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Charlene AndersonOctober 13, 2011

Mars Missions Supported, Planetary Voices Heard

It looks like we rattled a few cages in Washington, D.C. this week.

White House staffers in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) returned from their holiday weekend to find more than 1500 messages from Planetary Society Members waiting for them. Our Members are protesting the Administration's failure to take a seemingly small action to confirm NASA's cooperation with ESA in exploring Mars.

Politicians and bureaucrats like to think that no one really cares about planetary exploration, and this quick-fire response to their failure to act caught them by surprise.

The messages were directed to John Holdren, the President's Science Advisor and head of OSTP. They asked Dr. Holdren to intervene with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that seems to have been holding up a letter from Charlie Bolden, the NASA Administrator, to Jean-Jacques Dordain, his counterpart at ESA, accepting the Europeans offer of $1.16 billion and committing to a solid partnership on the 2016 and 2018 missions to Mars.

Seem easy? Not in Washington. Not unless lots of people make a lot of noise.

That's our job in the Planetary Society -- to demonstrate to the powers that be that many, many people do care about space exploration. Everyone who took the time to contact John Holdren at OSTP has struck a blow for Mars exploration.

Thank you!

Until next time....

You can read the text of the Call-to-Action from Bill Nye, Planetary Society Executive Director, here.

If you want regular updates on space politics, please follow my Twitter feed @PlanetCharlene.

Read more: Space Policy, Planetary Society Political Advocacy, Planetary Society

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Emily Lakdwalla
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