The Planetary Society has joined the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Astronomical Society, the Universities Space Research Association and other groups to support the NASA budget proposal for fiscal year 2011.
A dozen non-profit organizations, representing science and engineering constituencies as well as the public, today issued a statement of support for the human space exploration plan outlined in NASA's proposed budget. The group includes America's largest science organization (AAAS) and the world's largest professional aerospace society (the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics), and the largest citizen's space interest group -- The Planetary Society.
"The new plan for NASA strikes the right balance in priorities, by focusing NASA's human space flight program on exploration beyond the Moon and into interplanetary space," states Louis Friedman, Executive Director of The Planetary Society. "This change will open up a new era of achievement for a new generation."
The Joint Statement says, in part:
"We believe this is an opportunity for NASA to craft the exploration strategy in partnership with science and applied science that includes the International Space Station, safe and cost-effective access to low Earth orbit, robotic precursors, and other missions."
Under the new guidelines, space flight to low Earth orbit would be turned over to the commercial sector, using their long experience and existing rockets, as well as the entrepreneurial energy and investment of new companies. American participation in the International Space Station would be extended, guaranteeing the space station a customer and American astronauts a near-term destination, and presaging a future of international cooperation in space exploration.
The joint statement was issued by the following organizations:
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Astronomical Society
American Geophysical Union
American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics
American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology
Associated Universities, Inc.
Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy