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Link - Space Exploration Trades off With Earth Science

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Link - Space Exploration Trades off With Earth Science


[____] Earth science and space missions will tradeoff, they are seen as zero-sum in the budget

Jeff Foust, editor and publisher of The Space Review and has written for Astronomy Now and The New Atlantis, 2/9/2011 “Human spaceflight versus Earth sciences?”
A letter signed by several members of Congress is the latest evidence that a new battle line is forming over NASA funding: human spaceflight versus Earth sciences. In a letter to House Appropriations committee chairman Rep. Hal Rogers and CJS subcommittee chairman Frank Wolf, six Republican members of Congress asked the appropriators to prioritize NASA funding on what they consider to be the agency’s primary mission, human spaceflight. To do that, they argue that funding for NASA’s climate change research be redirected to human spaceflight accounts.With your help, we can reorient NASA’s mission back toward human spaceflight by reducing funding for climate change research and reallocating those funds to NASA’s human spaceflight accounts, all while moving overall discretionary spending towards FY2008 levels,” the letter’s authors—Reps. Bill Posey (R-FL), Pete Olson (R-TX), Rob Bishop (R-UT), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Sandy Adams (R-FL), and Mo Brooks (R-AL)—argue.

[____] A shift towards space exploration will cause budget cuts in Earth science.

Brian Berger, Space.com Staff Writer, 5/02/2005, “ NASA's Exploration Focus Blamed for Earth Science Cuts,” http://www.space.com/1028-nasa-exploration-focus-blamed-earth-science-cuts.html
WASHINGTON -- House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) expressed alarm over recent budget cuts and delays in NASA's Earth science program that a recent National Research Council report attributed to the U.S. space agency's shift in focus toward lunar and Mars exploration. "This report has to be a red flag for all of us," Boehlert said during an April 26 hearing examining how Earth science programs fare in NASA's 2006 budget request. "We need to stop, examine what's happening, and make sure that the fiscal 2006 budget for NASA - whatever its top-level number - includes adequate funding to keep Earth science moving forward for the foreseeable future." NASA merged its Earth science and space science programs into a single organization, the Science Mission Directorate, in 2004 and no longer maintains separate budgets for the two activities. But according to a House Science Committee analysis of NASA's budget request, of the $5.47 billion included for the Science Mission Directorate, only $1.36 billion would be spent on Earth science activities, a drop of 8 percent below the 2005 level and 12 percent less than the 2004 level. Earth science spending would continue to decline in 2007, NASA projections show, even as overall science funding would grow by $500 million. The National Research Council report, written by an expert panel and released the day of the hearing, says the budget trend for Earth science already is translating into program delays and cancellations. The report, "Earth Science Applications from Space: Urgent Needs and Opportunities to Serve the Nation," points out that NASA has "canceled, descoped, or delayed at least six planned missions" and has nothing in the pipeline to replace the fleet of Earth Observing System satellites the agency has spent more than a decade putting on orbit. "At NASA, the vitality of Earth science and application programs has been placed at substantial risk by a rapidly shrinking budget that no longer supports already-approved missions and programs of high scientific and societal relevance," the report states. "Opportunities to discover new knowledge about Earth are diminished as mission after mission is canceled, descoped, or delayed because of budget cutbacks, which appear to be largely the result of new obligations to support flight programs that are part of the Administration's vision for space exploration."

Specific Link – Colonization Affirmative


[____] A Mars mission would deplete intellectual resources for a decade and hurt studying climate change on Earth.
J. Scott Christianson, writer at the Columbia Daily Tribune, 3/11/2011, “We can’t afford manned mission to Mars”, http://thefreerangetechnologist.com/2011/03/manned-mission-to-mars/
A manned mission to Mars will tie up most of NASA’s intellectual resources for a decade or more as they toil on an incredibly expensive project whose success and scientific value is uncertain. The American public should have a better chance of receiving a decent return on its investment in NASA. Perhaps the most compelling argument for not proceeding with a manned mission to Mars is NASA’s great success with unmanned missions to Mars and other planets. These “smaller, cheaper, faster” space probes have been extremely useful and cost-effective and have proved themselves capable of performing real science or, at the very least, capable of being the on-the-ground technicians for scientists safely located on Earth. A better use of NASA’s budget for exploration and planetary science would be to fund several smaller unmanned missions to explore Mars and other planets, thus spreading out both the risks and the rewards. While some of these are bound to fail, most of these little probes would be successful, and several would be successful beyond their original design. The Spirit and Opportunity probes continue to operate on Mars some five years past their original mission of 90 days. Even Voyager 1, launched in 1977, is still operating some 30 years later. Investing in several smaller missions with clear scientific goals offers much more reward for the risk. If NASA is to receive more appropriations, it should be for investigating problems here on Earth. Studying climate change is an unprecedented opportunity to learn about a sophisticated planetary processes happening right here, right now. Moreover, we need NASA to not just document the effects of global warming and other environmental problems but provide us with possible solutions and new technologies addressing these challenges. Solving the problem of global warming would be a greater step for mankind than any trip to space and is much more deserving of public investments. Landing humans on Mars and bringing them back safely would be a great technological feat and no doubt resplendent with numerous spinoff technologies, but it is not one of the major technical problems currently facing the human race. A manned mission to Mars will happen someday, but we should concentrate our scientific resources on figuring out how to leave future generations with a habitable Earth and leave it to them to discover how to make it to Mars.
[____] Missions to Mars drain funding allocated to answer science questions.
Frank Gaglioti, high school science teacher and contributing journalist, 5/20/2006, “Cuts to NASA Budget Gut Space Research http://www.wsws.org/articles/2006/may2006/nasa-m20.shtml
In a far-reaching reorientation of its programs, the US National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) budget has effectively capped science spending for the five-year period from 2007 to 2011. Programs designed to investigate more fundamental scientific questions about the character of the solar system and the universe are being sacrificed to enable NASA to carry out President George Bush’s grandiose scheme to establish a permanent settlement on the moon in preparation for a manned mission to Mars. NASA’s announcement in February was part of Bush’s budget cuts to federal science spending by 1 percent to $59.8 billion. The changes to NASA’s program are mirrored in the overall science budget, which is focussed more narrowly on projects with commercial payoffs or to strengthen the US military. Bush’s “American Competitive Initiative,” which is aimed at bolstering US corporate interests at the expense of their rivals, will consume $5.9 billion. Presidential science adviser John Marburger bluntly declared: “The point is, we’re prioritising.”

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