On Monday, Jason Callahan published an article in The Space Review discussing the importance of aligning the goals of federally funded scientific communities with national priorities. This post highlights some of the main points of the article and suggests a possible role for The Planetary Society.
The last six weeks have been especially busy due to an unusually high number of conferences and festivals, so I thought I'd summarize what's been going on and how The Planetary Society has been involved.
There's an old saying about Washington, D.C.: it’s a small town, based on relationships. We are establishing very good relationships with members of the U.S. Congress and the Administration. Three of us made the rounds recently, going from one Congressional Member’s office to another to support planetary exploration and a mission to Europa. Our team included Casey Dreier, our Director of Advocacy; Bill Adkins, our lobbyist in Washington; and me.
The Planetary Society strongly supports NASA's asteroid initiative, including the goal of redirecting an asteroid to the vicinity of the Moon. But an independent cost estimate is needed, and needed soon.