HST successor could face budget axe ?

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HST successor could face budget axe ?

Postby Peter Henderson » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:32 pm

Just heard about this on the sky at night. More bad news from the US and not good for science, though this time it's got nothing to do with the creationists:

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/sp ... cuts_n.htm

"It will be a game-changer, revolutionary," says University of Chicago astrophysicist Michael Turner, a former National Science Foundation official. However, an expert report last year headed by John Casani of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory found that the telescope's cost had increased about $1.5billion just since 2008.

NASA moved new management in, but the report clearly angered the science spending committee headed by Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va. A committee report said "that this step will ultimately benefit NASA by setting a cost discipline example for other projects."

When the July vote was taken, Wolf expressed support for the telescope's mission, but only if NASA undertakes fundamental changes in its budget process. He noted that budget busting for the Webb telescope, which the journal Nature last year called "the telescope that ate astronomy," threatened NASA's other science missions.

"Losing the telescope would be a huge blow to U.S. science and prestige," Turner says. "We would basically be telling the world we can't do great things anymore."
Peter Henderson
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