[PLANETARY SOCIETY] Protest Congress' cuts to NAS

Larry Klaes (lklaes@bbn.com)
Tue, 27 Jul 1999 15:33:19 -0400

Date: Tue, 27 Jul 1999 12:10:17 -0700 (PDT) From: Louis Friedman <tpsldf@planetary.org> To: general@planetary.org
Subject: [PLANETARY SOCIETY] Protest Congress' cuts to NASA! X-archive-position: 2
Sender: general-bounce@planetary.org
X-original-sender: tpsldf@planetary.org

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Dear friends:

Please read the NEWS RELEASE below. The situation for the future of U.S. space exploration continues to get worse -- Congress is now considering a cut of nearly 30% to Space Science, devastating planetary exploration, and most likely eliminating missions to Mars, Europa, Pluto, comets and asteroids.

These actions are solely the result of political infighting about budget surpluses! They have nothing to do with the merits of the space program.

This is the most devastating attack on planetary exploration in 20 years. We are asking everyone who cares about the future in space -- whether from the U.S. or from other nations -- to write letters to the U.S. Congress about this issue, before FRIDAY July 30!

Address your letters to:

The Honorable Bill Young
Chairman, Appropriations Committee
H-218 Capitol Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Fax: 202-225-9764

The Honorable David Obey
Ranking Member, Appropriations Committee 1016 Longworth
Washington, D.C. 20515
Fax: 202-225-3240


The Planetary Society
65 N. Catalina Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91106-2301 (626) 793-5100 Fax (626) 793-5528 E-mail: tps@planetary.org Web: http://planetary.org For Immediate Release: July 26, 1999


PASADENA The House VA-HUD-IA Appropriations Subcommittee this evening voted to slash $1.3 billion from NASA's FY 2000 budget, which, could will cripple the agency and force the termination of many critical space science missions, according to Dr. Louis Friedman, Executive Director of The Planetary Society.

"The House action gives new meaning to 'deep impact'", said Friedman. "The space science cuts are the most devastating in NASA's history and effectively curtail space exploration after 2001. It's an irresponsible budget that does terrible harm to America's future."

"NASA's budget has been reduced every year since 1992, and the proposed cuts would be the coup de grace," Friedman added. "In the last decade NASA has led the federal government in accomplishing more for less. Now, these gains will be lost."

The Congressional action ironically occurs as NASA astronauts are in orbit launching Chandra, a new great observatory.

The House $1.3 billion cutback is about 10 percent of NASA's total funding ($13.665 billion). But the cut to the space science program, now $2.2 billion,
is $640 million -- 29 percent!

If this action is passed by the full Congress, the planetary missions that would probably be terminated include:

Additional space and Earth science missions would also be cancelled.

"The House cuts fly in the face of recent Congressional studies that recommend investing more -- not less -- in science and technology," Friedman said. The full House recently passed the NASA authorization bill, which boosts spending above the Administration's request.

"If the House is truly serious about these cutbacks, it should hold hearings to
allow for public comment," Friedman said. "At a minimum, a full and open debate about alternatives to ending the American role in space exploration should be held."

For more information, contact Louis Friedman at (626) 7935100 or by email: tps.ldf@planetary.org

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Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman founded the Society in
1979 to advance the exploration of the solar system and to continue
the search for extraterrestrial life. With 100,000 members in over 140
countries, the Society is the largest space interest group in the world.

Copyright 1999 The Planetary Society. All Rights Reserved.