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NASA restores some astrobiology funds?
Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Mar 28 2006, 01:41 AM
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http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=1106

No word on HOW he'll restore them, though -- or how much.
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mars loon
post Mar 29 2006, 12:56 AM
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Well this would be very welcome news indeed !!! biggrin.gif

Hopefully logic is returning and the "evisceration" of science will be "eviserated" !!.
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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Mar 29 2006, 01:14 AM
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The alarming possibility is that he'll just pull the funds out of other areas of space science -- rather than pulling them out of Shuttle/Station. (At this point, the latter reminds me of the later appearances of the Master in the Doctor Who series, in which his seeming indestructibility ceased to be alarming and became merely irritating.)
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mars loon
post Mar 29 2006, 01:29 AM
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yes that is my fear to. those possibilities were discussed at LPSC and Mary Cleave was quoted to that effect
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nprev
post Mar 29 2006, 06:16 AM
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[RANT MODE]

I hate to sound all starry-eyed, idealistic, and unrealistic....but, dammit, why does science (defined in this tirade as pure research for the sake of acquiring abstract knowledge that invariably proves serendipitous) always have to fight for its very existence???

I think Sagan had the right idea: educate the public & thereby align priorities in public spending. I know that Bruce & other science journalists are doing their level best, and God knows we need them to keep on keepin' on, but we as a community need a charismatic figure of some sort or another marketing hook, distasteful as it may seem. To paraphrase the late & great: Who (or what) will speak for UMSF? Any takers? Any ideas??

[/RANT MODE]...mostly. mad.gif unsure.gif


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A few will take this knowledge and use this power of a dream realized as a force for change, an impetus for further discovery to make less ancient dreams real.
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mars loon
post Mar 29 2006, 04:38 PM
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I do extensive public outreach to educate the public exactly as you describe, more then 8 different venues in March alone. I can say first hand that the public of all ages does respond positively

many are listed here:
http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?showtopic=1972

FYI: Cosmos is being rerun on the Discovery Science Channel with updated graphics. Last night (tuesday) the topic was mars, and the program holds up very well.

and yes, we scientists must promote the importance of scientific research to the public to maintain funding

ken
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mcaplinger
post Mar 29 2006, 05:04 PM
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QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Mar 27 2006, 05:41 PM) *
No word on HOW he'll restore them, though -- or how much.

Quoted on NASAWatch: "It seems to me that instead of going away quietly with what we were given, we ought to be emboldened to ask for more," said Jill Tarter, SETI Institute.

Now that's a reasonable response. I don't know where the money is coming from either, but darned if the community isn't going to ask for even more sad.gif


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Disclaimer: This post is based on public information only. Any opinions are my own.
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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Mar 29 2006, 05:28 PM
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If they had either any gumption or any sense, they'd be screaming bloody murder about the vampiric waste of Shuttle/Station, instead of demanding that Congress provide still more funds to NASA as a whole.
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nprev
post Mar 30 2006, 06:20 AM
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QUOTE (mars loon @ Mar 29 2006, 08:38 AM) *
I do extensive public outreach to educate the public exactly as you describe, more then 8 different venues in March alone. I can say first hand that the public of all ages does respond positively

many are listed here:
http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?showtopic=1972

FYI: Cosmos is being rerun on the Discovery Science Channel with updated graphics. Last night (tuesday) the topic was mars, and the program holds up very well.

and yes, we scientists must promote the importance of scientific research to the public to maintain funding

ken


Well, as a lifelong spacefreak layman, I am truly grateful for your efforts, ML, and I know that you make a difference- thanks! smile.gif

Still, to steal a quote from the excellent movie Bulworth, "We need a spirit...not a ghost". Mass outreach is essential to audiences that aren't even vaguely aware of UMSF in any way...which is, sad to say, the vast majority of the American population.

Carl Sagan was arguably the most influential public science educator in history, largely because he was the first to really leverage the formidable power of television. I strongly doubt that many (if not all!) of the planetary missions after Viking and Voyager would have flown without him & his media presence in the '70s.

We need his spiritual successor, now more than ever.


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A few will take this knowledge and use this power of a dream realized as a force for change, an impetus for further discovery to make less ancient dreams real.
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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Mar 31 2006, 02:13 AM
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NASA Watch now reports that the funds have been un-restored: http://www.nasawatch.com/archives/2006/03/...reverses_a.html . Of course, this leaves open the possibility that Cowing's original report was wrong.
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GravityWaves
post Mar 31 2006, 03:19 AM
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QUOTE
QUOTE REMOVED - no need to quote when replying to it


what ohmy.gif ??

