Off-topic: Support space exploration petition from the National Space Society

From: Glenn_Whiteside (
Date: Fri Feb 07 2003 - 07:41:15 EET

Another support space exploration petition to sign.
Any help is appreciated. We must go forward.

Glenn Whiteside
> Columbia is lost and, with the rest of the U.S. and the world, your
> Space Society grieves.
> The seven men and women of Columbia represented the best in us. They died
> pursuing their dream, and our dream, pushing back the frontiers of science
> and hastening the day when more of us can live and work in space.
> In the past few days NSS members have turned to each other for comfort,
> asking what more we could have done to prevent this accident and what we
> now do to make future space flights as safe as possible. Many have found
> helpful to offer their knowledge and experience to their neighbors
> individually and to the public generally. Probably you have seen, heard,
> read some of the many interviews by NSS Governors and Directors, such as
> Aldrin, Jim Lovell, Harrison Schmitt, Hugh Downs and Alan Ladwig, or the
> letters written to newspapers by our many chapter activists.
> Many of you have asked NSS HQ what you, too, might do to bring some
> to this sad event. We are writing to suggest a few things.
> First, on the NSS website (, you can add your name to a formal
> petition to the Government to continue the human exploration, development,
> and settlement of space. This is important so we can demonstrate the
> public support of human space exploration, so please sign the petition and
> forward it to your friends and family.
> Second, as we have seen a lot of frightened or shortsighted people
> demanding the discontinuation of the human space program, you could write
> letter to your local newspaper expressing our need to keep humans in
> get the shuttles flying again, and accelerate the development of the next
> generation of spacecraft -- these are the basics before we can continue
> progress back to the Moon and on to Mars -- or any other thoughts you have
> regarding Columbia or space exploration. The important thing is to share
> your community your sorrow and the importance of continuing to pursue the
> space vision that we shared with Columbia's crew. Responses to a
> anti-space letter are especially likely to be published. For your
> information, appended is copy of NSS's formal statement, issued by our new
> Executive Director Brian Chase. If you do write, please email a copy to
>, with "Columbia-NSS" in the subject line.
> Third, for those who would like to make a more tangible contribution to
> continuing the legacy of the Columbia, NSS is accepting donations that NSS
> will use to vigorously promote the continuation -- and the expansion -- of
> our space efforts. You can make a contribution in honor of the Space
> Columbia astronauts on the NSS website at
> Perhaps participating with others in the NSS family in some of these ways
> will help ease the sadness and give you some measure of satisfaction in
> helping complete the Columbia's mission. And if we don't help "keep the
> alive," who will?
> If you have any questions or there is anything we can do for you, please
> not hesitate to write us at
> Sincerely,
> NSS Board of Directors
> Brian Chase, Executive Director
> Joshua Powers, NSS Online Report
> * * * * * *
> February 1, 2003
> Executive Director, National Space Society
> "WASHINGTON, DC--The National Space Society expresses its profound sorrow
> the loss of the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia today. Although all
> astronauts volunteer for what they know is a potentially hazardous job, no
> one is ever fully prepared for loss of life, and our hearts go out to the
> families and friends of the crew as the world mourns this tragic loss. The
> crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia are true heroes and will long be held
> in our hearts and minds.
> "There is a crew onboard the International Space Station as we speak,
> however, and that crew relies on the capabilities of the Space Shuttle
> for propulsion and to ferry crew and cargo. Although a careful and
> investigation must be conducted, it is vital that NASA move as quickly as
> possible to safely resume flying the Space Shuttle fleet to support ISS.
> Additionally, the Bush Administration should work quickly to replace the
> launch capability represented by Columbia, whether that means a building a
> replacement Orbiter or a new reusable launch vehicle.
> "Exploration and discovery have always entailed risk, and astronauts
> embarking on flights to space are fully aware of the risk involved. When
> faced with the loss of colleagues in the past, those on the front lines of
> risk--the astronauts themselves--have always called for the continuation
> human space exploration and the resumption of operations as quickly as
> possible. We strongly encourage NASA and the Bush Administration to heed
> their advice and not unduly slow the human exploration of space. The
> of people watching the Columbia returning home is a testament to the
> continuing interest of the American people in human space flight. Let us
> honor our brave astronauts by continuing this spirit of the human
> of space."

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