In late September Save Space kicked off its efforts to get half a million letters in support of the space program delivered to the White House by the end of October. By late October, though, that goal looked doubtful: the metrics they had provided (in terms of web traffic and Facebook fans) appeared to fall far short of what was needed to generate that many letters, and a spokesperson indicated that it would be more of an “open-ended venture”.
However, in a video posted to the web site with remarkably little fanfare (primarily just a single tweet), Space Florida president Frank DiBello claims that the effort mets its goal, and by the October 31 deadline, with a “devastating impact” in DC. “While I was in Washington two weeks ago, I had a meeting with some people in the White House who wanted to know what they could do with all the letters that they’ve got,” DiBello said in the video, dated November 10. “And their estimate is that they have some 500,000 letters in Washington, all in support of the space program. And they have an issue for security – they can’t deliver them to the White House – but believe me, the White House knows that they’re there.”
Without more supporting information, though, it’s difficult to accept this. The Save Space campaign started on September 28, while DiBello’s meeting, if his timing is correct, would have been the week of October 26, just four weeks later. For Save Space to have met its 500,000-letter goal it would need to generate an average of 125,000 letters a week. That’s about twice what the White House receives per week overall, as POLITICO noted last month. That sort of volume would probably overwhelm the people charged with reviewing them (indeed, there was a backlog of 25,000 letters noted in the POLITICO article), making it difficult for them to ascertain they’re “all in support of the space program”. I’ve put in a request with the Save Space people to confirm this information and clarify what the status of this letter-writing campaign is.