Ever since its foundation in 1980, the Planetary Society has included members from around the world. We now have members in over one hundred countries, so that regardless of where a person lives, he or she can find their place in space exploration.
As an organization based in the United States, the Planetary Society has generally focused its outreach and advocacy efforts there. NASA receives by far the most funding worldwide, and the United States has always been a leader in space, so this is a good place to foster public education, engagement and advocacy. But this is only the beginning. The Planetary Society’s mission is to inspire the people of Earth to explore other worlds, understand our own, and seek life elsewhere. This mission extends beyond national boundaries, and so must the work of the Society.
We already have dedicated volunteers around the world working to bring the Planetary Society’s message to their area, collaborating with local groups and institutions to bring the wonders of space exploration to their people. Thanks to these tireless efforts we have been able to expand the public’s understanding of the challenges and successes we experience as a global community of space farers.
The Planetary Society’s work beyond the United States is still not nearly as extensive as it is in the Society’s home country. But we are making some huge steps towards changing that, starting with Canada – America’s neighbor, NASA’s partner, and the home of almost eighteen hundred Planetary Society members.
We are building a structure in Canada similar to that in the United States, with regional, local, and university coordinators across the country – passionate volunteers who work in their areas to bring members together for events and meetings, and connect with their local science and education communities to share space science and exploration with the public. We want to reach out to more Canadians, and give a voice to scientists, engineers and ordinary people who want more from Canada’s space program. Not only will this let us give back to our Canadian members, it will give the Planetary Society as a whole a valuable new perspective on the global mission to explore outer space.
You’ll be hearing more from us as we work on this project. If you want to get involved, contact us! We’ll appreciate all the support we can get as we take this step forward.