Budget axe threatens NASA science and America’s leadership in planetary exploration

The just announced NASA budget has planetary scientists up in arms. The Planetary Society is starting a grass roots “Save Our Science” campaign to rescue many critical science projects that face cuts or cancellations.

Here is the sidebar summary from their SOS web page, followed by a way to increase my financial contributions to the SOS campaign.

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What will happen if this budget is passed?

The Europa Mission- DEAD.
This long-sought mission — actually mandated by Congress last year — would have explored one of our best shots at finding life beyond Earth.

The Terrestrial Planet Finder – DEAD.
TPF would have enabled us to find Earth-like worlds in distant solar systems — to actually see continents and seasonal changes on other planets.

The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)- DEAD
Years of international preparation lost.

Mars Sample Return mission – DEAD. Two Mars Scout missions scheduled for after 2011…dead. The Mars Telecommunications Orbiter…dead.

University research funding – CUT 15%
Astrobiology – GUTTED by 50%
Mars – systematically removed from NASA’s exploration program.

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And there’s more.

If you care about space science, as I do, it’s time to lend your voice and efforts to the SOS campaign.

(Discover my latest book about planetary science. If you buy it through my links to Amazon.com, I will contribute all commisions I receive in May, plus half the royalties that result from those Amazon.com sales, to the SOS campaign.)

1 thought on “Budget axe threatens NASA science and America’s leadership in planetary exploration

  1. Here’s what I wrote to Newsweek about the article:

    In “Gore Redux,” Eleanor Clift hits on the main reason I, as a scientist and middle-of-the-road Democrat, hope Al Gore will run for President in 2008: “Gore has become the darling of the left, yet global warming is not, or shouldn’t be, a partisan issue.”

    In fact, as I see it, global warming is an issue that ought to appeal to two major constituencies of the Republican Party. Some conservative evangelicals have already begun to view the need to control emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as “God’s work.” They are calling for action instead of governmental foot-dragging on that issue.

    Those actions include development of new technologies, which represent enormous opportunities for entrepreneurial business interests. That segment of the Republican Party ought to recognize that the economic fear-mongering of entrenched big money interests, especially in the fossil fuel industries, needs to be replaced by the hopeful rhetoric of innovation.

    Another destructive hurricane season between now and 2008, whether or not it can be scientifically connected to global warming, will move climate change much higher on the national agenda in the next Presidential race. Right now, the Republican Party is missing the boat, and Al Gore is the only potential candidate who “gets it.”

    Fred Bortz — Science and technology books for young readers (www.fredbortz.com) and Science book reviews (www.scienceshelf.com)

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