release date here
Writer: Shanna Relford
Students Make DC Trip in Support of NASA
Josh Batterson and Eric Jacob, graduate students at University of Tennessee Space Institute, recently joined 35 students and 111 other representatives of Citizens for Space Exploration (CSE) on a trip to Washington, D.C. The group went to Capitol Hill to ask members of Congress to support space exploration by investing in NASA with one percent of the federal budget.
Jacob and Batterson’s trip was sponsored by The Coalition for Space Exploration, in conjunction with the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership’s Aerospace Advisory Committee (BAHEP). Bob Mitchell, president of the partnership, said, “The significance of CSE’s annual visit to Washington cannot be underestimated. By meeting personally with these decision makers in Washington, we are better able to impress upon them NASA’s scientific, technological, and economic impact that affects us in so many positive ways.”
“For me, this opportunity was to see the political process in action and hear the opinions of our representatives about the future of America – not just NASA – and how NASA can help maintain our position as a world power into the future,” said Batterson.
When asked about his participation in the CSE trip, Jacob replied, “I’m a rocket scientist; so, working with NASA directly impacts me at a funding level. As a student, I know that many other students are affected as well. I also work with a lot of young children, and I see that they really look up to NASA.”
Jacob and Batterson, both resident graduate students pursuing their doctoral degrees in aerospace engineering at UTSI, joined other undergraduate and graduate students from colleges and universities across the nation to inform elected officials of the importance they place on the space program. The students wanted to ensure that their representatives were aware not only of their support of NASA, but also of the electoral influence that they and their fellow students and faculty carry.