PASADENA, CA - The Planetary Society has released its official response to the President’s 2015 NASA budget request, in which it decries the hundreds of millions of dollars of cuts to NASA’s science programs. NASA’s Planetary Science Division, which launches all robotic missions to destinations within the solar system, has been cut for the third year in a row, despite consistent congressional and public support.
“Planetary science is what NASA does best right now,” said Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye. “It’s where we get the greatest return on our investment, because the engineers and scientists are solving new problems, exploring new places, and making new discoveries. It drives innovation, which in turn drives our economy like no other. This is not where we should be pulling back.”
In response, The Planetary Society has called for its members and supporters to contact their congressional representatives to show their support for a vibrant program of planetary exploration, including a major scientific mission to Europa, a sample return campaign from Mars, and a stable frequency of low-cost missions throughout the solar system.
“NASA’s planetary exploration is one-of-a-kind,” said Casey Dreier, The Planetary Society’s Director of Advocacy. “Our members know this, the public knows this, and we want to make sure that The White House knows this, too. We’ve had very strong support from key members of Congress, and we will depend on them once again to help preserve NASA’s leadership in solar system exploration.”
Within two days of the Society’s call, more than 20,000 messages of support have been sent to Congress, once again demonstrating the intense public support for this key NASA capability.
The Planetary Society has also submitted an official statement regarding the future of planetary science to the House Subcommittee on Space to be inserted for the record at the hearing on the FY2015 NASA budget, and will remain involved throughout this year’s budget process.
“The Planetary Society stands ready to fight for planetary science and a vibrant, healthy NASA this year and every year,” said Dreier. “Not just for the invaluable economic and scientific benefits brought to us by the space program, but for the daring nature of space exploration. It reminds us that we can achieve anything we set our minds to, and to continually push the boundaries of our engineering capability and understanding of the universe.”