NASA: Humans In Space Means Less Science April 27, 2006Posted by gordonwatts in politics, science.
There is actually a silver lining to this. Today's NYTimes had this quote:
The ability to send humans into space after retiring the space shuttle is such a high priority for NASA that some space science must be sacrificed to help pay for it, the agency's administrator, Michael D. Griffin, said Tuesday.
When Griffin started he was saying that the Mars effort would not impact science. Many of us were skeptical. His tune has changed. Whatever the reason — actually had a chance to look at the budget, full cost of Mars realised, etc. — this is much closer to the reality in this day and age of constrained budgets. As far as I can tell the Mars directive from the president was an unfunded, and not-well-considered, mandate. That is the bad bit.
The silver lining (as thin as it may be). Even if I'm not happy with the facts, I'm very happy that Griffin is saying it this way. We, as a country are making a conscious choice here. I may not think we are making the right one, but the information is out there and most people who want to know know the decision is made. This is much better than the decision being made in the back room.