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Title    Trump Administration Budget Proposal Would Cancel WFIRST
Date    Thursday February 15 2018, @04:12AM
Author    Fnord666
Topic   
from the no-space-for-money dept.
https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=18/02/15/0047213

takyon writes:

A Trump administration budget proposal would cancel NASA's flagship-class Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) as well as several Earth science related telescopes, as it focuses on the Space Launch System, Orion, and sending astronauts to an orbital space station around the Moon:

The Trump administration has released its budget proposal for fiscal year 2019 and put dozens of federal programs on the chopping block, including a brand-new NASA space telescope that scientists say would provide the biggest picture of the universe yet, with the same sparkling clarity as the Hubble Space Telescope. The proposal, released Monday, recommends eliminating the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), citing "higher priorities" at NASA and the cost of the new telescope.

"Given competing priorities at NASA, and budget constraints, developing another large space telescope immediately after completing the $8.8 billion James Webb Space Telescope is not a priority for the administration," the proposal states. "The budget proposes to terminate WFIRST and redirect existing funds to other priorities of the science community, including completed astrophysics missions and research."

Although the Trump administration wants to end funding of the International Space Station (ISS) by 2025, it envisions private companies picking up the slack:

"The decision to end direct federal support for the ISS in 2025 does not imply that the platform itself will be deorbited at that time — it is possible that industry could continue to operate certain elements or capabilities of the ISS as part of a future commercial platform," according to a draft summary of NASA's ISS Transition Report required by Congress in the agency's 2017 Authorization Act.

Space experts and legislators have mixed feelings about the plans:

MIT astronautics professor Dava Newman, who was the deputy NASA chief under Barack Obama, called the space station "the cornerstone of space exploration today" but said the Trump administration's proposal makes sense because it is doing long-term planning.

The president proposes shifting large chunks of money from the space station, satellites studying a warming Earth and a major space telescope toward a multi-year $10.4 billion exploration plan aimed at returning astronauts to the moon in about five or six years.

[...] Mike Suffredini, a former space station program manager for NASA who now runs Axiom Space in Houston and aims to establish the world's first commercial space station cautioned that the U.S. government needs to have a direct hand in the International Space Station until it comes down. No company would accept the liabilities and risks associated with the station, he said, if the sprawling complex went out of control and came crashing down.

His company's plan is to attach its own compartments to the existing International Space Station and, once the decision is made to dismantle the complex, detach its segment and continue orbiting on its own.

Also at Spaceflight Now, Scientific American, Time, Space.com, Space News, and CNN.

Previously: WFIRST Space Observatory Could be Scaled Back Due to Costs
Trump Space Adviser: Mars "Too Ambitious" and SLS is a Strategic National Asset
Can the International Space Station be Saved? Should It be Saved?
Trump Administration Plans to End Support for the ISS by 2025
After the Falcon Heavy Launch, Time to Defund the Space Launch System?


Original Submission

Links

  1. "takyon" - https://soylentnews.org/~takyon/
  2. "would cancel" - https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/02/trump-budget-nasa-wfirst-telescope/553082/
  3. "Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wide_Field_Infrared_Survey_Telescope
  4. "budget proposal for fiscal year 2019" - https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/msar-fy2019.pdf
  5. "it envisions private companies picking up the slack" - https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/02/12/trump-administration-supports-transition-to-more-commercially-focused-space-station/
  6. "and legislators" - http://spacenews.com/space-station-supporters-prepare-for-budget-battle/
  7. "mixed feelings about the plans" - https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/trump-wants-nasa-out-of-space-station-by-2025-businesses-in/2018/02/12/33717d9e-101d-11e8-a68c-e9374188170e_story.html
  8. "Spaceflight Now" - https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/02/12/trump-budget-aims-to-kick-start-lunar-exploration-but-cancels-major-space-telescope/
  9. "Scientific American" - https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/nasa-budget-proposal-defunds-space-station-space-telescopes-and-more/
  10. "Time" - http://time.com/5143701/donald-trump-nasa-international-space-station/
  11. "Space.com" - https://www.space.com/39680-wfirst-space-telescope-cancellation-scientist-reactions.html
  12. "Space News" - http://spacenews.com/nasa-budget-proposal-plans-of-nasa-funding-of-iss-seeks-commercial-transition/
  13. "CNN" - https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/11/politics/trump-nasa-iss/index.html
  14. "WFIRST Space Observatory Could be Scaled Back Due to Costs" - https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=17/10/25/1441224
  15. "Trump Space Adviser: Mars "Too Ambitious" and SLS is a Strategic National Asset" - https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=17/11/08/200209
  16. "Can the International Space Station be Saved? Should It be Saved?" - https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=18/01/12/0040204
  17. "Trump Administration Plans to End Support for the ISS by 2025" - https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=18/01/25/1448257
  18. "After the Falcon Heavy Launch, Time to Defund the Space Launch System?" - https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=18/02/10/0232205
  19. "Original Submission" - https://soylentnews.org/submit.pl?op=viewsub&subid=24846

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