Bill Nye & Planetary Society Celebrate Proposed 2016 Budget for NASA, Challenge the White House to Continue the Trend in 2017

Planetary Science Budget Increase a Critical Step in Restoring Health of the Program

For Immediate Release
December 16, 2015

Erin Greeson
Phone: +1-626-793-5100

Pasadena, Ca. (December 16, 2015) -- On December 15, the U.S. Congress revealed its proposed plans to fund the federal government in 2016. The proposed budget includes $19.3 billion for NASA, an increase of $1.3 billion over the previous year.  NASA's Science Mission Directorate will see its budget grow to support all sciences, including a much-needed restoration of the Planetary Science Division to $1.631 billion. This is the fourth year in a row that Congress has rejected cuts to NASA's Planetary Science Division.

Bill Nye, CEO of The Planetary Society -- the world's largest non-profit space interest group -- issued a statement in response:

"This budget is great news for space supporters and really for all humankind. We reached -- and exceeded -- The Planetary Society's goal of $1.5 billion per year for NASA's planetary exploration program. This is a big win for NASA, planetary science and all of Earth's citizens who understand and advocate the need to explore other worlds.

"Mars was once very wet. Europa is a world right here in our own Solar System with an ocean twice as big as our own. Forms of life may have begun on both worlds. Planetary exploration tells us more about how we fit in the cosmos. Discoveries made on other worlds profoundly change this one. The proposed 2016 budget will enable NASA to explore farther and deeper into space.

"This year, The Planetary Society's supporters sent a record number of messages to Congress in support of planetary exploration. The People have spoken for space exploration. It’s an exciting time. We challenge the White House to embrace the bipartisan support for planetary science and NASA, and to preserve these increases in their 2017 budget request."

For U.S. budget details and analysis, read the latest blog update from Casey Dreier, director of advocacy at The Planetary Society, "An Extraordinary Budget for NASA in 2016".

Media Resources

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Bill Nye on Capitol Hill
Bill Nye on Capitol Hill Taken at "The Lure of Europa," an event hosted on July 15, 2014 by The Planetary Society to explore the reasons why we should launch a mission to the moon. Speaking were: Rep. Lamar Smith, Chairman of the House Science Committee; Rep. John Culberson, R-TX; Rep. Adam Schiff, D-CA; Dr. Ellen Stofan, NASA Chief Scientist; Dr. Robert Pappalardo, JPL Europa Study Scientist; and Bill Nye, CEO of The Planetary Society.Image: Tushar Dayal
Bill Nye in Front of Congress
Bill Nye in Front of Congress Image: Navid Baraty

About The Planetary Society

With a global community of more than 2 million space enthusiasts, The Planetary Society is the world’s largest and most influential space advocacy organization. Founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman and today led by CEO Bill Nye, we empower the public to take a meaningful role in advancing space exploration through advocacy, education outreach, scientific innovation, and global collaboration. Together with our members and supporters, we’re on a mission to explore worlds, find life off Earth, and protect our planet from dangerous asteroids. To learn more, visit