Planetary Society SOS

Received this today from the Planetary Society...
Dear Member,
NASA's acclaimed Science Division -- the heart and soul
of the U.S. space agency -- is in danger!
In spite of its great promise of a "Vision for Space Exploration," the U.S. administration has submitted a shameful 5-year budget that will devastate NASA's science efforts. It slashes over $3 billion from crucial science programs in favor of paying for unplanned and unbudgeted new costs for an expensive Space Shuttle program that is scheduled to be phased out by 2010.
If this disastrous budget stands, NASA will have no "Vision" at all. As one former NASA official put it, "Exploration without Science is just tourism". . . and that is exactly what this budget promises.
This is a catastrophe in the making. Space exploration is a worldwide enterprise, and NASA's program serves all Earth's people. You and I have a simple choice: we can wring our hands while NASA's most daring and productive efforts are strangled. . . or we can fight!
If you agree that decimating Science could virtually destroy one of the world's premiere exploration programs for at least a decade -- and perhaps for our lifetimes -- then I ask you to line up with us right now. Put your voice and your resources into the battle. Act today to help launch the Society's SOS: Save Our Science Campaign.
Simply take the following two steps right away:
FIRST: Sign the Petition. http://planetary.org/programs/projects/sos/petition.html
We will personally deliver these to the U.S. officials directly involved in these decisions -- and to leaders of space programs around the world.
SECOND: Donate to the SOS Campaign. https://planetary.org/join/donate/sos06 /
Only with your financial help can we succeed in this urgent SOS Campaign to restore NASA's Science budget.
The U.S. administration is defending the NASA budget, saying that it is growing. But the funds allocated for NASA are more than $1 billion less than those pledged in order to support the "Vision" and the rest of the NASA program. This year, NASA warned that increased shuttle costs would require major cuts to Science . . . and the U.S. administration agreed!
This is a woefully short-sighted decision. Cutting Science is ridiculous! It is the part of NASA that is working best, producing the most spectacular results, and leading the way in exploration. Do we really want to punish success?
This budget could also essentially stop human exploration in its tracks. The commitment to 17 more Shuttle flights could delay the sorely needed new Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), dooming us to Earth orbit for at least another two decades. The end result: this budget hurts the future of the Human Flight program as well as Science. It is literally the "worst of all possible worlds."
Here's what we've got planned with the SOS: Save Our Science Campaign.
We will send renowned people -- internationally known scientists, respected engineers, visionary leaders who are fully behind the Society's position -- to visit key U.S. leaders and to speak with leaders of space programs around the world to personally explain what's at stake.
But that's only the beginning. We're tapping experts, top people in the space community: a veritable army of scientists, retired NASA personnel, former astronauts, academic leaders, science writers, and more. They will lend their voices to our cause, speaking out at every opportunity: in radio and TV interviews, in newspapers and other publications, in one-on-one discussions with journalists, and at all manner of public meetings and events worldwide.
We're mobilizing the public directly with every tool at our disposal. Advertising, direct mail, appeals through the media . . . anything and everything to marshal international public opinion against this travesty.
Which brings me back to your role in this. You know that The Planetary Society will make an air-tight case for preserving Science at NASA. But the real weapon in our arsenal is YOU. Your participation will make it clear that planetary exploration and space science are not just a national imperative -- they are popularly supported around the world.
Believe me, by raising your voice with the Society -- giving generously, and signing the enclosed Petitions -- you will be part of our team, playing an integral role in saving Science at NASA.
This is nothing less than a fight for our future in space. Will we continue exploring...or will we allow NASA to abandon its mission and inspiration? Help us influence that decision by joining the SOS: Save Our Science Campaign.
Sincerely, Louis Friedman Executive Director http://planetary.org/sos /
P.S. If you haven't received it already, you will probably be getting a letter about this action in the mail. If you have already sent in your petition and donation, we thank you.
I can't say this strongly enough: we've never faced a crisis like this one. Time is of the essence.
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Want to know the BIGGEST 'cash cow' that is draining NASA/JPL coffers? The Space Shuttle. This program has been an ABSOLUTE failure in terms of budget, non-realized goals, and loss of life. Its actually embarrassing ... Apollo cost LESS (taking into account inflation) and did MORE to increase our knowlege about our place in the universe ... oh well, tax and spend ... tax and spend.
Voyager, Pioneer, Viking, All Mars Landers, Apollo, New Horizons, Sky Lab, were ALL worth EVERY penny spent and the data from these missions is STILL being reduced and discoverys made ... (New Horizons has a date with Pluto)
The Russians learned REAL quick how dumb the costs of a shuttle program were ... and if it weren't for Nixon and MacNamerra's goal for a space plane that could reach orbit, capture Soviet satellites and bring them back for U.S. study, the U.S. Space Shuttle would never have been ... oh well, who cares about science and learning ... 'Kick Ass' Shuttle SRB ignitions are MORE important than LEARNING about our universe or hunting for extraterrestrial life ... GO KICK ASS SRBs and screw learning ...
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