The Planetary Society strongly supports the funding levels authorized for Planetary Science in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2013 proposed in the United States House of Representatives. The House Science Committee, working within very stringent budgetary limitations, prioritized funding for the Planetary Science Division commensurate with its importance to NASA’s core mission of exploration. With this level of support, NASA is well-positioned to achieve the amazing science outlined in the National Research Council's recent Planetary Science Decadal Survey, including the potential first step in a Mars sample return mission.
Furthermore, we strongly support the committee's statements endorsing the Europa Clipper multiple-flyby mission, a 24-month cadence for Discovery-class missions, 60-month cadence for New Frontiers missions, and adherence to the recent Space Science Decadal Surveys.
As we approach ten years of continuous operation on the surface of Mars by the Opportunity rover, one year of nearly flawless operations by Curiosity, and nine years of Cassini returning spectacular science in orbit around Saturn, we have all seen the unique capability and engineering talent developed by NASA in service of planetary exploration. We applaud the House Science Committee's support of these activities within NASA.
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.