The president’s 2013 budget was released last week and planetary science took a hit. The long planned, but difficult to get off the ground, Mars exploration project, as well as an endeavor to further explore the moons of Jupiter and Uranus, took sizable cuts, despite being flagged as important missions in the planetary science decadal survey. At a conference to respond to the budget news, NASA confirmed they would not be able to keep their commitments to the European Space Agency for joint Mars missions in 2016 and 2018.
Space exploration is often targeted when money gets tight and we all know, money has been tight for a while now. Perhaps we need a new approach to how we market space exploration. You know, glamorize it a bit.
In 1999, fashion photographer Arthur Elgort proposed a fashion shoot for Russian Vogue. He would bring model Natalia Semanova to Star City and photograph her with real cosmonauts in their own setting.
Wired: How did you convince the Russian government to let you do the shoot at Star City?
Elgort: The editor was a very pretty girl and pretty girls get what they want. I don’t remember any security or anything, we just walked right in. It was all there for us to shoot. They allowed us access to everything. I think they must have looked into who we were and realized we were harmless.
If Elgort’s right that pretty girls get what they want, perhaps we need to hire some spokes models for NASA to draw attention back to the work of exploring our own solar system. Well, it’s a thought at least.