Copyright @ 2003 by Carlos Glender. Published by The Mars Society with permission”
Mars Society participation at the 2003 National Space Society (NSS) Legislative Conference: opportunities for future cooperation and coalition building, between NSS and Mars Society in the political outreach arena
Ohio Chapter of the Mars Society.
This paper reviews the dynamics and involvement of The Mars Society delegation
who attended the NSS Legislative Conference held in Washington, DC on April 6-8, 2003. This highly successful event resulted in space exploration advocacy briefings being given in the offices of over 80 Congressional Representatives and 8 Senators. These briefings requested support for specific items within NASA’s FY 2004 Appropriations budget, including Project Prometheus and the Human Research Initiative, to study human factors in missions beyond Earth’s orbit.
It was evident that there was much “common ground” on space policy issues that both National Space Society members and Mars Society members can support. To build upon the contacts developed during the NSS Legislative Conference, this paper will explore other possible opportunities for improved political outreach cooperation between NSS and the MS in the future. The possible benefits of a cooperative/unified approach would be in leveraging the strengths of both organizations, The Mars Society (strong vision, and on-going scientific research), with National Space Society’s (larger membership [over 22,000], and political connectedness), to achieve greater overall political support for space exploration. In addition, this paper will explore methodologies to increase cooperation between the National Space Society, The Mars Society, and possibly the Planetary Society, at the “grassroots” level, increase cooperation in the development of a mutually agreed upon space policy agenda, and increase Mars Society participation at next year’s NSS Legislative Conference.