June 28, 2007 – Reston, Va. – Leaders from 11 professional science and engineering societies called on Congress today to boost NASA’s fiscal year 2008 budget or risk losing the nation’s scientific and engineering primacy.
In a letter, the group asked Congress to support an increase to NASA’s FY08 budget of $1.4 billion for aerospace research and technology. The budget is currently under review on Capitol Hill.
The signatories represent the thousands of scientists committed to keeping the United States competitive in science and engineering research and development. The letter states, “…we know first-hand that our colleagues continue their work despite the interrelated and disturbing trends of reduced federal research funding, a shrinking workforce in the science and engineering disciplines, and a calamitous decrease in the number of students choosing to carry on this commitment in the future.”
The letter agrees with the National Academy of Sciences finding that NASA is “being asked to accomplish too much with too little.” NASA does not have the resources to support the space exploration-related programs while maintaining critical space science, earth science, and life and physical science programs.
NASA plays a critical role in inspiring and supporting future generations of scientists and engineers. Its robust research and development programs, as well as the excitement of space exploration, are incentive for youth to pursue engineering and science degrees. Without proper funding, the opportunities, mentors and experiences necessary to sustain the next-generation technology leaders will vanish.
The Administration’s $17.3 billion request was $1.4 billion below the previously congressionally authorized level. The scientific community requests Congress fully appropriate the authorized FY 08 funding level. This will enable NASA to carry out its mission, thereby supporting continued U.S. leadership in research and development as well as educating the next generation of scientists and engineers.
Go to http://www.aiaa.org/content.cfm?pageid=7 view a copy of the letter.
AIAA advances the state of aerospace science, engineering, and technological leadership. Headquartered in suburban Washington, D.C., the Institute serves over 35,000 members in 65 regional sections and 79 countries. AIAA membership is drawn from all levels of industry, academia, private research organizations, and government. For more information, visit http://www.aiaa.org.