Sunday, June 10, 2012

Astronomer Protest NASA With Bake Sale

XNewsman sends in an article from the New York Daily News concerning a rather unusual bake sale! According to the article astronomers at a Florida university and others have found themselves and NASA space exploration budget facing almost 300 million in cuts. Sounds like a massive amount of money does it not. Well let put it into perspective, the military budget for 2010 was $680 billion. Billions MORE than was requested by the executive branch! So 300 million is what...less than half of 1%?!! 300 million is not a deduction, it's a distraction. However 300 million buys a LOT of space science. In protest students, professors and scientists at the University of Central Florida will be holding a protest bake sale consisting as the article points out: super nova brownie cookies, Milky Way cupcakes and other earthly delights.

Tracy Becker, a graduate student in planetary science pointed out that the lose will take the form of a loss of satellites and their ilk that explore other planets. The bake sale is meant to hi-lite losses of whole missions, but also students to carry on the research as well as scientists will be lost due to job loss.

Becker currently works on the Cassini Saturn mission points out that it is these type of programs that create high tech jobs and new tech.

Alan Stern a researcher at Southwest Research institute (who also helped organize the event) That if cuts like these go through it becomes impossible for the US to maintain leadership in these critical areas!

For me what is even more disconcerting is the blatant waste in NASA! Recently NASA said that it has decided to halt work on a new x-ray telescope. A telescope to study deep space and black holes. Work already done and paid for, wasted because to finish would exceed NASA's budget.

The bake sale can help inform the public as to the importance of the work but also how relatively speaking, how inexpensively it does it!

Read more at the New York Daily News artile site here


kallamis said...

What really gets to me, is how Americans always worry and make little nothings into a massive disaster, yet fail to see how NASA has changed all of our lives over the years.
We were the forerunner of space exploration and technology, and now it is as if most people here don't even have an interest any more. We beat everyone to the moon, and quit.
We should have a station in orbit by now, and I mean as in big enough to build a freaking ship in. We should have moon bases, and people living there by now, and emptying the planet for it's proper use. Farm here, live out there. While the bases and stations learn to use hydroponics in low gravity, and genetically alter the produce for the gravity, we could be farming what are now dead towns, and soon to be dead cities at that point for food to feed everyone here and out there.
The moon is a big place. I am quite sure that the countries here would have no problem setting up dippy borders on the moon within 3 hours. Then we could all live on the moon with the same silliness we have to deal with here.
You know, sometimes it really is easy to understand how some give up on the future of space. And then again, there are some of us that will never give up.
I also wonder what the real deal is with that colony on mars promotion going on. I'd be too old to go anyway by that time. They'd never let me.

Dave Tackett said...

It is truly amazing how stupid and short-sighted we can be. NASA has continually been a force for technological innovations that have had positive effects on everyday life (see Without NASA’s Apollo technology you would not be reading this story for example)

People also fail to realize what a tiny percentage of the federal budget NASA consumes. At its height, NASA was 4.41% of the federal budget - this year, for the first time since 1959 (prior to the space race!) NASA's budget was under 1/2 of 1% of the total federal budget. See here.

It is frustrating because there are so many uninformed people out there who believe that NASA is too expensive and provides no benefits.

Beam Me Up said...

well put gents! I was deliberate in trying to NOT be caustic and let the comments find their own level. Kall - Exactly so! We got there and QUIT not because there was nothing and no science left to do, but simply a lack of interest! Dave, yes, amazingly short sighted. I quoted just a small part of the governmental outlay and Nasa's "cut" is by comparison laughable. .4 of 1% of the armed service budget and still NASA manages to get more bang for it's research buck. NASA is the best thing that the government could invest in. Especially when most people in the government can not even account for vast swatches of defense funds. It is flat out insanity.

Beam Me Up said... Check out this link.

The airforce is just finishing a blimp observation platform that once it is finished it will be instantly decommed, packed away, never to be used. The cost...? almost 300 million! Since this foolishness started I have been a bit sensitive to costs of certain systems...Like a Cobra attack heli. Safe bet there are more than 10 right? But guess how much 10 cost...give the man a C-gar.