Hello AstroTours.org community!
We are reaching out to you today with an urgent call to action. Venus, our neighboring planet, holds numerous secrets that can help us understand not only its own evolution, but also the future of our home planet, Earth (learn more about Venus and how to view it tonight in our other blog post here: https://www.astrotours.org/post/the-dance-of-venus-a-stargazer-s-guide). NASA's Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy (VERITAS) mission is a groundbreaking initiative set to unravel these mysteries. Unfortunately, the future of the VERITAS mission is under threat.
Take 2 minuets to visit the planetary society's action page using this link: https://secure.planetary.org/site/SPageServer?pagename=/actioncenter#/35 and voice your support for this crucial mission to your representatives
Artist's concept of the Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy (Veritas) spacecraft.
Initiated in 2021, the VERITAS mission was designed to be the first Venus orbiter led by the U.S. since 1989. Despite being on track and on budget, the mission has been subject to budget cuts in NASA's Fiscal Year 2024 Presidential Budget Request (PBR). This has led to an indefinite postponement of the launch, a decision influenced by cost overruns and workforce issues in unrelated NASA programs.
The importance of the VERITAS mission cannot be overstated. It promises to generate detailed maps of Venus's surface, analyze its geology, and study its volcanic and tectonic activities. This data can significantly enhance our understanding of Venus and contribute to our knowledge about the potential future of Earth's habitability.
The National Academies of Sciences strongly endorses the VERITAS mission. Yet, the indefinite delay to the launch puts all these potential discoveries at risk.
Now, more than ever, Venus needs our help.
The Planetary Society has set up a convenient and easy-to-use platform for U.S. residents to reach out to their representatives, urging them to support the VERITAS mission. We encourage each of you to visit this link: https://secure.planetary.org/site/SPageServer?pagename=/actioncenter#/35 and voice your support for this crucial mission. By expressing your support for a 2029 launch date in NASA's forthcoming authorization bill and the 2024 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) committee report language, you can help secure the future of the VERITAS mission.
We have an opportunity to make a real difference and contribute to the advancement of our understanding of the universe. Your action can help ensure that the VERITAS mission gets back on track, and the secrets of Venus are unveiled.
Thank you for standing with us in support of space exploration and science. Together, we can ensure that the stars - and our neighboring planets - continue to inspire and enlighten us for generations to come.
The AstroTours.org Team