08 February 2006

NASA budget increases for stupid things

Bush's 2007 budget proposal would give NASA a 3.2% increase. While this isn't quite enough to do actual science, Michael Griffin, head of NASA says

"There is enough money in the budget to support the president's priorities, as they have been stated."

Those priorities include returning the troubled space shuttle fleet to service, completing assembly of the international space station, remaining on the cutting edge of space science and astronomy, conducting aeronautics research and developing the next generation manned spacecraft that will return astronauts to the moon and later on to Mars.


Note that "remaining on the cutting edge of space science and astronomy" first puts space science (i.e., exploration) ahead of astronomy (research), and second is so damned vague they could be cancelling the JWST (Hubble successor) and it still would fit Bush's vision. Meanwhile the Space Shuttle and ISS have absolutely nothing to do with going forward in space exploration, and everything to do with trying to keep limping along the old, bad, way. It's like bailing a ship with lots of holes rather than building a new ship.

*grr* I guess it's better than a decrease in funding though. Marginally. Though maybe a decrease would get the public interested and fighting on behalf of astronomy.

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