Congress has marked up NASA’s budget for next fiscal year, rolling the agency’s funding back to 2008 levels, according to Rand Simberg. We’re in a time of austerity, and everything should be on the table. Fair enough. But the cuts to NASA wreck both our manned space flight program and deep space exploration: The James E. Webb Space Telescope apparently got the ax. That telescope is the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, which is already on rusty rails operations and could go dark within two or three years. Simply put, these cuts threaten the best parts of the space program but apparently leave intact the more political earth science parts of the space agency.
The Space Frontier Foundation has put out an action alert to work against these cuts. My position on this is that cuts as such were inevitable, but Congress should take a second look at what it is actually cutting. Combined with the Obama administration’s skewed priorities, these cuts strike me as unwise.