The dying NASA astrophysics program


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The dying NASA astrophysics program.

With support from President Barack Obama, the agency’s Earth science budget is at an all-time high. Over the next four months, the planetary science division is due to launch three major missions: to the Moon, to Mars and to Jupiter. And the heliophysics division plans to send a probe plunging into the blistering atmosphere of the Sun, closer than ever before. But because the overall NASA science budget is relatively flat, something had to give. Since 2008, astrophysics funding has plunged relative to other NASA science and relative to physics and astronomy funding at other agencies.

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2 comments

  • makes sense to me . if we have to prioritize then we should learn more about our immediate neighborhood . seems like that way we have the best chance of making the most useful discoveries

  • Astrophysics was once NASAs highest-funded science division and with the Hubble Space Telescope a long-time public-relations winner. Added to that the astrophysics division is facing a budget crunch while other science divisions within the agency the fiscal storm and even come out ahead.Clearly theres strong support for science astrophysics director Jon Morse said at an advisory panel meeting on 13 July as he reviewed his divisions place in the scientific pecking order at NASA. But because the overall NASA science budget is relatively flat something had to give.

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