National Space Society Legislative Alert: Mars Alert, 04 Sep 07

[NOTE: This alert is on inactive status.]

Mars Alert, 04 Sep 07

Moon, Mars, and Beyond is in serious jeopardy!

When the United States House of Representatives recently passed its version of the FY08 budget, the House approved language in the NASA budget that would restrict NASA from spending any money on programs that are exclusively intended for human missions to Mars. This language poses a real danger to the future of the program. It not only endangers future human missions to the red planet but also undermines the rationale behind out successful robotic Mars program.

According to NSS Executive Director, George Whiteside’s, “This shortsighted language must be changed. At a time when Europe, Russia, and China are turning their attention towards Mars, this language would hobble America’s leadership position in exploration of the red planet.”

It is NOT too late to prevent this language from ending up in the final budget. The U.S. Senate budget version does not include this language and House Appropriations members can still help remove the language during the Conference Committee. However, they are unlikely to do this if they don’t hear any objections from their constituents and the space advocacy community.

We need you to take a stand. How? You need to call your representatives in Congress (Senate and House) and express your opposition to this anti-Mars language. In addition, tell Congress that NASA needs to be funded at the level that Congress itself agreed to fund the space program in the 2005 NASA Authorization Act.

What should you say when you call? The following are guidelines but use your own words.

1. I am calling to object to the anti-Mars language that has been placed in the House Appropriations Bill. The language, which was inserted by staff, would forbid NASA from working on human Mars exploration. This language will weaken NASA’s entire exploration program, cutting out the real rationale behind our successful robotic Mars program. We must not have this language in the final appropriations bill for NASA.

2. Congress should also support a top-line increase in NASA’s budget, which is an investment in America’s future. We hope that you will support the funding level that Congress overwhelmingly agreed in the 2005 NASA Authorization Act.