July 7, 2001

Dear NSS member,

The human spaceflight program needs your help. Although the White House
proposed a $14.5 billion NASA budget for 2002, a 2% rise over last year,
human spaceflight portion is being cut $300 million. The projections for
outlying years – to 2006 – are even worse, showing a 14% decline in the
planned budget for human spaceflight.

This proposed cut is in response to the projected $4 billion cost overrun
the International Space Station (ISS) program. Much of this overrun is the
result of delays in the critical Zvesda module caused by lack of funding
the Russian government. However, forcing NASA to absorb the proposed cuts
will mean loss of an American crew return capability. If the Russians
another financial problem that interrupts delivery of Soyuz capsules, the
United States would lose permanent crew capability, and risk abandonment
the entire investment in ISS.

Also, dependence on Soyuz capsules for crew return means the crew size
would remain at 3 instead of growing to 7 as planned. Because
station maintenance and operation requires 2-3 crewmembers full time, we
need 6- 7 crewmembers to carry out a useful research program.

The House subcommittee on Science which oversees NASA (see list of members
at the end of this message) is going to mark up their budget bill on July
19. Congressman Nick Lampson (D-TX) and House Majority Whip Tom DeLay
(R-TX) are both committed to restoring $300 million to NASA’s human
budget. But they can’t do it without the support of the other members of
Congress. Let them know that money for the human exploration of space is
not just a Texas issue, but a national issue.

Please contact your representative before July 19 (and send a copy to Nick
Lampson or Tom DeLay depending on your member’s party), and urge your
friends and family members to do the same. If we let these cuts stand, not
only will we not get much return on our investment in ISS, our chances of
getting a human program to return to the Moon or go on to Mars will be
significantly reduced.

Personal letters have more impact, but if you only have time for e-mails
phone calls, that’s okay. What’s important is that you speak up for space!
You may use the sample letter below or write one of your own based on the
National Space Society’s policy on ISS which follows the sample letter.

Thank you for your help in support of human spaceflight. If you require
additional information (or do not wish to receive occasional legislative
alerts), please send an e-mail to me at mjdyson@swbell.net.

Ad Astra!

Marianne Dyson, NSS Alert Tree Coordinator

To get your member’s name, address, phone number, and e-mail address,
your zip code at the following site: http://www.vote-smart.org/index.phtml


Your Name

Your address

Today’s date

The Honorable (Your Representative’s Name)

(Your Representative’s address)

Washington, DC 20515

cc: The Honorable Nick Lampson

417 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515-4309

Phone: 202-225-6565

cc: The Honorable Tom DeLay

2370 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515-4322

Phone: 202-225-5951

Dear Representative:

I am writing to ask you to support our human space program. Please restore
the $300 million cut proposed to the Human Space Flight portion of NASA’s
2002 budget.

Forcing NASA to absorb the proposed cut will mean loss of an American crew
return capability. If the Russians suffer another financial problem such
the one that contributed substantially to the current cost overrun,
of Soyuz capsules needed for emergency crew return could be interrupted.
Without those capsules, the United States could not leave a crew in orbit.
This would bring all science research to a halt and risk abandonment of
entire investment in ISS.

Also, dependence on Soyuz capsules for crew return limits the crew size to
3 instead of growing to 7 as planned. Because it requires 2-3 crewmembers
time to maintain the station, we would get very little science return for
our billions of dollars of investment.

NASA’s entire budget is less than one percent of the federal budget.
have shown that for each dollar invested in the space program, seven are
returned to the private sector in technological spin-offs. Cutting
innovative programs such as the Bioplex closed-loop life support project
may save a few dollars in the short term, but will hurt our economy in the
long run.

Finally, as a member of the National Space Society, I strongly support the
long-term goal of the human settlement of space. We need a world-class
International Space Station facility to reach that goal and gain the
near-term benefits in materials science, medical advancements, and Earth
observation. Thank you for looking out for our future.


(Your Name)


Policy Statement of the National Space Society

The National Space Society notes with great regret that the corrective
actions taken by NASA in order to stay within International Space Station
(ISS) Congressional spending caps will severely limit crew size and
operational capability, as well as scientific benefits, aboard the

The National Space Society therefore urges that:

1. ISS be augmented with capability for a full crew of 6 or 7 people, on
the earliest time scale practicable within reasonable budget constraints.

2. An “ISS Applications Program” should be implemented as soon as
to begin steps towards the objective of expanding human presence beyond
Earth orbit, and to take full advantage of our investment in ISS.

3. NASA develop and publish, this year, a plan for such an ISS
Program, such plan to include consideration of the components that were
recently deleted from the ISS assembly sequence.

4. A Non-Governmental Organization be created to support management of the
space station and to develop commercial applications of the space station.

5. The Bush Administration amend the national space policy to restore the
objective “to expand human presence and activities beyond Earth orbit into
the Solar System”. [Approved by NSS Policy Committee, March 2001]



Republican Members (25)

  • Lamar S. Smith, Texas
  • Constance A. Morella, Maryland
  • Christopher Shays, Connecticut
  • Curt Weldon, Pennsylvania
  • Dana Rohrabacher, California
  • Joe Barton, Texas
  • Ken Calvert, California
  • Nick Smith, Michigan
  • Roscoe G. Bartlett, Maryland
  • Vernon J. Ehlers, Michigan
  • Dave Weldon, Florida
  • Gil Gutknecht, Minnesota**

Democratic Members (22)

  • Ralph M. Hall, Texas, RMM*
  • Bart Gordon, Tennessee
  • Jerry F. Costello, Illinois
  • James A. Barcia, Michigan
  • Eddie Bernice Johnson, Texas
  • Lynn C. Woolsey, California
  • Ken Calvert, California
  • Lynn N. Rivers, Michigan
  • Zoe Lofgren, California
  • Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas
  • Bob Etheridge, North Carolina
  • Nick Lampson, Texas
  • John B. Larson, Connecticut