LaRouche 11 (Lyndon, political activist, 4/20/11, http://www.larouchepac.com/node/17998) JPG
* NASA's Earth science programs are now under scrutiny by the Republicans, and threatened with large cuts, since these circles stupidly think that any satellite that looks at the Earth, is looking forglobalwarming. * The precious teams of highly skilled workers and engineers, who have prepared the Space Shuttles for 30 years, are now being dispersed to the wind. United Space Alliance (USA), whose workers train the astronauts, prepare Shuttle payloads, and launch and refurbish the orbiters, announced April 15th the details of the last big round of layoffs in the Shuttle program. After the last Shuttle mission, now scheduled for June, half of the remaining USA workforce, around 2,800 workers, will be gone. In 2009, USA had 10,500 people working in the Shuttle program.
A panel of expert witnesses, including the chairman of a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) committee that is recommending Earth science priorities for the next decade, today warned Congress that repeated budget cuts threaten the vitality of Earth science programs at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), as many Earth science missions have been downsized, delayed, or outright cancelled. The witnesses testified before the House Science Committee at a hearing examining Earth science programs at NASA and the potential impact on those programs by of the Agency's fiscal year 2006 (FY06) budget request, which would cut Earth science funding by 8 percent below the FY05 appropriation and 12 percent below the FY04 request.
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 establisha 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.”
Funds are being diverted to bolster the Moon exploration program, which will grow by 30 percent to $3.98 billion in 2007. There is also an additional $2.6 billion for the International Space Station (ISS). The plan is for a new generation of space vehicles to ferry scientists and astronauts back and forth from the International Space Station and replace the present aging and disaster-prone space shuttles. Bush aims to establish a permanent manned lunar presence by the year 2020 to prepare for the future exploration and colonisation of Mars. In his announcement in January 2004, he cited the “spirit of discovery” and compared the US exploration of space with earlier American explorers. Bush’s intention was to evoke John F. Kennedy’s vision for the Apollo missions in the 1960s to given the impression his administration was embarking on a grand scientific quest in outer space.
Earth Science Link – Astronaut Missions
Astronaut missions cause cuts in climate science AFP 3/6 (Staff, “NASA reels from climate science setbacks”, http://www.spacemart.com/reports/NASA_reels_from_climate_science_setbacks_999.html) JPG
But some Republicans, who hold a majority in the House of Representatives, want to see NASA give up climate science so it can focus on returning astronauts to space once the 30-year-old shuttle program ends later this year. "NASA's primary purpose is human space exploration and directing NASA funds to study global warming undermines our ability to maintain our competitive edge in human space flight," said Republican Congressman Bill Posey last month. Earth science has been a distinct mission of NASA ever since Congress formed the agency with the 1958 Space Act, setting its first objective as "the expansion of human knowledge of the earth and of phenomena in the atmosphere and space." Further revisions of the Space Act in 1976 gave NASA "authority to carry out stratospheric ozone research," and a 1984 change broadened NASA's earth science authority from the stratosphere to "the expansion of human knowledge of the Earth." But budget squeezes have crippled NASA's efforts since the 1990s, when NASA first set out to create a global Earth observing system and budget deficits forced engineers to scale back to one third of their original plan, according to Wielicki. "What we have now are pieces of that system that have lived well beyond their design life," he said. "Space missions are expensive by nature, risky by nature, and our nation has decided not to spend the kind of resources it would take for a more robust set of climate research observations."