While falling short of the recommended levels needed for a “space program worthy of a great nation” as proposed by the Augustine Committee in 2009, the Obama administration’s fiscal year 2013 budget plan for NASA does spare the agency from significant overall cuts. The National Space Society (NSS), with its goals of creating a spacefaring civilization and of using the resources of space for the betterment of life on Earth, is guardedly optimistic about portions of the budget while calling for increased support for others.
“This budget for NASA reflects the realities we’re unfortunately now facing: ‘flat is the new up,’ and, while continuing to advocate for increased funding, we’ll have to work hard with what we have to achieve our goals,” said NSS Executive Director Paul E. Damphousse. “That being said, we will push the Administration, Congress, and NASA to meet these goals. The programs of record must come in on schedule and on budget; support for commercial spaceflight must be unwavering; and our Mars program, while undergoing restructuring, must still strive to make upcoming launch windows with relevant missions.”
NSS, as the nation’s preeminent voice on space, will continue its engagement with the nation’s leaders as this plan is debated in the coming months. In association with the Space Exploration Alliance, NSS will conduct a grassroots Legislative Blitz on Capitol Hill later this month with over 100 meetings scheduled with Members of Congress and their staffs. The Blitz allows NSS members to voice their support for our goals and to urge our elected officials to enact policies which will enable our sustainable future in space.
“The new budget and its impact on NSS’ long-term goals will feature prominently in our Legislative Blitz this year,” Damphousse said. “The Blitz, as well as our recently released space development position paper, are just two examples of how NSS is fighting for our future in space.”
More information and ways to register for the upcoming Legislative Blitz can be found on the NSS home page at www.nss.org. The position paper can be found here: The Development of Space: Opportunities to Improve Life on Earth.