“Unlike the first ice skates or the first airplane or the first desktop computer–artifacts that make us all chuckle when we see them today–the first rocket to the Moon, the 364-foot-tall Saturn V rocket, elicits awe, even reverence.” -Neil deGrasse Tyson 

Many of us would like to think that the technologies of today are undoubtedly more advanced than those of the past. This simply isn’t true. Case and point: the Saturn V rocket. First launched in 1964 , it remains the most powerful machine ever built. In September 2011, NASA announced plans for a new heavy-lift rocket known as the Space Launch System (SLS). The SLS would be the first to rival the Saturn V rocket. 

Let Congress know that you support doubling funding for NASA:

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There is at least one fact about Earth’s climate that is not in dispute:  Increased levels of greenhouse gases cause the Earth to warm in response.  In addition, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that humans are responsible each year for emitting nearly 6,000,000,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, a common greenhouse gas generated by burning fossil fuels.

According to NASA, “Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities, and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position."  The evidence is compelling - rising sea levels, global ocean and land temperature increase, shrinking ice sheets, more extreme events, and increased ocean acidification.

NASA is probably best known for it’s incredible human and robotic exploration achievements - landing 12 astronauts on moon and sending unmanned spacecraft to farthest reaches of our solar system.  But did you know that NASA currently has more than a dozen Earth science spacecraft/instruments orbiting our home planet? The agency uses these satellites to research "solar activity, sea level rise, the temperature of the atmosphere and the oceans, the state of the ozone layer, air pollution, and changes in sea ice and land ice.”

Global Climate Change is, by definition, a global phenomenon.  For this reason, observations from space provide an unparalleled vantage point to study and understand the entire Earth system.  NASA is uniquely qualified to carry out these observations, but it needs funding to continue doing so.

Let’s help NASA continue to monitor the only planet we can call home.  Tell Congress that you support doubling funding for NASA:

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Evidence for Climate Change:
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Space exploration is only about exploring new places, right?

Actually, a substantial part of NASA’s work in space is focused on learning more about Earth. By observing Earth from new perspectives in space, scientists can learn even more about the planet that we call home. In October 2011, the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership spacecraft (Suomi NPP) was launched into orbit and began making remarkable observations of our little blue planet. Suomi NPP was created through a partnership between NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), and collaboration with the Department of Defense.

At night, the world comes alive with light. Suomi NPP recently produced incredible new views of the Earth at night. It did so by using cutting-edge imaging technology called VIIRS, which observes dim light and distinguishes the light’s impact on the atmosphere. This allows for a much more complete picture of the Earth’s light at night. The detail of the views is second to none, and they provide an amazing perspective of human impact on the world. Brightly lit boats on the Nile River and wildfires in Australia are among the clearly distinguishable features of Suomi NPP’s images. Both political and natural borders are visible through light patterns, such as the Himalayas and the divide between North and South Korea.

A wealth of information is contained in Suomi NPP’s views of the Earth, and this is just the beginning. NASA’s ability to reach into space while learning even more about Earth is invaluable.

Read more about Suomi NPP, watch videos, and see more pictures here:

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What Would Life on Europa Mean to You?

Since the years of NASA’s Voyager and Galileo missions, scientists have debated the possible compositions of Europa’s surface and subsurface materials. The spectrometer aboard the Galileo spacecraft was not capable of providing the detail needed for identifying surface materials. It was beginning to look like Europa’s composition would remain a mystery until a new mission was on its way… but that thinking has changed.

A new paper by Mike Brown, an astronomer at the California Institute of Technology, and Kevin Hand from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, details the strongest evidence yet discovered explaining both the composition and movement of Europa’s vast ocean. From approximately 400 million miles away, the Keck II Telescope fitted with a special infrared integral field spectrograph (OSIRIS), helped create a map of the distribution of pure water ice versus anything else. Later on, they found a tiny dip in the spectrum that had never been detected before. Both Brown and Hand were unsure of the material this spectrum represented. “We tried to think outside of the box to consider all sorts of other possibilities, but at the end of the day, the magnesium sulfate persisted,” Hand says.

Hand and Brown were able to conclude that the composition of Europa’s ocean may closely resemble the salty oceans of Earth. “If we’ve learned anything about life on earth, it’s that where there’s liquid water, there’s generally life,” Hand said. “And of course our ocean is a nice, salty ocean. Perhaps Europa’s salty ocean is also a wonderful place for life.”

Europa is the only other place in the Solar System, aside from Earth, for which there is strong evidence suggesting the present-day existence of life. Life as we know it requires three basic “ingredients”: liquid water, an energy source, and organic compounds. If the chances of finding life on Europa are far greater than on any other place in our solar system, why aren’t we choosing to visit it? This is not to say that exploring other planets is unimportant. In fact, we need to diversify our interests when it comes to planetary exploration. NASA needs to know we are behind them in the risks they take. Doubling NASA’s budget would certainly send a message.

Europa has long been considered a premier target in the search for life beyond Earth. NASA has long been interested in exploring Europa. In fact, there have been a few different mission proposals made just over the last few years….

Write to congress and tell them to double NASA’s budget:

What’s next for Kepler?

Even with only two functional reaction wheels left, Kepler will likely continue to explore the cosmos through an innovative new mission. NASA announced call for scientific white papers on August 2nd to compile ideas for Kepler’s future tasks, and 42 white papers were received. The ideas for the new mission include astrophysical research (such as observations of star clusters and active galaxies) and modified exoplanet research. 

