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Christopher L. Jorgensen
P.O. Box 546
Ames, IA 50010

September 1, 2011

Public Communications Office
NASA Headquarters
Suite 5K39
Washington, DC 20546-0001

Dear NASA,

Since you’re not going to be launching anymore shuttles I think you should do something else to keep people’s attention. I propose you shoot another monkey into space! This would be fun and can’t be that expensive. I bet people would become avid followers of this space monkey. You could make a twitter feed for it and a Facebook page and a YouTube channel and stuff and people could watch the monkey’s every move!

I know I’d pay attention. While this wouldn’t be anything new (we’ve had monkeys in space before) it has been long enough since the last monkeyed flight that this would at least be novel!

If you’re not interested in doing this I was hoping you could send along some suggestions about how I might try this on my own. I’m pretty sure I can come up with the monkey if you know where I can get a rocket I think I’ll be set! I’d rather leave this to the professionals though so please consider doing this. I think it would be great!

You should name the monkey Yuri.


Christopher L. Jorgensen

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National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Washington, DC 20546-0001

Reply to Attn of:  Office of Communications       September 23, 2011

Christopher L. Jorgensen
P.O. Box 546
Ames, IA 50010

Dear Mr. Jorgensen:

This is in response to your letter of September 1, 2011.

The President’s fiscal year 2011 budget request provides for expanding NASA’s climate research and aeronautics program which emphasizes the Next Generation Air Transportation System, continuing the strong space science program, enabling transformative technology essential to human exploration, and significant support for commercial spaceflight services to low-Earth orbit.

You may have had the opportunity to hear President Obama on April 15, 2010, during his visit to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.  He talked directly to the issues you raise.  NASA’s Constellation Program is being restructured and the Space Shuttle fleet will be retired.  The President believes that the space program needs new direction, and he declared, that by 2025, we will send humans to land on an asteroid.  He also stated, “By the mid-2030’s, I believe we can send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to Earth.  Landing on Mars will follow, and I expect to be around to see it.”

NASA is committed to exploration with both humans and robots.  This new direction will change the way NASA does things, but will not change what the Agency does.  There is nothing in this new path that precludes NASA from sending humans to the Moon, Mars, or elsewhere.  In fact, it provides for the technologies required to do so, and NASA embraces the opportunity to build the infrastructure for a long-term sustainable spacefaring Nation.

Thank you for your interest in NASA.


Public Communications Program
Public Outreach Division
Office of Communications

Scan of the letter from NASA


Call me silly, but I don’t think we should have scrapped our shuttle program until we had something in hand to replace it. Science is one of the few things I don’t resent spending tax dollars on. Without the shuttle program we might as well start government subsidization of masturbation (masturbation isn’t subsidized is it?).

We went from being first in space to being passengers of a second-rate program. I’d rather we were number one again.

Because it’s too weird not to share, here’s David J performing the Love and Rockets song “Holiday on the Moon” in some bloke’s kitchen:

By Christopher L. Jorgensen


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Christopher L. Jorgensen
PO Box 546
Ames, IA 50010

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