The Planetary Society NASA Budget Cuts Alert, August 1999
Many of you who read this page will have a long held appreciation of the profound manner by which NASA's endeavors over the past 40 years have enriched our planet. The fact that Stuart Kingsley is now a US citizen, that this pioneering Web site exists to revisited the Optical Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, is in no small measure due to the influence of NASA on yours truly when he was a young man. Today, there is something seriously missing in America -- its lack of desire to explore the final frontier. We live in an increasingly virtual reality world in which we dream bur rarely do. Today, our heroes are sports and film stars, not astronauts, scientists or engineers -- and Americans wonder why the educational system is faltering! This past July marked the 30th Anniversary of the first moon landing when many of us looked back over those past three decades and felt not just nostalgia but also profound sadness, and a little anger, that so little has been done since then to build upon mankind's greatest achievement. Whether we a talking about the manned space program or the exploration of space with unmanned probes, much more needs to be done.
The recent announcement of over $1.2 Billion in further cuts to NASA's budget is simply appalling. While the US Congress argues about how to divide up or give away a so-called $1 Trillion budget surplus, the House of Representatives has decided to further erode the funding for NASA's programs. Read The Planetary Society alert below that I received today and contact your Senator and Representative in support of not just retaining NASA's budget at present levels, but to significantly increase it over the next decade. Even if you are not a U.S. citizen, contact U.S. Members of Congress to voice your concerns and support of NASA or let your views be heard by your own national agencies and passed along to the U.S. Congress. You may not have have a vote here, but let them know that many in the international community expect the United States to show its scientific leadership in exploring the universe and moving humans out into space. The 20th Century is know as the American Century, as we approach the millennium what nation will claim the 21st Century as its own?
Dr. Stuart A. Kingsley
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