Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Planetary Society Statement On Planetary Science Decadal Survey For 2013-2022
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (SPX) Mar 09, 2011

The Planetary Society is deeply disappointed that there may well be no "flagship" mission to the outer planets.

The Planetary Science Decadal Survey committee faced a nearly impossible task: to set priorities for NASA's robotic exploration within a tight budget. They did a great job in laying out a plan for space missions over the next decade and reached consensus on their recommendations-no small achievement in itself.

But the committee's work was based on assumptions from NASA's FY 2011 budget (which has yet to be enacted) and their carefully crafted priorities are being released in the wake of a much leaner FY 2012 proposal, which removes $6 billion from NASA's five-year "run-out." The U.S. Administration and Congress are not providing the once-promised support for space exploration. The budget assumed by the decadal survey will not be provided.

"The flow of scientific creativity and technical innovation cannot be turned on and off like a spigot. To make progress, there must be steady support," said Bill Nye, Executive Director of the Planetary Society.

"NASA is charged with exploring and innovating, but the Congress and Administration routinely turn the spigot on and off, and then seem outraged when NASA fails to meet their schedules and expectations."

Looking at the proposed FY 2012 budget numbers, all science disciplines will take a hit, especially planetary science. No money has been allocated for a Mars mission in 2018. In fact, there is no money for any future Mars mission in this budget after 2016, including Mars sample return. The high-priority Europa orbiter is not even in the budget.

"Just as the Planetary Science Decadal Survey presented its thoughtful recommendations, NASA is faced with reworking the whole thing to save as much science as possible within this new federal budget," said Bill Nye.

The Planetary Society is deeply disappointed that there may well be no "flagship" mission to the outer planets. An independent cost estimate from the Aerospace Corporation put a $4.7 billion price tag on the proposed Europa Jupiter System Orbiter. Even by reducing the reducing the spacecraft's capabilities and with ESA sharing the cost, the committee did not think it will fit within a cost-constrained program.

"This is not just the loss of an American flagship mission, it is a loss to planet Earth," said Louis D. Friedman, the society's former Executive Director.

"Europa does not care if we arrive there in 2030, 2050, or never, but this generation of children will wonder what was wrong with our generation, if we fail to follow up the discoveries made by the Voyager, Galileo and Cassini spacecraft, and make it possible for their generation to feel the wonder we enjoyed as those flagships explored strange new worlds."


Related Links
The Planetary Society
Lands Beyond Beyond - extra solar planets - news and science
Life Beyond Earth

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Report Identifies Priorities For Planetary Science 2013-2022
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 09, 2011
A new report from the National Research Council recommends a suite of planetary science flagship missions for the decade 2013-2022 that could provide a steady stream of important new discoveries about the solar system. However, if NASA's budget over that decade cannot support all of these missions, the agency should preserve smaller scale missions in its New Frontiers and Discovery programs firs ... read more

Astrobotic's Mission To The Moon Releases Guide For Payload Developers

China Expects To Launch Fifth Lunar Probe Change-5 In 2017

The Great Moonbuggy Race

Venus And Crescent Moon Pair Up At Dawn

Some Of Mars' Missing CO2 May Be Buried

The Scars Of Impacts On Mars

Mars should be US space agency's focus: panel

'Oddly' shaped Mars crater is studied

'Facebook for scientists' an Internet hit

Mid East At Forefront Of $7.5 Billion Space Tourism Industry

Committee Democrats Caution Against Start-Stop Approach To NASA's Funding And Goals

Is Radiation A Concern For Space Crops

What Future for Chang'e-2

China setting up new rocket production base

China's Tiangong-1 To Be Launched By Modified Long March II-F Rocket

China Expects To Launch Fifth Lunar Probe Chang'e-5 In 2017

Payload Operations Center Marks 10th Anniversary As ISS Science Command Post

We Can See Clearly Now: ISS Window Observational Research Facility

Time To Fly: SAGE III - ISS Prepped For ISS

Spacewalkers Continue To Complete Tasks

New Dawn Arrives At Spaceport

United Launch Alliance Launches Second OTV Mission

USAF Launches Second X-37B Test Platform

NASA Earth observation satellite fails to reach orbit

Report Identifies Priorities For Planetary Science 2013-2022

Planetary Society Statement On Planetary Science Decadal Survey For 2013-2022

Meteorite Tells Of How Planets Are Born In A Swirl Of Dust

Planet Formation In Action

Rare earths to be refined in Malaysia

Nokia Siemens delays Motorola purchase indefinitely

YouTube buys US web television company

How To Keep LISA's Laser On Target Five Million Kilometres Away

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement