Scientists and advocates once again seek restoration of NASA planetary funding

The Planetary Society released this week a statement prepared “in collaboration” with the planetary sciences divisions of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and American Geophysical Union (AGU) about the current state of NASA’s planetary sciences program. The organizations support NASA’s decision announced nearly two months ago to develop a Mars rover based on Curiosity for [...]

In bold new fiscal era, space advocates need to be more effective

The so-called “fiscal cliff” and its across-the-board spending cuts are set to take effect on Wednesday, and the last week has seen little progress to a resolution to at least delay those cuts. Even if there is a breakthrough in the next few days, we’re likely heading into an era of constrained budgets. Is the [...]

What can $300 million a year buy for NASA’s planetary program?

In its continued quest to restore $300 million to NASA’s planetary science program, The Planetary Society described in a blog post this week what that restored funding could provide. According to “newly-formed internal budget numbers” provide to the organization from unnamed “sources within the planetary science community,” that additional funding could, in the long term, [...]

Planetary Society congratulates Obama, asks for more planetary funding

What do you do when the candidate who won the election was the one whose budget cut your favorite program? In the case of The Planetary Society, the answer is to congratulate him—and ask him to reverse those cuts. In a statement Thursday, the organization congratulated President Obama on his reelection Tuesday while asking him [...]

The Planetary Society looks ahead to planetary science funding in the 2014 budget

The space advocacy organization The Planetary Society has been pushing for months to try and undo the proposed cuts in NASA’s planetary science program in the 2013 budget proposal the administration released earlier this year. While the results of those efforts are yet to be determined—Congress has yet to pass a final 2013 appropriations bill [...]

Packing the house for a Senate hearing

Adding to a busy week, the Senate Commerce Committee is holding a hearing Wednesday afternoon titled “The Path from LEO to Mars”. The hearing will start with an update on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover, followed by a second panel of witnesses to discuss NASA’s “exploration portfolio” from low Earth orbit to Mars.

The Planetary Society [...]

Disappointed advocates, advocating scientists

Don’t count the members of the space advocacy group the Space Frontier Foundation fans of either the Democratic or Republican parties’ positions on space. Last week they issued a press release critical of the Republican platform’s space language, suggesting it was as odds with broader party ideology. “NASA seems to be one Big Government program [...]

NSS to step up plans to advocate for NASA human spaceflight programs

The National Space Society plans to increase its efforts to advocate for NASA’s human spaceflight programs in the near future, but will also act as a watchdog for at least one element of that effort, the space advocacy organization’s executive director said Thursday.

Paul Damphousse, who became NSS’s executive director early this year, told the [...]

Planetary scientists seek unity as they gear up for a budget fight

While NASA administrator Charles Bolden was defending the administration’s budget request before House appropriators earlier this week, other NASA officials were left to explain the consequences of those cuts to an audience even less pleased with the proposal: the planetary sciences community.

“I wish I had a good succinct answer” for why NASA’s planetary science [...]

AIAA members to lobby for human spaceflight and other issues this week

This Tuesday and Wednesday the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) will be holding its annual Congressional Visits Day, where members meet with various congressional offices to discuss aerospace-related issues. Those topics are listed in its Key Issues document, and include “Facilitating Assured, Cost-Effective Human Access to Space” alongside others ranging from air traffic [...]