Posted by Van Kane on 2014/03/22 10:23 CDT
The President’s proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budget details were released last week. For the next several years, the budget proposes a steady as she goes plan, but with two “what are they thinking?” surprises.
Calling your senators and representatives about NASA's budget isn't that bad. In fact, I just took 15 minutes out of my day to do it! If you're not sure what to say to support planetary exploration, I hope you'll be inspired by what I've transcribed from my phone call this afternoon.
Pounding the Pavement in Congress, Together
The Space Exploration Alliance's Legislative Blitz Advocates for Space Exploration
A coalition of grassroots pro-space advocates descended on Washington, D.C. this week, and held over 100 meetings with representatives and staff throughout Congress to argue for increased investment in NASA.
[Updated] Let's Blitz Congress!
Space Exploration Legislative Blitz, Feb 23rd - 25th
The Space Exploration Alliance is descending on the halls of Congress to advocate for space exploration. Join me and others on Feb 23rd - 25th in Washington, D.C. and speak up for space.
Continued Victories for Planetary Exploration
For the second year in a row Congress rejects cuts requested by the White House
Pat yourself on the back. Planetary exploration will be more vibrant in 2014 thanks to you. More than fifty thousand messages were sent to Congress this year, and they listened, adding back a significant amount of money in the 2014 Omnibus spending bill.
Congress to NASA: Don't You Dare Steal Money Away from Planetary Science Again
A little congressional scolding to NASA and the White House
Congress scolded NASA for abusing its operating plan to remove money from Planetary Science last year, giving them a warning to not try that again.
NASA’s New Planetary Mission Woes
Budget cuts slow down the rate of new missions
NASA’s planetary science program depends on regular missions to solar system bodies to gather data. A combination of budget cuts and previous commitments to develop missions currently in the pipeline means that development of follow on missions may slow to a crawl. Van Kane looks at the current situation and NASA’s plans and then look at options the agency may consider if budgets remain tight into the next decade.
If you want to know why Cassini might be terminated early, or why NASA pulled out of its joint Mars mission with Europe, or why the new ASRG power source was put on indefinite hold, this chart has your answer.
What's Going on With Planetary Science Research?
Budget cuts mixed with a new way to fund science could disproportionately impact the next generation of planetary scientists
Budget cuts mixed with a new way to fund science could disproportionately impact the next generation of planetary scientists.
NASA Just Cancelled its Advanced Spacecraft Power Program
The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator was to use less Plutonium for cheaper missions.
The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Program (ASRG) was just cancelled by NASA. This was to be the saving grace for Plutonium-238 availability, as it was a much more efficient way to generate electricity than classic RTG systems.
NASA’s shrinking budgets for planetary exploration may force it to decide between continued funding for the Saturn Cassini mission and the continued funding for its Mars missions.
We Need You to Stand Up for Planetary Exploration
Right now is a crucial time for future funding
Congress and the White House are making decisions that impact funding for NASA's Planetary Exploration missions. We need to tell them that YES we are paying attention and care about the future of exploration.
I'll be representing The Planetary Society on a quickly-replanned panel at tomorrow's Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Agency Night, in the absence of any representatives from federal funding agencies.
NASA's MAVEN Mission Spared from Shutdown
Launch preparations will resume
Launch preparations will resume for NASA's MAVEN spacecraft, due to launch to Mars on November 18th. Work had previously been suspended, potentially causing the spacecraft to miss its once-every-26-month launch opportunity.
A recent article in the NY Times Sunday Magazine highlights how the pernicious myth of NASA as wasteful spending perpetuates through our culture.
NASA Backs Off From Additional Planetary Cuts in 2013
Operating plan provides $1.271 billion
The final operating plan for the space agency provided $75 million more to planetary exploration than initially proposed.
The final news for NASA's Planetary Science program is better than had been proposed, but still a substantial cut over the previous year. There may be serious future consequences as a result of the smaller program.
August Advocacy Update: Where We Stand
The House and Senate have increased funding for Planetary Science thanks to your letters and phone calls
Planetary exploration sees strong support from both parties in the current budget process, but we have a long way to go before a budget is passed this year.