing the flaws contained within. More »
The Senate and House have both agreed to increase NASA's budget to $17.9 billion, but they have very different ways of spending that money. The House bill would add additional funding to almost every category of the Planetary Science budget and would greatly strengthen NASA’s program of planetary exploration. The Senate bill would add substantial funds to the Mars program but pay for this by cuts to other portions of the planetary budget. More »
[Updated] The Senate Proposes $17.9B for NASA, Matching the House's Increase
2014/06/04 05:37 CDT | 2 comments
The Senate released early details about its budget for NASA in 2015. The top-line level, $17.9 billion, is an increase over the President's proposal and matches the level passed by the full House last week. More »
There's an old saying about Washington, D.C.: it’s a small town, based on relationships. We are establishing very good relationships with members of the U.S. Congress and the Administration. Three of us made the rounds recently, going from one Congressional Member’s office to another to support planetary exploration and a mission to Europa. Our team included Casey Dreier, our Director of Advocacy; Bill Adkins, our lobbyist in Washington; and me. More »
The House Passes a $435 Million Increase to NASA's Budget
2014/05/30 01:02 CDT | 3 comments
After a multi-day floor debate, the House of Representatives passed its Commerce-Justice-Science funding bill, which included a NASA budget $435 million above the President's 2015 request and an increase to planetary science. More »
The Planetary Society cannot fully support this budget. While there are some positive aspects, the request imposes unacceptable cuts to the Science Mission Directorate that damage the immediate and long-term health of some of NASA's most successful programs, particularly planetary exploration. If this budget is passed unchanged, there will be fewer planetary missions in development by 2019 than at any point in the past few decades. Read the Full Statement >>
See the sorry trend of cuts pursued by the White House since 2013, which have reduced the number of missions to explore the solar system. View the Chart >>
Current Planetary Funding Level
Currently funded at $1.345 billion for FY14, below minimum.