Energized to show public support for space exploration, the Space Exploration Alliance (SEA) launched an unprecedented citizen action blitz during the budget release week.  This successful event demonstrated constituent support for the Vision for Space Exploration and for increased space funding.

The SEA is the national partnership of the nation’s premier non-profit space organizations with a combined membership of more than 1.2 million people throughout the United States.

Only three days after the release of the budget, members of the SEA assembled on Capitol Hill for the two-day Space Budget Blitz, armed with dedication and a message for Congress to fund NASA’s full authorized budget. 

The group held meetings with 23 congressional offices, including 14 members of the respective appropriations committees, and presented petitions signed by constituents at more than 25 additional Senate offices.  All told, over 50 key offices were contacted in the important first week of the Congressional budget process.

“This year, the space community showed up early to the budget battle,” said George Whitesides, Executive Director of the National Space Society and a member of the SEA’s Steering Committee.  “Congressional members and staff heard directly from their constituents that space is a priority and must be supported at a greater level if the nation is to fulfill the full promise of the Vision for Space Exploration.”

The blitz followed President Bush’s release of the FY2007 budget proposal, which included $16.8 billion for NASA.  Although it is an increase over the 2006 NASA budget, this proposal   is still $1.1 billion below the guide contained in the 2005 NASA Authorization Act.

Although the country is in a constrained financial situation, Blitz participants were encouraged to hear that NASA and the Vision for Space Exploration remain strong priorities on Capitol Hill.  Several congressional staff members also expressed their strong support for the grassroots political outreach efforts of the SEA and encouraged larger and more frequent events.

The SEA plans its next Space Blitz this summer, June 5-7.  This is an ongoing fight for the future of our nation’s space program that we can’t afford to stand on the sidelines of.  Mark your calendars now for this event – we hope for an even greater effort that will allow us to connect with even more congressional offices!

A future of humans as a spacefaring civilization is an opportunity waiting to be seized by those willing to reach.

For more information on the Space Exploration Alliance, please visit: www.spaceexplorationalliance.org

For additional information, please contact:

Jeremy Pyle
Vice President of Public Affairs
National Space Society
email: jeremy@nss.org
phone: (415) 713-6272