Planetary Society CEO, President Respond to the Signing of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017

Press Statement
May 08, 2017

Casey Dreier
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +1-626-793-5100

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.”

Press Resources

Casey Dreier, The Planetary Society’s Director of Space Policy, analyzes the FY2017 Omnibus for its impact on planetary science:

Planetary Radio: Space Policy Edition podcast on the omnibus spending bill:

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