The Senate appropriations this week recommended capping the budget for the James Webb Space Telescope at $8 billion, less than the $8.7 billion that NASA now thinks is required to finish the telescope.
The committee also recommended a budget of $17.9 billion for NASA, about $1 billion less than the House recommendation and about a half billion less than NASA’s 2011 budget. If the Senate numbers are adopted, it would bring NASA’s budget back to the budget it received in 2008.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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