Why We Fight

Penny4NASA is a nonprofit, grassroots organization seeking to promote the economic, scientific, and cultural value of an appropriately funded national space program. While the organization is political in nature, Penny4NASA does not seek to endorse any particular parties or candidates. Instead, Penny4NASA seeks to increase NASA’s budget from less than half a penny on a tax dollar to one percent and maintains that doing so will provide America with a stronger economy and new careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. In addition, Penny4NASA supports the policy priorities established in 2010’s National Space Policy which supports increased investment in space education and workforce development, fosters commercial space development, and encourages greater partnership between public and private space organizations. America’s investment in the national space program during the 1950s an 1960s ushered in an era of technological an economic advancement beyond anything the world had ever seen. While NASA itself did not generate every landmark invention of the 20th century, many innovators were inspired by the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions. And many of their advancements – cellular phones, MRIs, and fuel cells to name a few – could not have been possible had it not been for NASA research and development. Currently, the national space program has entered a critical stage where falling public budgets and a lack of strategic leadership are taking their toll on NASA’s programs in spaceflight and aeronautics. As commercial spaceflight firms like SpaceX take on NASA’s historical role in accessing low earth orbit, full and consistent funding of our national space program is key to realizing NASA’s mission to advance the far frontiers of spaceflight and aeronautics as established in the 1958 National Aeronautics and Space Act. Penny4NASA was founded by John Zeller in Spring 2012, but the ideas it was founded on originated with the testimony of astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, curator of the Hayden Planetarium in New York, before the Senate Science Committee. During his initial testimony and subsequent questioning, Tyson outlined NASA’s role in inspiring students to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers and its economic impact on the American economy.