July 29, 2020

Space Week! Mars Rover Launches, SpaceX Astronauts Return

NASA's new rover, "Perseverance," launches July 30 at 7:50 AM EDT, and the two astronauts launched on SpaceX's new crew rocket will return to Earth on August 1 at 7:34 PM EDT.

You can watch both at NASA.gov/NTV.

Perseverance will have 3-D cameras for awesome views of Mars, and especially important, it will collect soil samples that will in coming years be returned to Earth in a separate mission.

Learn more about this exciting mission:

The return of NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley ends the succeful mission that returned American astronaut to space on American rockets for the first time since the retirement of the space shuttles.

Learn more: nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-to-provide-coverage-of-astronauts-return-from-space-station-on-spacex-commercial 

Photo credits: NASA

July 20, 2020

Apollo at 51, Moon in 2024

Today, July 20, 2020, we remember and honor the hundreds of thousands of Americans who made Apollo a reality, as well as Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins who brought the ultimate success to the mission.

Today, we're back on the road pioneered by the Apollo generation, with NASA's Project Artemis targeting 2024 for sending the first woman and next man to the Moon. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has slashed bureaucracy and brought in tremendous participation and ownership by commercial space to accelerate the program dramatically enough to make 2024 feasible.

One lesson of Apollo was that all problems are surmountable given the willpower. We invented from scratch everything needed to land and survive on the moon. Today we have the technology so all that's needed is just the willpower to put it together, and especially, the willpower by Congress to offer full support.

On this anniversary, you can help Congress provide the necessary support, because if we fail, the return to the Moon will be again delayed forever, and China would take that as an invitation to claim the south pole as their territory.  Here's how to help:

Please call your members of Congress in support for the president’s NASA budget request. 202-224-3121

Important tip: Do NOT leave a message with the receptionist--that counts for nothing. 

Instead, ask for the name of the “LA” or Legislative Assistant” who handles science and NASA. Get their email, and send a message. That’s the person who briefs their boss on NASA. State your case concisely and ask for full support of the president’s budget request, and full support for Artemis by 2024.  If you don’t get a reply, keep sending the email—staff get hundreds of emails a day, so yours will often get lost in the flood.

Set up a virtual meeting, better yet, request a meeting with the Member when they are in the district or state, or attend a Virtual Town Hall.

You can also call the members of the House Science Committee and the House Space Subcommittee.

Then, if you have contacts in space-related companies and advocacy organizations, ask them to take action as well—their voices will be louder than yours alone.

These simple steps can help secure safe access to the Moon for all mankind; to fulfill the hope expressed in the plaque Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin left on the Moon fifty years ago.

Thank you very much.

(Image courtesy NASA)