The European Space Agency (ESA) seems to have gotten tired of waiting for NASA to commit to its share of the joint 2016/2018 Mars missions that were planned to lay the groundwork for an eventual delivery of samples of Mars to Earth.
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 returned from their holiday weekend to find more than 1500 messages from Planetary Society Members waiting for them.
The road to Mars just seems to get longer and harder every day. The Planetary Society has just asked its Members to contact the White House and ask John Holdren, the President's Science Advisor, to make sure that NASA and ESA are allowed to work together on the 2016 and 2018 missions to Mars.
Today, 12 July 2011, the Planetary Society submitted into testimony a written statement to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the U.S. House of Representatives for their hearing on NASA's Space Launch System.
I just got the following email from the American Geophysical Union (AGU), requesting anyone whose Congressperson sits on the Appropriations Committee to place a phone call to support the production of Plutonium-238, the isotope of plutonium that powers spacecraft that cannot run on solar power.
Australia's Space Policy Unit is conducting a survey of people in the commercial space industry, state and local governments, and education and research sectors as part of an effort to assess the economic value of civil space to the country.