Announcing The Planetary Science Congressional Caucus

Announcing the Planetary Science Congressional Caucus

I’m eager to share with you a significant step ahead for the help of space exploration in the U.S. Congress: the official creation of this newest Planetary Science Caucus.

A caucus is an official interest group made up of members of Congress. Having a caucus enables legislators form new relationships and arrange a central voting block of governmental support for a significant problem, in this circumstance, planetary science and space exploration.

Based the caucus’ official charter, its Objectives are to:

  • “Locate life in our lifetimes,” by advancing federal policies that support the search for life within our solar system and beyond.

  • Raise awareness of the advantages to the U.S. market and industrial base resulting from federal investment in space science, engineering, mining, and STEM education.

  • Support private sector, academic associations, and nonprofits that support space exploration and science.

This is the first caucus dedicated to planetary science in the background of this U.S. Congress. And I’m very proud to say the Planetary Society played an active part in its creation.

Planetary Science Caucus

Lately, Bill Nye and our Space Policy & Advocacy team met with 18 congressional offices to talk about the newest Planetary Science Caucus. Because of investments made with its members, The Planetary Society functions as the founding partner of the caucus.

Due to strong financial help from our members and tens of thousands of small donors, The Society’s Space Policy & Advocacy program has grown in size and capacity over the previous couple of years. We used this expanded in-house expertise to work closely with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to help them in putting together the caucus and will provide ongoing support and outreach to people and the scientific community.

The co-chairs of those caucus are Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) and Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA).

The Planetary Science Caucus will also be available to members of this Senate with Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) already signed up as initial members.

Additional members in the House of Representatives include: Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA), Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), Rep, Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL), Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).

The caucus is planning a kickoff event after this May.

This is a significant step for building critical territorial support for space exploration in the House and Senate. We’re excited about the possibilities if lawmakers of all ideological stripes come together to share the passion and excitement of space exploration and science. The Planetary Society is eager to offer its service.

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Casey Dreier

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Emily Lakdwalla

The Planetary Fund

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