Today, on behalf of its tens of thousands of members around the world, The Planetary Society submitted written testimony to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the U.S. Senate for its hearing on "Priorities, Plans, and Progress of the Nation's Space Program." The statement reads, in part:
"The Planetary Society is deeply troubled with the priorities reflected in NASA's FY13 budget. If implemented, it will portend grave consequences for our nation's ability to conduct deep-space science missions and could irreversibly erode unique aspects of the space industrial base needed for such missions.
"Specifically, the disproportionate cut to the Planetary Science budget would force NASA to walk away from planned missions to Mars, to back out of international agreements with the European Space Agency (ESA), delay for decades any flagship missions to the outer planets, and radically slow the pace of scientific discovery, including the search for life on other worlds. We think this is the wrong direction for America's space program."
The Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the U.S. House of Representatives is also holding a hearing today on "An Overview of NASA FY2013 Budget," and The Planetary Society delivered a letter to Chairman Ralph M. Hall with the same statement.