Scientists are currently examining the proposals to determine the feasibility of the missions using the repurposed Kepler system. From the 42 white papers, scientists will put together a plan for a repurposed Kepler mission and submit it to NASA headquarters by November 1st. The white papers are available publically at the Kepler Science Center. 

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With NASA, Your Tax Dollar Will Go Farther

It’s no secret that funding for NASA goes farther than just space exploration.  Every year NASA generates a report of how their technologies, originally developed to meet NASA mission needs, spinoff into products and services - taking your tax dollar farther than ever imagined.

But how far, in terms of distance, have our tax dollars taken us?  NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft is a staggering 11.48+ billion miles from Earth.  To reach this distance by car, you would need to drive continuously at 75 MPH for… over 17,000 years!

Voyager 1 was launched on September 5th, 1977 to study the outer planets and the interstellar medium.  After an incredible 35 years, Voyager 1 is STILL sending data about the Heliosheath back to Earth!  As Voyager continues to drift endlessly into interstellar space, it carries “a phonograph record - a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth” intended to communicate a story of our world to anything that may find it.

Let’s help NASA continue to explore our wondrous universe.  Tell Congress that you support doubling funding for NASA:

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Goddard's Vision of the Future

“It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow." 

Dr. Robert H. Goddard, the father of American rocketry, dreamed of launching spacecraft to other worlds and dedicated his life to making  his hopes and dreams a reality.  Goddard faced immense public ridicule throughout his career after suggesting the idea of launching spacecraft to the moon as early as 1903.  Criticism did not stop him from pursuing his dreams, though. Goddard would go on to invent the first liquid-fueled rocket in 1926 - the same technology used in the rocket that took the first astronauts to the moon 43 years later!

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center now bears the name of this pioneer of spaceflight.

What dreams of yesterday and hopes of today will become our future reality?  Let’s give NASA the funding it needs to find out.  

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“It’s like Winnipeg, Manitoba, moving to Minneapolis-Saint Paul in only 30 years,” said Compton Tucker of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. A new study by NASA scientists shows a significant shift in plant growth at higher northern latitudes as a result of greenhouse-related climate change. Thanks to NASA’s newly improved satellite data sets used in analyzing temperature and vegetation growth from 45 degrees north latitude to the Arctic Ocean, scientists were able to show that temperature and vegetation growth at northern latitudes now resemble those found 4 degrees to 6 degrees of latitude farther south as recently as 1982.

NASA satellites provide critical data about what is happening on our planet today. These are real-life observations scientists use to improve their understanding and predictions about climate change. A vast majority of scientists agree that the evidence for human-caused global warming is clear. Less clear, however, is how this warming will change the complex interactions between our planets land, water, sky, and living organisms. How much warmer will it get? How fast will sea level rise from here? NASA satellites provide scientists with real-life observations and critical data about our planet. Can we really afford not to have this technology?
Tell Congress to increase NASA’s funding so we can help save our planet:

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The creation and manipulation of light has shaped the course of human history. While it has surely allowed society to grow and progress, the exponential increase of light usage has given rise to the “dark side” of light: light pollution. Light pollution is generally defined as the overuse and/or misuse of artificial lighting. The consequences of light pollution include reduced or little night sky visibility, disruption of biological processes in nature, disruption of sleep cycles, waste of energy and money, and a possible link to increased air pollution in cities. NASA’s Earth Observatory System has gathered crucial data detailing the spread and intensity of light pollution. In stunning images of the Earth at night, EOS has also learned a great deal more about human impact on the world.

Learn more about the “dark side” of light in our latest blog post: 

There are few events, movements, or beliefs that have the power to unite over 192 countries the way that Earth Day does every year. Borders are removed and our manmade maps no longer define us. We take a moment to stand back and recognize that we all share this Earth. 

NASA’s influence on societies perspective of the Earth has been, and still is today, unparalleled in its power. From the first pictures taken by the Apollo 8 astronauts, to the current images from aboard the International Space Station, NASA has helped to define what it means to live on our precious, beautiful, amazing planet. 

April is recognized as Earth Month both here in the United States and around the world. Throughout the world, events celebrating and demonstrating support for environmental protection take place. NASA is recognizing Earth Month this year by highlighting some of their most influential projects in earth science.

Let’s take action and increase NASA’s budget to help unite all of us who call Earth home.

Check out this video for more on NASA’s influence on our perceptions of Earth:

Since it’s beginning, NASA has sent probes to other celestial bodies, rovers to Martian surfaces, humans to another world, and taken photos of far away places in the universe we otherwise could’ve only imagined. But despite their endless exploring, we still only know a small fraction about what’s out there. So visit to tell Congress you need more space!


The signatures stand at 24,944. Almost to the big 25,000 and beyond! Keep those signatures coming. 

If you have a tumblr, facebook, Google+, twitter account…any kind of platform with an audience, then consider spreading the #penny4NASA message. The more that people know about it, the more of a reality it will become. Just say “Hey, this is something I believe in. It is important. You should think about it, too”. You’ll be surprised how many people are willing to listen. 

Sign the Petition. Spread the Word. Write your Representatives. Donate to the Cause. #penny4NASA 
For all Humankind.