February 18, 2020

How to Lobby Congress and Candidates for the Moon and Mars

Promoting the Space Program to Decision Makers:

In this election year, there’s two valuable actions you can take to build support in Congress and the White House for America’s future in space, including returning to the moon in 2024 and landing on Mars by 2033.


The first is to take advantage of the easy access to candidates and incumbents for Congress and President during the campaign season.

Ignore politics and let’s use this year to engage all the candidates to out-compete each other in their support for a bold space program.

Presidential candidates are travelling the country and speaking at events—some large and some small. The small events can be an excellent opportunity to actually talk to the candidates and their senior advisors.

At a huge event, you won’t meet the candidate or staff unless you know someone, but you can make them know you are there in a friendly and positive way. One way is to wear your pro-space shirts and caps. Maybe you’ll want to bring a sign or banner with “Moon by 2024” or Mars 2033!” on it, though many large events will have security rules forbidding banners and sign poles.

You can hold up signs on public property outside the campaign event with signs asking the candidate to support plans for the Moon and Mars. That may be photographed by the media.

Note that protesting in any way will just get you ousted and will result in the opposite effect from what you want.

For House and Senate campaigns, go to campaign events for both parties and you’ll have a good chance to talk to the incumbents and new candidates as well as their senior staff about your space priorities.

Call, email and message all presidential and congressional candidates in support of Moon 2024 and Mars 2033. Visit their local campaign headquarters and talk to their staff. Ask for the candidate’s statements and positions on the space program and commercial space. If they don’t have one, suggest they create a statement—or even offer to write one.

Every campaign has Facebook, Twitter and other social media. The candidate might not read it or personally send messages, but staff will certainly relay your message if it sounds useful and is constructive, or at least a summary of it if many people send similar messages. You can also retweet useful information to candidates.

Then get all your friends and contacts to do the same.

Everything seems political today, but space must not be so if we are to realize our dreams. Both Democratic and Republican presidents and Congresses have all inspired and funded our greatest space accomplishments, from JFK’s “we will go to the Moon in this decade” to building the space shuttles and the International Space Station, and now Artemis to the Moon and Mars.

Together we will reach the Moon and Mars. Together we will build colonies. Together we will build an interstellar spacecraft – and one day humanity will reach the stars. But not if we squabble and refuse to be part of this or that way of getting there, or refuse to support a plan from the “other party” because it’s not exactly your plan or you don’t want any particular person to get the credit.
Together, and only together can we reach the moon by 2024 and Mars in the 2030s.


Here’s a primer on how to meet or talk with your members of Congress and their top staff.

Why would you want to meet with your legislators? Perhaps to support specific legislation, goals or budgets. Or perhaps you want to judge or inspire their support for returning to the Moon and landing on Mars.
Here’s how to make your visits, calls and letters more effective, as well as the efforts of the advocacy organizations you support. What a Member or staffer is hoping or needs to hear from you might be very different from what you expect or think are vital points.

For example, early in the year is “appropriations season,” where you can request a greater budget for NASA than requested by the president, and you can present a letter in support of the same. That’s also the time to talk to the committee staff who write the NASA authorization bills about your priorities.  --CONTINUED --

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