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Planetary Society: Congress Committee Hears Your S.O.S.!

Status Report From: Planetary Society
Posted: Thursday, June 22, 2006

Dear Member,

The Planetary Society's Save Our Science campaign has made a huge impact in Washington, D.C. We -- all of us -- made a difference. The petitions you signed, the newspaper ads and the congressional presentation you helped fund, and your tremendous support have been all important in influencing a favorable consideration by the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee. (The congressional presentation included Titanic director James Cameron, our Vice-President Bill Nye, planetary scientist Heidi Hammel, and myself).

This past week, the Committee voted to restore $75 million (out of $330 million) of the funding that the Administration had cut from space science plans, including $50 million to research and analysis, $10 million for development of Terrestrial Planet Finder, and, most exciting, $15 million for a new start on a mission to Europa!

It wasn't everything we asked for, but it was a lot. The NASA Appropriations bill now has to be voted on by the full House, and then the whole process must be repeated in the Senate. This battle is far from over -- we have much more to do, and your continued support is key to our success.

One of the Senate's most influential members about the space program is Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). She has long been the lead supporter of space science in the U.S. Senate. After our congressional presentation, we met with her to ask for her help with the NASA space science budget and seek her support for the Europa mission, which she described as fascinating and worthy.

Additional special thanks go to Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) for his crucial championing of the Europa mission during the deliberations of the House Appropriations Committee. His support is deeply appreciated since it comes from genuine interest and understanding, not from any constituency or local district motivation.

Our colleagues in the science community and in other science and space organizations joined with us in a strong and unified voice against this attack on NASA science and exploration. We have many friends and have made many allies. Seeing them so energized about this issue, about which we care so much, is gratifying.

Most important, we thank you and the thousands of your fellow Planetary Society members who have participated in our Save Our Science campaign. Our campaign is growing, and you can help extend our reach. You, and all our members, are our most effective means of growth and influence.

Tell a friend about our Save Our Science campaign, give a gift membership in our Society, and increase our strength and expand our influence. We need to continue to harness public support to turn the tide in this crucial budget battle.

Sincerely,

Louis Friedman

To give a gift membership online go to: https://planetary.org/join/membership/gift.html

or call 1-877-PLANETS (in U.S), 1-626-793-5100

For the latest on the S.O.S. - Save Our Science Campaign go to: http://planetary.org/sos

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