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Government Space The Almighty Buck Science

NASA Tries To Save Hubble's Successor 134

Posted by Soulskill
from the try-hard dept.
Last month we discussed news that the James Webb Space Telescope, the planned successor to the HST, is on the budgetary chopping block. Now, an anonymous reader points out hopeful news from TPM's Idea Lab blog, which says NASA is trying to "spread the cost across the agency rather than just pulling from the $1 billion astrophysics division, with at least half of the funds coming from other areas of NASA's total $18 billion budget." According to Nature News, the decision resides with the White House's Office of Management and Budget, and support for the project depends in particular on Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD).
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NASA Tries To Save Hubble's Successor

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  • Re:Danger! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PvtVoid (1252388) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @10:38PM (#37186804)

    As Alan Stern pointed out on NASA Watch earlier today, this is a very dangerous move for the space science community.

    The science program has worked hard to put up firewalls to prevent the manned program from raiding them for funding when the going gets tough. By breaking that firewall in the opposite direction it opens the science directorate to future funding losses when things get bad on the manned side.

    What manned program? The Russian one?

  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @10:57PM (#37186936) Homepage Journal
    You are and idiot, that much is clear. Early to-mid-90s, raised revenues, spending, not so much. Result, surplus. Seriously, are you REALLY that dumb? or just trolling?
  • by bky1701 (979071) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @11:55PM (#37187292) Homepage
    Your reasoning is fictitious.

    If people are evading taxes, the proper response is to put them in prison, not give them a tax break. Similarly, taxes hurt the economy, but so does unregulated banking, subsidies, and bailouts (yes, they do, really). You argue as if any raise in income is physically impossible, which seems to have become a meme among the fascist right. Taxes do not have an immediate or even pronounced effect. They have a slowing effect IF the money is not well spent after it is collected. However, an increase in taxes will always yield a an increase an income, until you get to absurd levels (which pretty much by definition are going to have to be higher than Europe...).

    "It's a historical fact. Let me repeat it again: every time they raise taxes, they raise spending even more, so they still will have deficit spending and won't have enough for the telescope."

    This is not true*, but for the sake of argument, lets say it was. Doesn't it stand to reason that if spending is lowered, that taxes will be lowered, and the deficit will remain the same? Ah, but that's what you want... the government to not be involved in economic matters. Let the poor fend for themselves. Sorry, we tried that for the last 3 decades, and it got us here. Now is not the time to try to destroy the country with even more of the same failed ideology, it is time to try something new. You are welcome to sit down and shut up.

    * Our modern deficit was built by Reagan and the Bushes.
  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @12:51AM (#37187614) Homepage Journal

    Have you bothered to look at what Obama has done during his short time in office? It dwarfs what Reagan and the Bushes did.

    Well, clearly you haven't, because what you claim is completely false.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_by_U.S._presidential_terms [wikipedia.org]

    I know, it's an article of faith with you, and there's no point in trying to change your mind with facts. Arguing economics with Republicans is like arguing biology with creationists.

  • by Iron (III) Chloride (922186) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @12:51AM (#37187616)

    Because the JWST yields scientific knowledge that does not have immediate forseeable potential for profit, companies aren't going to be paying for it (other than possibly for PR purposes). As to private charities, it appears to me that most of philanthropies sponsoring science research are aimed towards promotion of causes like human health, renewable energy, etc. - daily, practical concerns. Nothing lofty like the JWST which will help us view the cosmos. Even basic biology research that might have a medical impact 50 years down the road won't get sponsored by charities, because there is way too much uncertainty involved.

    That's why government funding is necessary to sponsor basic science research - for those areas of science which are so far down the road in terms of turning a direct potential benefit to humanity, that can either radically change our view of the world and our way of living or simply be an interesting piece of trivia. Most of the time it's somewhere in between, in which even the interesting factoids will provide bits and pieces of the puzzle on our way to the Next Great Invention or Theory (TM).

  • Re:Danger! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @12:54AM (#37187626)

    My understanding was that the entire constellation program has been canned. Obviously no more shuttle flights, they're being shipped off to museums.

    The problem is that Congressthings keep trying to push Constellation back in through the back door. Hence the current plan for NASA to develop a heavy-lift launcher for which there are no missions.

    So I guess we're back to the question, "what manned spaceflight program?"

    The one where you buy launches from private companies so you don't have to waste money building your own rockets that cost ten times as much per pound to orbit and can therefore spend it on doing useful stuff in space instead?

    But that won't happen while space cadets keep demanding that NASA must build and fly its own rockets and the rockets used by the rest of the world to launch billion-dollar satellites just won't do. I mean, NASA is OK with launching a $6.5 billion dollar satellite on a commercial launcher, but we're supposed to believe it's too risky for astronauts?

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