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.
Congress has made good progress so far this year in moving the annual appropriations bills that fund the government. However, a looming budget battle over the sequestration and budget caps threaten to sideline progress until Congress and the White House reach agreement. Here’s the current situation.
The House Appropriations Committee released their vision for NASA's 2016 budget this week, which includes significant increases for the SLS and Planetary Science, but cuts Commercial Crew and Earth Science funds.
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.
It takes a year to make, and is the starting point for all coming debate by Congress. It's the President's Budget Request, and understanding how it comes together is an important part of being an effective space advocate.
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.