3/12/2012 CITIZEN MOVEMENT SEEKS INCREASE TO NASA’S BUDGET

Contact: John Zeller
Cell Phone: 503-896-4679 Email: johnlzeller@gmail.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MARCH 23, 2012


CITIZEN MOVEMENT SEEKS INCREASE TO NASA’S BUDGET
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson Calls For Doubling Of Budget During Testimony To U.S. Senate Committee;
#Penny4NASA Calls for U.S. President And Congress To Increase NASA’s Budget to $37.5 Billion

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, respected astrophysicist and celebrity, recently gave testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation calling for NASA’s budget to be doubled, from less than half a penny to a whole penny on the tax dollar. Such an increase would raise the agency’s budget from less than $18 billion to a healthy $37.5 billion. Since that testimony #Penny4NASA has formed and been gaining traction on a variety of social media outlets, inspiring even more citizens to actively support the message.

“After hearing the testimony that Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson gave, I was hooked,” said John Zeller, a 23-year-old pre-electrical and computer engineering student at Oregon State University. “This is exactly the kind of thing that I’ve been waiting for people to shout about.”

After watching Dr. Tyson’s video, Zeller was inspired to start Penny4NASA.org and set out to create a centralized presence to demand an increase to NASA’s budget. “The response has been amazing so far,” said Zeller in response to national media coverage by many websites, including The Washington Post, Universe Today and NASA Watch. The website went live on Sunday evening and since then #Penny4NASA has acquired a rapidly-increasing following on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

In addition to the website, #Penny4NASA has started a formal petition through Change.org asking President Barack Obama and Congress to increase NASA’s budget to $37.5 billion which would be just one percent of the total U.S. annual budget. In comparison, during the Apollo program of the 1960s NASA received four percent of total U.S. government spending. After less than five days the petition has acquired more than 2,700 signatures, well on its way to reach the initial goal of 10,000 signatures.

“This movement is growing,” Zeller said. “At some point the right people will hear our call, and they will have to listen.”

Dr. Tyson’s testimony to the Senate Committee as well as other videos supporting space exploration by Tyson, Elon Musk, Peter Diamandis and Richard Branson are featured at the Penny4Nasa.org website. Links to the site’s presences on other social media websites are also listed.

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If you have questions or wish to schedule an interview with the project creator, John Zeller, you may reach him by phone at 503-967-5933 or via email at admin@penny4nasa.org

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