The aerospace lobby has launched a new crowd-funded advertisement campaign to raise awareness about NASA's space exploration programs.
Daniel N. Stohr, the director of communications for the Aerospace Industries Association, told Raw Story on Monday that the campaign was aimed at increasing investments in the space program.
"Raising awareness of NASA’s exploration programs we hope will increase willingness to invest in our future both in terms of programs and in terms of STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] education," he explained. "The most critical element of building the capability to do great things in space is attracting the best and brightest to work on these programs –- the only way to do that is to invest in vital programs. We want to dispel the myth that NASA exploration programs are over and done."
The Aerospace Industries Association is using the website IndieGoGo to crowd-fund the ad campaign and hopes to raise $33,000 by May 1. If successful, the organization will buy advertising time for an ad trailer in more than 50 movie theaters in major cities during the premier of the "Star Trek Into Darkness" film.
"Many wrongly assume that the space program is flush with cash, but the total funds committed for NASA by the U.S. government each year make up a negligible fraction of the entire federal budget," the group's crowd-funding page states.
"Space program funding is in fact so small that completely eliminating the NASA budget would not appreciably reduce yearly deficit spending or the national debt in any way. It would however, decimate economic innovation and ground-breaking science."
NASA faced serious budgets cuts due to the sequestration on March 1. The federal agency has halted educational and public outreach efforts and reduced its investment in commercial spacecraft technology due to the $900 million cut.
Congress was recently warned the budget cuts put Earth at risk of undetected killer asteroids.
[Astronaut via 1971yes / Shutterstock]