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Save Our Science: November Update

Posted by Casey Dreier

15-11-2012 13:05 CST

Topics: Space Policy, Future Mission Concepts, Planetary Society Political Advocacy, Mars

As you know the Planetary Society has been working very hard lately on reversing the cuts to NASA's Planetary Science division in the upcoming 2014 budget (some money was restored by Congress for 2013, but that budget was never passed. We're waiting until the Spring to focus on that again).

We need to get this money back for the 2014 budget and beyond. The next big launch opportunity for the first mission of a Martian sample return is 2018, which means NASA needs to start working on the next mission now.

In October, we asked you to start writing the President to share your opinion about funding planetary exploration. Our CEO, Bill Nye, recorded a video asking you to help.

Well, it's been exactly one month since we started that campaign, so here's where we are:

  • We've sent over 16,700 emails to the White House through our system.
  • Thousands more were sent by the memberships of the American Geophysical Union and the AAS's Division for Planetary Sciences.
  • Bill Nye's video has had over 881,000 views on YouTube, making it our most popular video ever.
  • Our campaign was written up on Yahoo News and Space Politics

This is good, and I'm actually quite pleased with the response.

But, to be frank, it's not good enough.

NASA's little planetary sciences division is caught in a perfect storm of Congressional inaction, recessionary pressures, and an agency with many diverse priorities. Even though we're talking about a small amount of money, federal government-wise, the mood on Capitol Hill is not in our favor. NASA itself is struggling to achieve everything it has on its plate, which includes the SLS, the crew capsule, commercial spaceflight, running the Space Station, Earth sciences, heliophysics, astrophysics, the James Webb Space Telescope, aeronautics, and maintaining its workforce and centers around the country. It has to do all of this with a budget that is about $2 billion less than it was promised just a few years ago.

My point is that while the response we've had is good, it really has to be astounding if we're going to make a difference. We need your help to make it astounding.

You can re-read our FAQs on why we're writing to the President, and what's at stake.

If you haven't written yet, I encourage you to write right now.

Then tell your friends, and make sure that they tell their friends.

Remember, there's so many beautiful places to we can explore; there's so much to know. We just need to decide to go.

Write a Letter Today proceed arrow

See other posts from November 2012


Or read more blog entries about: Space Policy, Future Mission Concepts, Planetary Society Political Advocacy, Mars


Sarah: 11/16/2012 06:48 CST

It takes less than a minute to send this email out :) there's no reason not to!

Syswhiz: 11/17/2012 11:52 CST

Please help restore NASA funding! We need it like never before. Thanks. Chuck Webb

Jimbo: 11/17/2012 03:28 CST

I signed the e-mail petition, some time ago and got an e-reply from the White House. The response is a stock reply that doesn't address the specific issues raised in the petition. However, here is the link to that response FYI: (this link needs to be all on one line in your browser to work)

Kalle: 11/18/2012 03:14 CST

i do not live in the us, but i wrote a letter to your president anyway, and i encurage any non us citizen to do the same. Their is nothing that brings humans together as much as space exploration do. Oh, and if anyone hapend to be from sweden and whant to send a simular mail to swedens goverment but do not have the time to compose one, send me a mail and i will give you a letter in swedish to send.

Casey Dreier: 11/19/2012 12:14 CST

Thanks, everyone, for writing. We also received copies of the generic letter which didn't address our main issues. Frustrating, to say the least.

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