July 31, 2004
Support for the Vision for Space Exploration
NSS Member Ryan Caron sent the following letter to his congressman on July 30, 2004. Reprinted by permission of the author.
Dear Congressman Charles Bass,
I am writing to voice my support for the President's Vision for Space Exploration. The loss of Columbia and her crew bring unprecedented scrutiny to NASA and the purpose of America's manned space program. For over thirty years our manned space program has wandered aimlessly with little or no direction. Now we finally have a President that has given us a mission, one of exploration and one that America can be proud of. Revisiting the Moon and living on Mars will rival the tales of Apollo and inspire the next generation of explorers in much the same way Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin did in July 1969.
Recent appropriations reduced NASA's budget from the requested $16.2 billion to $15.1 billion, $200 million less than the current year's budget. Such an outrageous difference between requested and allotted funding will certainly jeopardize the new Vision. If we don't ensure that this new Vision gets the Congressional support it needs and deserves, we could remain stuck in Earth's orbit again for another thirty years, and not explore the Moon and Mars within our lifetimes. We have an opportunity to revolutionize what we do in space, and we must take advantage of it while we can.
I am a student working towards an aerospace engineering degree and am an avid space enthusiast. If this Vision gets Congressional approval, in a few years I will be privileged enough to enter the workforce during a very exciting and challenging time. I hope you share my enthusiasm and support for this new initiative.
Posted by apsmith at July 31, 2004 05:16 PM