The Planetary Society would like to congratulate President Barack Obama for winning his re-election campaign on Tuesday. The Society looks forward to continuing to work with the Administration on the important issues relating to space exploration.
The Planetary Society believes that a strong space program is reflective of a strong nation. As our economy continues to rebound, we call on President Obama to invest in our future by making a commitment to increase NASA’s capacity to pursue groundbreaking robotic and human space missions over the next four years.
The first step along this path would be to restore NASA’s Planetary Science funding to $1.5 billion in the upcoming 2014 budget. The small amount of money returned to NASA would immediately be put to work in developing the next major missions to return a piece of Mars to Earth and to investigate Jupiter’s ice-moon, Europa. These two major missions would challenge our best engineers and scientists, and create high-tech, high-skilled jobs across the country.
The President took strong steps in the past to develop a new commercial space industry, and we encourage him to continue funding both commercial supply and crew transportation programs. These exciting programs have the potential to fundamentally change and lower the cost of missions to low-Earth orbit. This will, in turn, enable NASA to reach farther and deeper into space with both robotic spacecraft and human explorers.
NASA represents some of the best qualities of our nation and our ability to work peacefully with countries around the world. Opportunities abound for cooperative missions with the Europeans, the Japanese, and others, to both share the cost and the rewards of big missions. By committing to a strong space program, the President would ensure a stronger economy and stronger international ties.
The Planetary Society calls on members of the new Congress to work with the President on funding and overseeing a strong national space program that is provided with challenging goals, strong leadership, and the resources required to achieve its mission.