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Louis D. FriedmanApril 21, 2010

From the Executive Director: Space Exploration is Non-partisan

I've been getting a tremendous amount of e-mail (and old-fashioned postal mail, too) in response to the new plan for human space exploration announced by the Obama Administration. I thank you all for your messages -- from those supporting the Administration's plan to those that disagree. I am reading them all and discussing them with others at the Society.

I want to deal with one issue that has cropped up in some of the e-mails I've received. The Planetary Society's support of the President's plan has nothing to do with partisan politics. Space exploration is rarely partisan, and even these days, it is still mostly a bipartisan endeavor. The Planetary Society and I strongly supported President Bush's Vision for Space Exploration when it was introduced. I even had meetings in the White House helping with its formulation. We only separated from that support when the Vision was undermined by decreasing budgets and attacks on space science, and then later when the Constellation program itself was undermined by failing to meet its goals.

The Planetary Society is non-partisan and international. The Society leadership and its members have diverse political opinions. We advocate as Republicans and Democrats (in the U.S.), as Americans, Europeans, Asians around the world, for robots and for humans -- all exploring the solar system.

Just wanted to set the record straight. As the NASA Administrator said last week -- we need and value this national (and international) discussion about the future of human space flight. At The Planetary Society, we always appreciate our members' interest and involvement.

Read more: Space Policy, Planetary Society Political Advocacy

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Louis D. Friedman

Board of Directors for The Planetary Society
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