Dear Members and Supporters:

It is time to take action and write the President!

The future of the United States space program
is at stake. Its human spaceflight program is grounded,
and the purposes that it serves are being questioned —
by Congress, by the media, and by the general public.
The Bush Administration is now conducting a high-level
review of U.S. space policy with the goal of issuing a
Presidential Directive, perhaps in a few weeks.
It may set the course for human spaceflight — and
all space exploration — for a generation.

This is the time – perhaps the only time for the
foreseeable future – to influence U.S. space policy
and the course of space exploration. We urge our
members and all those who care about our future
in space to write the President now.

You can write the president at:

As members of The Planetary Society, and as visitors
to our web site, you are familiar with our position.
You can read about it in the statements delivered by
the Society’s Chairman of the Board, Bruce Murray,
and Society President, Wesley T. Huntress, Jr. to
the House Science Committee. They urged that
America’s human space flight program be drastically
revised, and retargeted at human exploration beyond Earth
orbit — with the ultimate goal of establishing a human
outpost on Mars. The current shuttle-focused program
has shackled us to Earth orbit for more than 30 years,
and promises to do so for another two decades.
Even the International Space Station drifts aimlessly.
A program aimed at Mars could change all that by
providing a single unifying goal for human and
robotic space ventures.

We take no position on how to reach the goal of
sending human explorers to Mars. That can be
decided once the goal is established. Important
questions remain to be addressed on whether
a human return to the Moon is a necessary
step or on the role of interim milestones. The Society
advocates a national commitment to a progressive,
well-paced Mars human flight program, that can be
accomplished within realistic funding levels.

This is the simple message we believe must be
conveyed to the President. The U.S. human
spaceflight program should be directed to send
humans to Mars.

Act Now!


Louis Friedman
Executive Director
The Planetary Society