Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Congressional Delegation View Shuttle Launch

Two Senators have done what other space activists dream of doing: They have brought a dozen other senators to watch a night launch of the shuttle to promote the space program to them. Beyond that, they have given them a tour of the facilities and urged them to increase Government spending on space by billions of dollars and close the gap.

Read about the event here, here, and here.

Odds are, one of these senators represents you. Contact them now and follow up with your voice of support for America's space program! Tell them about the SPACE Act (H.R.4837) and the budget. Tell them specifically how they should vote and why.

Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.)
Brad Miller (D-NC)
Laura Richardson (D-Calif.)
Adrian Smith (D-Wash.)
Phil Gingrey (R–Ga.)
Patrick Kennedy (D-RI)
Mazie Hirono (D-Hi.)
Kay Granger (R–Tex.)
John Shimkus (R-Ill.)
Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.)
Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.)
John Carter (R-Tex.)
Vic Snyder (D-Ark.)
Dave Reichert (D-Wash.)

While you are at it, tell your other congressman how you feel. Strike while the iron is hot!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

India Slated to Beat the US to the Punch with Manned Spaceflight

ISRO, India's space agency, has been allocated funds to push forward with a 2014 manned space flight. Astronauts will be selected from a pool of Indian combat pilots.

The United States, at current budget levels and planning, will regain capability to launch manned flights no sooner than 2015, if all goes according to plan and schedule.

This announcement comes on the heels of the formation of an earlier partnership between NASA and ISRO that includes work manned space flight.

Tell your representatives that this is a shameful cessation of American space technology and national pride and urge them to solve the problem of the manned spaceflight capability gap. Tell them specifically about the current legislation and 2009 budget and what they should do about it.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Commitee Reccomends $1 Billion Increase to NASA's 09 Budget

The Senate Budget Committee recommended a $1 billion increase in NASA's budget, and issues the following document explaining their rationale. The budgetary process is far from over, and it is up to you to lean on every legislator that represents you to give NASA more than the anemic request that president Bush has asked for. The budget has votes, discussions, and more committee meetings on both sides of the house before it becomes finalized.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer Launch Cancellation

The New York Times has brought attention to the bleak future of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. This device was build at a cost of billions of dollars by scientists all over the world to detect evidence of antimatter and dark matter in the universe. Is was to be installed on the international space station.

With the squeeze on the remaining shuttle flights, launching this equipment has been struck from the manifest, causing an outcry from scientists the world over.

The SPACE Act (H.R.4837) has been put on the table by representative Weldon of Florida to provide for this launch, among other things.

Contact your senators and tell them specifically about the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. Tell them that either by voting and passing HR 4837 or by some other way, this hardware needs to be launched.Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer

Monday, March 3, 2008

Campaign Space Policy Clarifications from the Houston Chronicle

Recent clarifications of Obama, Clinton, and McCain's space policies were examined in an article by the Houston Chronicle leading up to Tomorrow's primaries there.

All of the candidates have somewhat drifted toward the middle on the issue, saying that they all want to shorten the gap. None of them have specifically stated support of a moon or mars mission.

While the attention to the issue is a good thing, and concurrence in shortening the gap is also positive, tell each candidate that if they want to differentiate themselves in a positive way, they will need to make bolder statements of support for specific NASA programs.