Pasadena, CA (May 8, 2017) -- In response to the enactment of HR.244, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017, Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye has released the following statement:
“On behalf of the The Planetary Society’s Board and our fifty thousand members around the world, I want to thank the appropriations committees in Congress for providing critical funding increases needed to rebuild NASA’s planetary exploration program.
Congress has once again demonstrated its bipartisan commitment to NASA with strong support for the space sciences. This is the fifth year in a row that Congress rejected cuts to NASA’s Planetary Science Division proposed by the White House. Because of Congress, we are seeing real investment being made in our country’s engineering, scientific, and entrepreneurial workforce as it tackles the next generation of exploration missions in our solar system—missions that could advance the search for life.
Science is universal. Seeking evidence of life on the ocean moon of Europa or the plains of Mars is not a partisan issue. My colleagues at the Society and I look forward to working with both parties in Congress and the new Administration on ways to advance these important scientific endeavors.”
Planetary Society President, Dr. Jim Bell, adds:
“I am personally thrilled by this budget, as it helps advance top priority missions to Mars, Europa, and asteroids. As a member of the scientific community, I am also very pleased to see increases for basic research grants that directly support scientists and their students around the nation.
Congress increased the budget for NASA’s Planetary Science Division and, importantly, increased or maintained funding for each of NASA’s three other science divisions as well. This enables the pursuit of the most important space science missions and research, as defined by the National Academies’ Decadal Survey process, and preserves the investments that NASA has made over the past decade in all areas of space science. This is a smart move by Congress and will reap great rewards for our nation’s space program.”
Casey Dreier, The Planetary Society’s Director of Space Policy, analyzes the FY2017 Omnibus for its impact on planetary science: http://www.planetary.org/blogs/casey-dreier/2017/fy2017-planetary-science-just-got-its-best-budget-in-years.html
Planetary Radio: Space Policy Edition podcast on the omnibus spending bill: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2017/space-policy-edition-12.html
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.