Moving America Forward

Can This Six-Year-Old Get Us to Mars?

December 18, 2013
Can This Six-Year-Old Get Us to Mars?
NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab celebrates a successful landing of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover in 2012. Brian van der Brug/Getty Images/Pool
What this kid lacks in funds he more than makes up for in gumption.

Connor Johnson, an aspiring astronaut, wasn’t happy when he learned that congress was cutting NASA’s budget. The Colorado six-year-old decided to donate the contents of his piggy bank, $10.41, to NASA, and start a petition to the President to ask the government not to withdraw funding. Eugene Cernan, the last astronaut to walk on the moon, recently called Connor to encourage him. And Connor’s not the only one who wants the NASA funding restored—astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson recently told a Senate hearing that if America raised NASA’s budget from less than half a penny per government dollar spent to a full penny, “we can transform the country.”