October 3, 2017

YOU Can Help Confirm the new NASA Administrator

The Coalition to Save Manned Space Exploration endorses the nomination of Rep. Jim Bridenstine to be the next NASA Administrator.

A committee hearing and the confirmation vote are expected before the end of October.

Please support Rep. Jim Bridenstine's nomination. It is important for all space advocates that he be confirmed by the Senate by unanimous consent or a strong bi-partisan vote.

Bridenstine is a strong supporter of the space program, commercial and new-space, crewed Moon and Mars missions. Under his leadership, combined with the strong support by President Trump, and Vice President Pence's leadership in the new National Space Council, we have the opportunity to reform NASA and set a serious roadmap to return to the Moon in the 2020s and land on Mars in the 2030s.

While politics in Congress has unfortunately become more combative in recent years, space and NASA policy has always remained overwhelmingly non-partisan.

Democrats and Republicans united to send Americans to the moon, and to build the space shuttles and the International Space Station. United, we will indeed return to the Moon and go to Mars sooner than many believe possible. Divided, we will never make it.

Historically, the Senate confirms NASA administrators with unanimous votes:
  • In 2009, both Maj. Gen.(Ret.) Charles F. Bolden, and Lori Garver were confirmed by unanimous consent.
  • In 2005, Dr. Michael D. Griffin was confirmed by voice vote.
  • In 2001, Sean O'Keefe was unanimously confirmed.
  • In 1992, Daniel S. Goldin was confirmed by unanimous consent.
  • Etc.
Let's give Rep. Bridenstine the unanimous bi-partisan and non-partisan support he needs to lead NASA to actually put us on the path to Mars. A contentious, party-line vote will harm NASA and our space program by making it difficult to get support in Congress for budgets, authorizations and real roadmaps to Mars, the Moon and beyond.

TAKE ACTION! Here's how:
  • Please call your Senators at 202-224-3121. Do not just leave a comment with the receptionist or intern, but ask to speak with the Senator's NASA advisor, or the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff. That will assure your support is communicated to the Senator in the best possible way. Leave a voicemail with the staffer if they can't take your call. 
  • Contact info for the U.S. Senate: www.senate.gov/senators/contact
  • Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness
  • Write an email to the Senator's NASA advisor/legislative assistant. Ask the receptionist for their email address.
  • If you run a space-related business or organization, request a meeting with your Senators or their senior staff, as well as those on the Space Subcommittee. Write a letter on your letterhead--but email a PDF to the Senator's NASA advisor rather than mail it. Post office mail can take weeks to be delivered due to security. 
  • Visit your Senators' offices, either in your state or at the U.S. Capitol.
  • Post supporting messages on social media. Encourage others to join together for a united, strong space program.
  • Write a letter to the editor or op-ed to a major newspaper and/or space industry publication.
  • Call talk shows.
  • If you are a member of any space advocacy and related organizations, please request that they endorse Bridenstine's nomination.
Please pass the word to your friends, contacts and supporters. 

July 3, 2017

Recreating the National Space Council

President Trump signed the order on June 30 to reestablish the National Space Council to offer badly needed expert guidance to move #NASA and our space program forwards--to actually set America on course for the Moon, Mars and beyond.  Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin joined the president in the signing ceremony, just weeks before the 48th anniversary of Apollo 11's landing on the Moon.

Vice President Pence will be the chairman of the Council, and will make a statement on space policy on July 6 at the Kennedy Space Center.

Remarks by the President Signing an Executive Order on the National Space Council

Thank you very much to our great Vice President and also for the fantastic job that Mike has been doing.  

The future of American space leadership -- we're going to lead again.  It’s been a long time.  It’s over 25 years, and we're opening up, and we are going to be leading again like we've never led before.
We’re a nation of pioneers, and the next great American frontier is space.  And we never completed -- we started, but we never completed.  We stopped.  But now we start again.  And we have tremendous spirit, and we're going to have tremendous spirit from the private sector -- maybe in particular from the private sector.

I’d like to extend a special welcome to an American hero who’ve I’ve known actually for a long time, Buzz Aldrin, who is with us today.  (Applause.)  Known him a long time.  Thank you also to Astronauts Benjamin Drew and David Wolf and former NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz for being with us and for working with us on exactly what we're doing today.  Thank you all very much. We appreciate it.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  (Applause.) 

Today, we’re taking a crucial step to secure America’s future in space by reviving the National Space Council after it has been dormant almost 25 years if you can believe it.

During the campaign, Vice President Pence promised that our administration -- because Mike is very much into space -- would revive the National Space Council, and with this executive order, we’re keeping that promise. I used to say, what happened?  Why aren’t we moving forward?
Today’s announcement sends a clear signal to the world that we are restoring America’s proud legacy of leadership in space.

Our Vice President cares very deeply about space policy, and for good reason -- space exploration is not only essential to our character as a nation, but also our economy and our great nation’s security.
Our travels beyond the Earth propel scientific discoveries that improve our lives in countless ways here, right here, at home:  powering vast new industry, spurring incredible new technology, and providing the space security we need to protect the American people.  And security is going to be a very big factor with respect to space and space exploration.  At some point in the future, we’re going to look back and say how did we do it without space? 

