NATIONAL SPACE SOCIETY APPLAUDS SENATE'S COMMITMENT TO VISIONARY SPACE EXPLORATION
WASHINGTON, DC: The National Space Society applauded the adoption by the Senate of a budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2005 which includes full funding of the administration's NASA budget request.
"We are gratified and encouraged by the adoption of a forward-looking budget resolution for NASA in FY 2005," said NSS Executive Vice President Clifford R. McMurray. "By providing for full funding of the Administration's budget request, this budget will allow NASA to move forward with the implementation of its new Human Space Exploration Vision to return humans to the Moon and on to Mars."
The Senate's budget resolution, passed March 12, foresees a 5.6 percent ($800 million) increase in the NASA budget for FY 2005, raising the budget to a total of $16.2 billion.
"For years, the National Space Society has been calling for "a space program that goes somewhere," and that's exactly what's on the table today," said McMurray. "We understand that there are concerns about the lack of definition in the plans for the new Space Exploration Vision. The Administration has provided a strategy for getting Americans out of low earth orbit and back into deep space, not a detailed blueprint. But the only way we'll ever move from a general goal to specific plans and hardware is to fund this program. The last thing we need now is another five or ten years of paper studies."
NSS hopes that the House budget resolution, still being debated in the House, will also provide full funding for the new Space Exploration Vision.
"We are aware that there are large challenges to the federal budget this year," said McMurray. "But a program that costs less than one percent of overall federal spending, and that returns so much to our economy both directly and indirectly, is not the right place to look for trimming the budget. Space will be the same sort of economic driver for the American economy in the coming century that aviation was in the twentieth century. But it will take investment in new technology to make that happen."
The National Space Society is an independent, international, educational, grassroots, nonprofit and non-partisan organization devoted to the creation of a free spacefaring civilization. It supports the exploration, development and utilization of space for the benefit of mankind. The NSS has more than 22,000 members and 50 chapters worldwide. NSS Policy documents can be located at http://chapters.nss.org/policy-cmte/ Call 202-429-1600 or http://NSS.org for more information on the NSS.