It’s August. Congress is out of session. Things are quiet. It’s as good a time as any to check in on several issues we’ve been following here at the Society, particularly with NASA’s budget prospects for the year and the future of human spaceflight policy.
New Horizons—what will be NASA’s greatest success of 2015—was cancelled multiple times in its early life, and many times before that in its previous incarnations. A mission to Pluto was not inevitable, despite the overwhelming scientific and public excitement.
There is a first time for everything. Riding a bike, stargazing, and yes, even lobbying Congress. Jack Kiraly describes his first Legislative Blitz with Michael Briganti and Casey Dreier on Capitol Hill last week.
The Space Exploration Alliance wrapped up its most recent 'legislative blitz' last week. Nearly 70 individuals participated in the democratic process, speaking to nearly 168 difference offices in Congress. Nearly half of those individuals were Planetary Society members.
The story of NASA's 2015 budget ended on December 16th, when President Barack Obama signed the massive omnibus spending bill into law. NASA's increased budget is locked in, as is the increase to Planetary Science. Here's how Planetary spends its additional money.
Senate passes the CRomnibus spending bill with an $18.01 billion NASA budget, which includes an increase to planetary science and Europa. The legislation now moves on to the President for his signature.
The U.S. budget cycle for fiscal year 2015 is coming to an end. Should Congress pass the so-called CRomnibus bill as-is, NASA would see its highest funding level since 2011 and a great increase to its Planetary Science Division.
On Monday, Jason Callahan published an article in The Space Review discussing the importance of aligning the goals of federally funded scientific communities with national priorities. This post highlights some of the main points of the article and suggests a possible role for The Planetary Society.
The last six weeks have been especially busy due to an unusually high number of conferences and festivals, so I thought I'd summarize what's been going on and how The Planetary Society has been involved.