Casey DreierApr 01, 2021

Space Advocates, Assembled

145 members. 167 meetings. 1 global Day of Action.

Like pretty much everything in the last 12 months, it wasn't supposed to happen this way.

The Planetary Society's Day of Action usually brings members of the Society face-to-face with members of Congress in Washington, D.C. It is the largest space advocacy event of its kind, where the participants are overwhelmingly regular people who love space.

In COVID times, however, both traveling and doing anything "face-to-face" has to be avoided. As such, the Day of Action went fully virtual for 2021.

In the end, 145 members from 30 states participated in a day's worth of meetings from their homes around the country. But even without travel, this was not an easy commitment.

Participants spent weeks preparing for the Day of Action, reading up on key policy issues in planetary exploration and planetary defense. They reviewed the latest economic impact reports, National Academies reports, and public polling data. They prepared detailed reports on their district representatives. And they spent more than 3 hours on a Sunday afternoon laying out detailed meeting strategies with their fellow Society members.

The meetings themselves were virtual, through now-ubiquitous online video conferencing software.

The Planetary Society's 2021 Day of Action
The Planetary Society's 2021 Day of Action Like many events in 2020 and early 2021, the experience was mitigated through a glowing screen.Image: Adam Brunner

In between meetings, Society members found ways to lighten the mood, sharing their Day of Action selfies with their participants via our online Slack channels.

The final frontier of space advocacy
The final frontier of space advocacy Planetary Society member Travis Vazansky paused to take this cheeky photo in between meetings with his elected officials in Colorado during The Planetary Society's 2021 Day of Action.Image: Travis Vazansky

In addition to the face-to-virtual-face meetings, Society members and supporters around the country sent more than a thousand messages to Congress in support of their fellow members.

Our members in Canada also took action to support space, submitting letters of support following up on a recent statement submitted to the Canadian Space Agency by The Planetary Society.

Thousands more space advocates around the world also took part in a coordinated effort to share key advocacy messages on planetary defense, planetary exploration, and the search for life.

A Space Advocate
A Space Advocate Planetary Society member Makayla Healy shows off her advocacy credentials during the 2021 Day of Action.Image: Makayla Healy

The Day of Action represents a major effort by The Planetary Society to empower our members to advance space science and exploration. It is nothing short of inspiring to see people from around the country come together and put in the work to build political support for a better future.

The Time is Now.

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