NSS Calls on Its Members and All Friends of Space to Phone Their Representatives Today!

NSS has emphatically requested that the House of Representatives adopt the Senate version of the NASA Authorization Act of 2010.

The vote on this issue is now imminent!  

Please read the full NSS Press Release http://www.nss.org/Press-Release-Sept-10-2010-NASA-Authorization.pdf

You need to call your Congressman today if possible and let them know how you stand on this issue and what you would like them to do.

The exact schedule for the vote is not yet known.  We will post updates to the blog and the website as soon as further information is available.

Remember that telephone calls are usually taken by a staff member, not the member of Congress.  Ask to speak with the aide who handles the issue about which you wish to comment.  After identifying yourself, tell the aide you would like to leave a brief message, such as: “Please tell Representative (Name) that I support adopting the Senate version of the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 and request that he/she do so as well.”  You will also want to state reasons for your support of the bill. 

You can email them a copy of the NSS Press Release http://www.nss.org/Press-Release-Sept-10-2010-NASA-Authorization.pdf.    You may also request a written response to your telephone call.  You can follow up on any pending legislation at http://www.thomas.gov

Thoughts on the proposed NASA 2011 Budget . . .

“The National Space Society (NSS) commends NASA and the Executive Branch for proposing to increase spending for science, technology, and sustainable economic development in space; however, we believe the President’s 2011 budget request would leave the job only partly done.”

We need to support a space program (human and robotic) that goes beyond low-Earth orbit. 

We need a space program that will bring the inner solar system into our economic sphere and extend human presence throughout the solar system in accordance with U.S. national space policy, by adopting a long-term vision including power and materials from space.

The confluence of interests necessary to establish and maintain a national Space Policy is forged from a potent blend of promise, political interest, and economic wisdom … the promise of new real wealth — in terms of knowledge, resources, and technology;  the political interest of the body politic, and those that serve it; and last, but not least, the economic wisdom to choose goals and missions sufficiently compelling that they can and will endure across multiple administrations.

The proposed NASA 2011 Budget is pregnant with opportunity, laying forth a cornucopia of constructive endeavors in a reasoned programmatic framework while at the same time seeking to strike a balance between proposed funding and the programs to be carried forward. 

That said, technology development without requirements, without a set of missions that it is intended to enable, runs the risk of irrelevance if not being deemed a squandering of resources.

The challenge before us is to establish policy that sustains the confluence of interests necessary to achieve the future we wish to see come to pass … people living and working in thriving communities beyond the Earth, and the use of the vast resources of space for the dramatic betterment of humanity.

We need to support and expect a bright future in space, and the private sector cannot do it all alone.

Our space endeavors, government and commercial, provide strategic capabilities that define us as a nation and help maintain our leadership in the peaceful exploration and development of space.  

We need a comprehensive space program worthy of a nation willing to lead on the space frontier.  

Accordingly, whatever restructuring of NASA’s future is sustained and funded by this Congress, and those that come later, should be held to the standard of goals and destinations that foster the expansion of human activities and civilization into space beyond low Earth orbit. 

Ad Astra!

– Gary P. Barnhard