The Planetary Society Releases Official Statement on the FY 2020 NASA Budget Request

For Immediate Release
March 11, 2019

Danielle Gunn
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +1-626-793-5100

Pasadena, CA (March 11, 2019) — In response to President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Request, The Planetary Society issued the following statement:

Today’s request is the first budget proposal of the new decade. Whether NASA succeeds or fails in its efforts—to return humans to deep space, to search for life, and to understand the cosmos in the 2020s and beyond—is determined by steps taken now. This budget proposal, while an improvement compared to previous years, would start the decade by cutting nearly half a billion dollars from NASA. This is the wrong way to kick off an otherwise promising era of discovery and exploration.

NASA must continue to grow. The Planetary Society and other groups have proposed annual 5% growth with the additional funding split between robotic science and human spaceflight, amounting to $22.6 billion for 2020. Congress has provided, on average, a 4.1% increase to NASA’s budget every year since 2014. This goal is achievable and sustainable.

Absent this reasonable increase—just slightly above inflation—we note again that the Administration has proposed cuts to important programs in Earth Science, Astrophysics, and STEM Engagement/Education.

There are commendable aspects to this budget, and The Planetary Society strongly supports its proposals to send humans into deep space, to move Europa Clipper to a 2023 launch date, and to begin a Mars Sample Return campaign. Critical science and exploration missions are moving forward, and we urge Congress to support these initiatives fully to enable their success.

Casey Dreier, chief advocate and senior space policy adviser, is available for interviews. Please arrange with Danielle Gunn, chief communications officer, at [email protected]

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About The Planetary Society

The Planetary Society has inspired millions of people to explore other worlds and seek other life. With the mission to empower the world's citizens to advance space science and exploration, its international membership makes the non-governmental Planetary Society the largest space interest group in the world. Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman founded The Planetary Society in 1980. Bill Nye, a longtime member of The Planetary Society's Board, serves as CEO.