The Vice President will serve as the council’s chair.  Several representatives of my administration will join him including the Secretaries of State, Defense, Commerce, Transportation, and Homeland Security; the Chairman of the great -- I’ll tell you, he’s doing a fantastic job, always working, always fighting, and winning -- winning big against ISIS, that I can tell you, seeing what’s happening there -- the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the National Security Advisor, NASA, and the Director of National Intelligence.

The council will also draw the expertise of other White House offices as well as insights from scientists, innovators, and business leaders from across the country.  Many business leaders that want to be a big part of this.  I think the privatization of certain aspects is going to play a very crucial role, don’t you think?  They are truly into it.  This coordination will be accomplished through an advisory group that is being convened by today’s executive order, which I’ll be signing in a minute.
The National Space Council will be a central hub guiding space policy within the administration.  And I will draw on it for advice and information and recommendations for action. And the Vice President, myself, and a few others are going to pick some private people to be on the board.  I will say that’s not easy because everybody wants to be on this board.  People that you wouldn’t have believed loved what we’re doing so much they want to -- some of the most successful people in the world want to be on this board.

The human soul yearns for discovery.  By unlocking the mysteries of the universe, we unlock truths within ourselves.  That’s true.  Our journey into space will not only make us stronger and more prosperous, but will unite us behind grand ambitions and bring us all closer together.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  Can you believe that space is going to do that?  I thought politics would do that.  (Laughter.)  Well, we’ll have to rely on space instead.

Every launch into the skies is another step forward toward a future where our differences seem small against the vast expanse of our common humanity.  Sometimes you have to view things from a distance in order to see the real truth.  It is America’s destiny to be at the forefront of humanity’s eternal quest for knowledge and to be the leader amongst nations on our adventure into the great unknown.  And I could say the great and very beautiful unknown.  Nothing more beautiful.  
With the actions we are launching today, America will think big once again.  Important words:  Think big. We haven’t been thinking so big for a long time, but we’re thinking big again as a county. We will inspire millions of children to carry on this proud tradition of American space leadership -- and they’re excited -- and to never stop wondering, hoping, and dreaming about what lies beyond the stars.

So, I just want to tell you that we are now going to sign an executive order, and this is going to launch a whole new chapter for our great country.  And people are very excited about it and I can tell you, I’m very excited about it.  Thank you all very much.  (Applause.)  

COLONEL ALDRIN:  Infinity and beyond.  (Laughter.)

Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot made a statement about Friday’s Executive Order creating the National Space Council:

“I am pleased that President Trump has signed an executive order reestablishing the National Space Council. The council existed previously from 1989-1993, and a version of it also existed as the National Aeronautics and Space Council from 1958-1973. As such, the council has guided NASA from our earliest days and can help us achieve the many ambitious... milestones we are striving for today.

“This high-level group advises the president and comprises the leaders of government agencies with a stake in space, including the NASA administrator, the Secretaries of State, Commerce, Defense, and others, and will be chaired by Vice President Mike Pence. It will help ensure that all aspects of the nation’s space power -- national security, commerce, international relations, exploration, and science, are coordinated and aligned to best serve the American people. A Users’ Advisory Group also will be convened so that the interests of industries and other non-federal entities are represented.

“The establishment of the council is another demonstration of the Trump Administration’s deep interest in our work, and a testament to the importance of space exploration to our economy, our nation, and the planet as a whole.”

March 30, 2017

The Presidential Briefing

Art Harman, the Director of the Coalition to Save Manned Space Exploration met recently with the White House officials involved in setting the Trump administration's space policy.

Mr. Harman presented the organization's landmark paper, "A Space Program Worthy of the United States," which is a 19-point plan to rebuild America's space program and actually land Americans on the moon and Mars in the near future, as well as to not allow China and other nations to overtake the U.S.

The meeting was very useful and the administration is seeking new ideas and advice.

At present, the administration is preparing its plans to refocus NASA's priorities, and many observers expect a greater focus on deep space exploration and commercial partnerships.

The Coalition is in continuing contact with the administration and Congress to help assure we will remain the leader in the world for space exploration and high technology, and will in fact return to the Moon and go to Mars--sooner than many believe possible.

Congressional Briefings

Art Harman, the Director of the Coalition to Save Manned Space Exploration, participated in a massive Congressional lobbying campaign over two days with volunteer space advocates from around the country, and members of many space advocacy organizations. This was the annual Space Exploration Alliance's "Legislative Blitz," which this year met with staff and members of Congress in over 175 offices.

You can help too! Call your Senators and Representative, and ask that they support a bold new space program, and the funding to support it. Call 202-224-3121, and when you reach your Senators' and Representative's offices, ask for the Legislative Assistant that handles NASA so you are talking with the staffer responsible for that issue.

Now that we have a president that is more friendly to the space program, it is vital to build greater support in Congress for a return to the moon and a true roadmap to Mars. Congress has already passed the NASA Transition Authorization Act this year, which offers good guidance for NASA in restoring our space program to greatness.