From: National Space Society
Posted: Monday, May 17, 2004
Leading space groups to assemble their members in support of Exploration Vision
Twelve leaders of the Space Exploration Alliance announced today that their organizations would join in launching a "Moon-Mars Blitz" on Capitol Hill July 11-13. During this event, the organizations will bring their members to Washington to visit as many congressional members and staff as possible with a single message: "Fund NASA's requests for FY 2005 for starting the new Moon, Mars, and Beyond initiative."
The Space Exploration Alliance comprises leading space advocacy groups, industry associations and space policy organizations. It was formed to promote the new Vision for Space Exploration. The collaboration for the Moon-Mars Blitz is the opening shot illustrating the kind of campaigns that SEA members will be undertaking to help insure passage of the budget required to launch the new space initiative.
The organizations announcing their partnership for this event today are the American Astronautical Society, Aerospace Industries Association, Aerospace States Association, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, California Space Authority, Florida Space Authority, The Mars Society, National Coalition of Spaceport States, National Space Society, ProSpace, Space Access Society and Space Frontier Foundation.
The idea for the blitz grew out of the National Space Society's previously planned summer 2004 legislative conference, which would have involved a spectrum of space-related issues. However, at the May 7 founding meeting of the SEA, NSS offered to focus the Legislative Conference on funding for the Moon Mars Initiative, and invited other SEA members to join in. Several groups promptly accepted the offer, and decided to turn the Legislative Conference into the Moon-Mars Blitz.
According to NSS Executive Director George Whitesides, "The Moon-Mars initiative represents a once in a decade chance to break the space program out of low Earth orbit and open the path towards a spacefaring civilization. We cannot let it go down to defeat."
Mars Society President Robert Zubrin commented; "Congress needs to get the message, the American people want a space program that is actually going somewhere. Skeptics in congress should not say 'no.' Instead they should say 'show me,' and provide the funds necessary for planning to begin."
The blitz activity will include a day of training for all participants, followed by two days of congressional visits. The organizations invite all other space organizations, as well as individuals not affiliated with any organization, to take part. In a joint statement, the SEA leaders put it simply: "Together we can win."
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