The Politics of Space
with Casey Dreier
Space exploration doesn't just happen—it is made through the decisions of government, budgets, policy documents, and by individuals and industries. It reflects the needs and realities of politics, and understanding how, where, and why these decisions get made are crucial to influencing them. Space exploration is for all of us, and unless all of us know the process, it will inevitably be driven by the very few. Casey Dreier, The Planetary Society's Director of Advocacy, writes this blog.
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 scolded NASA for abusing its operating plan to remove money from Planetary Science last year, giving them a warning to not try that again.
This episode highlights the other big idea in Cosmos: that we are profoundly connected with the universe around us. Our constituent parts are forged in the bellies of massive stars; we exist through their deaths.
Sagan makes us confront the limitations of our mortality given the immensities of space and time presented to us by the cosmos.
Ellen Stofan, NASA's Chief Scientist, and John Grunsfeld, the head of the Science Mission Directorate and a Hubble repair astronaut, highlighted recent NASA science discoveries at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco.
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.