This budget is all over the place, when will we get an official word on this ?
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ljk4-1
post Mar 31 2006, 02:04 PM
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NASA Reverses Pledge to Restore Astrobiology Funding

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.nl.html?id=1109

"Reliable sources now report that at a Science Mission Directorate monthly
meeting at NASA HQ on Thursday it was noted that no additional funds will
be given to Astrobiology and that someone is going to have to go tell the
astrobiologists that the claim made by Dantzler and Pilcher is not true."


-- Statement by Michael Griffin before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on
Science, Depts of State, Justice, & Commerce, & Related Agencies

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.nl.html?pid=20118

"Thus, further delays in the CEV are strategically more damaging to our Nation's
space program than delays to these other science missions. I stand by my decision
regarding how to implement the priorities of the President and Congress within the
resources provided, and I will work closely with our stakeholders in Congress and
the scientific community to make sure they understand my rationale. Some of our
stakeholders will not agree with my position, but it is important for everyone to
understand the rationale. These are difficult decisions, but we must balance the
competing priorities for our Nation's civil space and aeronautics research
endeavors with the limited resources available."


--------------------
"After having some business dealings with men, I am occasionally chagrined,
and feel as if I had done some wrong, and it is hard to forget the ugly circumstance.
I see that such intercourse long continued would make one thoroughly prosaic, hard,
and coarse. But the longest intercourse with Nature, though in her rudest moods, does
not thus harden and make coarse. A hard, sensible man whom we liken to a rock is
indeed much harder than a rock. From hard, coarse, insensible men with whom I have
no sympathy, I go to commune with the rocks, whose hearts are comparatively soft."

- Henry David Thoreau, November 15, 1853

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ljk4-1
post Mar 31 2006, 04:19 PM
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Commentary: Astrobiology Research Threatened at NASA

http://www.space.com/searchforlife/060330_seti_thursday.html

I sympathize with Griffin, but do not agree with the way the choices are being
implemented.


--------------------
"After having some business dealings with men, I am occasionally chagrined,
and feel as if I had done some wrong, and it is hard to forget the ugly circumstance.
I see that such intercourse long continued would make one thoroughly prosaic, hard,
and coarse. But the longest intercourse with Nature, though in her rudest moods, does
not thus harden and make coarse. A hard, sensible man whom we liken to a rock is
indeed much harder than a rock. From hard, coarse, insensible men with whom I have
no sympathy, I go to commune with the rocks, whose hearts are comparatively soft."

- Henry David Thoreau, November 15, 1853

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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Apr 21 2006, 01:34 PM
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An April 4 NASA "Note to the Community" on "Funding for the Science Mission Directorate Research and Analysis (R&A) Program, including Astrobiology" ( http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/viewre...497/RA_Note.pdf ):

"Astrobiology research funding is reduced in the budget for several reasons. It should also be noted that astrobiology experienced a rapid growth in funding several years ago. Prior to this reduction, the Astrobiology research budget was comparable to the astrophysics research budget and was almost double the heliophysics research budget. This reduction brings it more into balance with the rest of the research program. In addition, the lower flight rate for astrobiology related missions (e.g. fewer Mars missions in the next 5 years, delay for a Europa orbiter mission, delay for a Terrestrial Planet Finder mission etc.), plus the recognition that human exploration missions to Mars are further in the future than previously assumed, have reduced some of the urgency for rapid progress in astrobiology research. Astrobiology remains one of the larger disciplines and an important area of research in support of NASA’s program."
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ljk4-1
post Apr 21 2006, 01:56 PM
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QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Apr 21 2006, 09:34 AM) *
"...plus the recognition that human exploration missions to Mars are further in the future than previously assumed, have reduced some of the urgency for rapid progress in astrobiology research. Astrobiology remains one of the larger disciplines and an important area of research in support of NASA’s program."


How much further now? The 2030s weren't far and vague enough?

Maybe on my last day in the nursing home, I'll look up between all
my tubes and wires to squint dimly at my antique plasma TV screen
to see a human boot step off a ladder onto some reddish dirt....

...to be immediately grabbed by a mechanical arm and shoved back
into the spacecraft by the superior AI robots that were already there
conducting far more thorough - and much less expensive -
investigations of the Red Planet.


--------------------
"After having some business dealings with men, I am occasionally chagrined,
and feel as if I had done some wrong, and it is hard to forget the ugly circumstance.
I see that such intercourse long continued would make one thoroughly prosaic, hard,
and coarse. But the longest intercourse with Nature, though in her rudest moods, does
not thus harden and make coarse. A hard, sensible man whom we liken to a rock is
indeed much harder than a rock. From hard, coarse, insensible men with whom I have
no sympathy, I go to commune with the rocks, whose hearts are comparatively soft."

- Henry David Thoreau, November 15, 1853

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