Some are upset at the budget cuts NASA has experienced in recent years, thinking it will cause the United States to fall behind in space exploration. In fact, recent reports state China has for the first time surpassed the U.S. in number of rockets launched into orbit within a year as the country has been amping up its space efforts.
What's a space lover to do besides sit around and bemoan the smaller budget the agency has to work with? How else do people raise money? Bake sales and car washes.
The Southwest Research Institute Planetary Science Directorate is organizing the first National Planetary Exploration Car Wash and Bake Sale. What exactly is this? Here's the low-down from the event's website:
When: Saturday, June 9th 2012
Where: Across the Nation!
Who: You! Join us and make Congress and the American public aware of the planetary cuts and the damage they are doing!
So far, several universities, such as CalTech, UCLA, Notre Dame and others, have signed up to host their own subsidiary bake sales and car washes.
While the goal of the event is to raise funds for "planetary research and exploratory institutions," which will be given with letters to the House or Senate Appropriations Committee, the primary objective is really to gain media attention to promote awareness about the "planetary budget crisis."
According to the event timeline, the project officially kicked off earlier this month with its website launching on Monday. From here teams are working to employ social and traditional media to spread the word as they prepare for the main festivities in June.
A cookbook will also go on sale April 30 to raise funds for the cause.